Family Road Trip Tips

With borders opening up, it’s time to pack the kids and the doggo into the car and hit the open road. But before you do, here are a few tips and tricks to help improve your chances of a smooth drive. 

1. Know the limits 

If your kids haven’t made the two-hour trip to Grandma’s house without kicking and screaming yet, then maybe a cross country road trip isn’t the ideal thing for a fun family summer holiday.    

Start small, and begin with short trips, perhaps to the local botanical gardens then gradually build up to the mountains or plains. Plan what’s reasonable with the kids to avoid a holiday nightmare. 

2. Check prior the trip 

Avoid unnecessary setbacks, unwanted stress and give your car attention before you hit the road. Check your oil and water and ensure tyres, air con and lights are in good working order. Give your spare tyre a check and, if you don’t have one, grab a tyre puncture kit from the local automotive store and save yourself an expensive tow.  

Don’t forget to pack a paper map or download offline maps to your phone – google maps is not good without a signal.  

3. Be prepared 

While no one wants to over-pack, there are some extra items that can prove invaluable on the road. 

Items like portable chargers, extra nappies, wet wipes for spills and messes, extra snacks, medication, insurance cards, a map, and of course, plastic bags, towels and extra sets of clothes in case of car sickness or accidents. It never hurts to be extra prepared.  

4. Have a plan, but a loose one

It might not be common to see that a landslide has overtaken the route to your destination; but it is more likely that you’ll come across, ‘roadworks’ or a ‘merge to one lane’ signs. If you overschedule, you might end up having to cancel that wine tour or dinner reservation because you decided to stay all day at the dinosaur museum and now, you’re stuck in traffic.  

Space out your activities and allow for extra time at each of those activities to avoid disappointment.  

5. Preload with entertainment

When you’re on the open road, there’s certainly a chance that your favourite radio station isn’t broadcasted, instead regional stations will typically have the dullest of tunes. Load your phone with the music for the entire family (make sure you download, don’t rely on streaming)! Kids love it when you sing along with them to their favourite songs.  

If you’ve got tablets, be sure to download the kids’ loved shows – you’ll thank yourself that you did. 

6. Make stops

Sitting in a car for hours on end with your siblings isn’t always the best thing. Only takes one kid to start picking on the other, then tantrums will be thrown with water bottles out the windows. Take a break every hour or two; take time to enjoy the scenery, whether it’s a pitstop at the beach or a park in the bush. Taking a break will not only benefit your kids but will ensure you are revitalised for the next chunk of driving.  

Good luck on your next family road trip! Stay safe. 

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