You say road trip and it conjures up all sorts of images – on the one hand your starry-eyed image of a family pootling along the road, singing songs, drinking snacks and having a jolly old time. Then of course there’s the other image of a hot and sweaty family, stuck in a car in never ending traffic with the children in the back incessantly asking that dreaded question of “Are we there yet?!”
I’d say the latter image is slightly more probable, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve done a couple of long journeys with my little one and I think as long as you are prepared then for the most part, a family road trip can pass quite quickly and before you know it you’ll be there.
I thought I’d share some of my top tips to ensure that your next family road trip is a successful one!
Might sound obvious but you need to pack the snacks. All the snacks. It takes a little prep time but it’s worth it. I always pack Alyssa her little lunch box with little snacks and pop it within reach of her in the back with her drinks bottle so she can help herself as she pleases – she has a little tray and cup holder.
However, I also pack a spare drink or two (depending on the length of the journey) with a little ice inside it to keep it cool as well as some surprise snacks and treats that can be pulled out at timely intervals.
Of course I always make sure that us adults have drinks and snacks too and I’m partial to a mint or ten as I’m driving as well!
Now this doesn’t have to be purely technology based though I admit that mine is dominated by electronics. I bought a great portable DVD player which can plug into the car along with toddler safe headphones for her to use. So throughout the journey she can have it off and on and if we’re not travelling alone and I don’t need to stop then another family member can change her DVD for her.
I also fully charge her tablet with apps she can play offline and she really enjoys tapping away on that on her little pull out table.
Other options include;
• Colouring bits – pencils and paper
• Books – If your child doesn’t suffer with travel sickness
• Small toys – If your child has a little tray table then it’s often a good idea to go and spend a few pounds in a “pound store” and get a few new surprise little toys.
Prepare the Car
Obviously, you want to be prepared for the possibility that something might go wrong with the car on a journey as you never know with these things. You need to make sure your car insurance is up to date and it’s a good idea to check you have breakdown cover too.
Before making any long journey, you should check the screen wash, oil and water levels of the car so that nothing silly like that can disturb your journey. I’d also advise checking your lights are all working as I recently discovered on a night time journey that neither of my rear lights were working and had to try and solve the problem in a mostly closed services with just my own mum to help!
Hopefully if you follow these tips and tricks you’ll have a successful family road trip. However, I think it’s inevitable that at some point, one person be it adult or child will ask… Are we there yet?! And breathe.
*This is a collaborative post.