Monthly Archives: November 2018

Hassle-Free Family Road Trips: 5 Must-Have Accessories

By Alex Perdikis

The best family road trips are fun and give you and your children a chance to create lasting memories. Road trips can also be stressful, particularly if you haven’t planned ahead.

Here are 5 great road trip accessories to take on your next family adventure. If you’re lucky, you won’t hear “Are we there yet?” Well, at least you won’t hear it as often.

1. Activity Cases

Activity cases are perfect for the younger set. Cases can be individually customized to hold each child’s interested, whether it’s puzzles, stickers or coloring. Use brightly colored carrying cases filled with coloring books, crayons or colored pencils, puzzle books and other age-appropriate items to customize your own cases. If creating your own activity box for your children is too time-consuming, ready-made activity cases are available for purchase.

An additional tip: Purchase new activity books and games exclusively for the family road trip. New goodies hold the children’s attention longer, which is a huge plus for you.

2. Travel Games

Remember the games you played in the car when you were a child? I Spy and License Plate games were big when you or your parents were young.


“You can find updated versions of many popular games from the “old” days that help keep the children busy and your stress level low.” — Alex Perdikis


Bingo, scavenger hunt and travel game packages are just a few of the options available.

3. Car Organizers

Organize your car and all the games, books, wipes, toys and other road trip essentials with pocket organizers that hang over the front seats. Organizers give your children easy access to their activity cases and ensure other essentials are within reach.

4. Install Seat Covers

Seat covers may sound like an odd road trip must-have but think about it. Your children are in the back seat with food, drinks and assorted other items. What could go wrong? A seat cover protects your seats from spills, crumbs and other messes, they’re washable, affordable, and many come with pockets for storage. After the trip, remove the seat covers for an easy clean up. You can put them back on for every day seat protection or save them for the next family trip.

5. Necessities

You don’t want to get on the road and suddenly realize you forgot the baby wipes. Make a list ahead of time of must-have necessities, so you don’t forget when it’s time to pack up the car.

Road trip necessities include:

  • Plastic bags for trash
  • Wet wipes for baby
  • Cleaning wipes for cleanup
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Bottles of water
  • If you’re traveling with a baby, extra diapers, formula and other infant essentials
  • Medications
  • If you’re taking the family pet, remember food and bowls
  • Emergency contact list
  • Medical information, including current medications taken by each member of the family, allergies and emergency contact information
  • First-aid kit
  • Proof of car insurance and insurer contact information
  • Extra pillows and blankets
  • Towels
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Roadside car emergency kit
  • Spare set of car keys  


Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.

The Weird and Wacky Truth About Road Signs

By Alex Perdikis

If you think road signs are boring, take a step back and imagine driving your daily commute without them. That’s exactly what it was like when automobiles first came on the scene. Traffic wasn’t as heavy then, but cars shared the road with horse-drawn carriages, and often the result was less-than happy.

Road Signs Have an Ancient History

The first road signs didn’t come about, as you might suspect when motor cars hit the road. Long before that, the rulers in the ancient Roman Empire devised a system of signs to give travelers and traders information.

As the Roman Empire grew, it paved roads to facilitate trade. People walked or used animals and carts to move market products from one place to another. To give travelers who used some of the 62,000 miles of roads information about where they were and how far they had to go, Roman rulers devised a system of numbered milestones to help them on their way.

The milestones were an amazing construction made up of 4,400 pounds of stones. To this day, no one knows how these giant stone markers were delivered to locations along the roadside.

Early Road Signs in the U.S.

Accidents weren’t the only mishaps for early drivers. They also got lost. There were no mile markers or directional arrows to point them where they needed to go.


“The first road sign manufacturers were members of driving clubs. Club members volunteered their time and materials to make directional signs and place them in strategic areas along the road.” — Alex Perdikis


The first electric traffic signal appeared in Cleveland in 1914, one year before the first stop sign was erected in Detroit. Approximately five years later, the familiar 3-color traffic signal used today appeared.

The Shape’s the Thing

Road signs in the early 1920s were still confusing and difficult to read. Representatives from Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin got together to develop a uniform system of shapes that could easily be seen at night. They came up with the round means railroad crossing, octagon means stop and square means caution standardized set of shapes.

All signs were black and white at first. It wasn’t until 1954 that stops signs became the white-on-red octagon of modern times. Yellow for caution and orange for road work signs came later.

Time Marches On

From those humble beginnings came the road signs everyone uses now. Technological advances, such as electronic signs, smartphone alert systems and accessories for the disabled make roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Uniform signs, shapes, wording, colors and letters are required across the country to make it easier for drivers no matter where they are.

So, Road Signs of Today ARE Boring, Aren’t They?

All that uniformity doesn’t mean road signs these days are boring. In fact, there’s still some fun to be had on America’s roadways. The next time you hit the pavement, watch for one of these gems:

  • Suicidal Deer: Next 1 mile
  • Beware of Smartphone Zombies
  • Accidents Are Prohibited on this Road
  • Road Work: Next 8 Years
  • Sign Not in Use
  • $50 Fine for Failure to Read This Sign
  • Slow: This is NOT a %$&#@ Freeway
  • Absolutely Nothing: Next 22 Miles
  • Prison Area: Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers


Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.