Sirius Backseat TV - ChryslerEnlarge Photo
According to a CarMax survey of 500 families planning travel with children this summer, it's most commonly either a DVD player or a GPS navigation system.
Curiously, those parents who were age 18 to 34 chose a DVD player while older parents (especially those 55 and older) said a gaming device was essential.
Mothers were more stressed about the prospect of a summer trip than fathers (58 percent to 48 percent, respectively), while younger parents were more stressed than older ones—likely because their children tended to be younger.
Other vehicle features judged as essential for road trips by parents included extra cup holders (14 percent), a luggage rack (8 percent), folding seats (8 percent), and onboard power supplies (7 percent).
A number of minivan models and utility vehicles are still considered to be the best option for families, due to the presence of all of those features and some of the more advanced entertainment—some with dual-screen setups. And for those interested in other options than the same old stack of DVDs, Chrysler now offers a child-oriented Sirius Backseat TV option on most of its vehicles, including the 2010 Chrysler Town & Country and 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan.
On average this year, families will travel about 8.5 hours one-way for a summer road trip.
The survey results were conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax and released together with a new 'LUV2DRV' Facebook campaign. There you can get a printable Summer Road Trip Kit along with safety tips.
And whether you're taking the trusty old family wagon or the new vehicle you purchased this year, it's worth running through CarMax's tips on how to get ready:
- Check your tires. Inspect the condition of your tires and their tread depth. Look for any cuts in the sidewalls, and make sure the tire pressure is set to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure your spare tire is available and in working condition.
- Replace your windshield wiper blades. You should replace wiper blades twice a year to ensure maximum visibility in all weather conditions.
- Change your oil and filters. Your oil and filter should be replaced every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
- Pack an emergency supply kit. Put together a care package for your car, including anti-freeze, oil, screwdrivers, flares, pliers, jumper cables, flashlight and first aid kit.