It’s every parent’s nightmare: Your car breaks down in the middle of a long road trip with your kids. If you find yourself in this situation, we’ve got some ideas for a few things you can do to make the situation better.

Assess the Situation

Depending on where you are, it can take longer for a tow truck to arrive to rescue your family. We recommend first making sure that your family is in a safe location. If you are mechanically inclined in basics, you may be able to check and see if the problem is something simple. Check the oil level, and the water in the radiator, and make sure your battery cables are not loose. If you’re stuck, it may be helpful to have a look at your car’s manual to see if there are any other troubleshooting tips. After you’ve eliminated the easy stuff, it’s time to seek vehicle towing services.

Towing

Towing services are the unsung heroes of many road trips. They can help you when you’re stuck on the side of the road with minor issues, and they can help you get your car to a service center if it needs more serious repairs. If you don’t have roadside assistance through your insurance, there are plenty of reputable towing services that can help you. Just be sure to check reviews before you call so that you can be sure you’re getting a reputable company. Ask for an ETA and remember to let the driver know any details about your positioning that might be of help to them.

Keep Your Family Entertained

The key to surviving a breakdown with young kids is to keep them entertained so they don’t get too restless. If your kids are bored, they’re going to make the situation ten times worse. Be sure to bring along some snacks and drinks for them, as well as some toys or games to keep them occupied. If you don’t have anything with you, see if there’s anything in your car that can be repurposed as a toy – like coins or pens. If your location allows for it, explore your surroundings and collect rocks, or search for bugs. And if all else fails, there’s always the old standby of singing songs together to pass the time.

Breakdowns are never fun, so if you are planning a road trip make sure that towing coverage is part of that plan. Having emergency supplies on hand and using a little creativity can help turn a stressful situation into a fun adventure for the whole family.

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