Tips for a great family road tripDriving holidays are a fun and affordable way to spend time with the family and explore a new destination. Whether you're travelling afar or re-discovering your local area, consider these tips for a stress-free road trip.
- Map out your drive before you leave home. Not only will this make the driver more confident and relaxed, it means the kids know how far it is until the next toilet stop.
- Leave plenty of time to get to your destination and pull over for regular breaks in a safe place to stretch your legs, share the driving and have a coffee.
- Keep a bag in the car with water, snacks and a packed lunch for the family. Not only is a home-made meal healthier and more affordable, but it means you can enjoy a picnic in a park along the way. Don’t forget a plastic bag for any rubbish you collect in the car or at lunch.
- Prepare a first-aid kit for the car with wet wipes, band-aids and any headache or motion sickness medication you may need for the journey.
- Take some form of entertainment for the kids, like a portable DVD player, iPod, CDs, or low-tech games such as colouring books, stickers and toys.
- Before you head off, make sure your car has been serviced and is fitted with a blanket, torch, spare tyre and first aid kit.
- Make sure everyone in the car has the appropriate seat belts and child restraints - including any pets you’re taking with you.
- Do a tow check when towing a trailer or caravan and check the brakes, electrical connections, towbar and rearview mirrors.
- Brush up on good driving techniques such as staying left unless overtaking, indicating early and keeping a minimum three-second gap between yourself and the car in front (double that to six seconds in rain or fog), no matter what speed you’re doing.
- The journey is part of your holiday. Take regular breaks to enjoy the scenery or visit interesting attractions along the way.
- If you’re haunted by a backseat chorus of ‘are we there yet’, consider setting the timer on your phone, so the kids can see how long it is until the next stop.
- Time your journey so you arrive at the campsite or accommodation when it’s still light. The kids can run around or enjoy a swim and you can get settled and enjoy some fresh air before dinner.
- Create keepsakes to remember your journey - whether it’s photos, artwork or knick-knacks your kids pick up along the way.