If you and the kids are ready to hit the open road on another family adventure, I thought I’d share some of my top tips on how to plan it to perfection. There’s no guarantee you won’t get crumbs on the back seat and arguments, vomiting and hair pulling (and that’s just the adults), but we can try.
Let’s try to take all of the stress and hassle out of planning, this will make sure there aren’t any bumps in your journey ahead.
Plan a Route and When You’re Going to Stop
OK, so this might sound like a really obvious thing to have to do, but planning your route to a tee is a must to making sure it goes without a hitch. And it’s the best way to make sure everyone’s happy with where you’re going, what you’re going to do and how long you’re going to be travelling for each day. Even for unplanned toilet stops, if you know where they are en route it takes the stress out if you know how long it’s going to be… or provide a suitable receptacle.
If you need a little help (or inspiration) for your route, there are a number of apps available. These also help you figure out how much fuel you’ll need and how much it’ll cost (approximately).
Leave Room for Stop-Offs
While it’s imperative you get your route together, it’s also worth leaving some time aside in case there are any delays or impromptu stop-offs.
From roadworks to diversions, we all know road trips don’t always go to plan, and having that extra time in your schedule will take the pressure off you getting from A to B in X amount of time. Plus, it always allows you to stop-off in areas you hadn’t originally planned, taking in sights that might appeal to you and the kids.
Be Savvy with Your Petrol
Although you’ve probably got a budget in mind for your road trip, there are ways you can make sure you’re not eating through this budget as you drive.
For example, make sure you’ve got a full tank of fuel before you set off so you don’t need to try and find any petrol stations for a large chunk of your journey. And try to keep the weight in the car as low as possible as this will go a long way towards good fuel economy.
Finally, when you do need to fill up, be sure to allow plenty of time before the tank’s on empty. Otherwise, you may be heading to costly petrol stations on the motorway. Use Google maps to look for supermarkets just off the motorway to fill up on that are cheaper.
Get Your Car in Gear
No road trip is going to be complete without a reliable motor. After all, the last thing you want is a breakdown on the side of the motorway with screaming, hungry kids.
So, it’s a good idea to go over all the basics, checking tyre pressure, windscreen washer, water levels, oil levels and so on. And if you’re going a particularly long distance, it may be an idea to ask the local garage to take a look for you, too.
If you’re not sure your car’s going to get you there and you’ve been thinking about trading it in – now could be the ideal time. Companies like the AA specialise in finance and used cars, so are always a handy place to start looking.
Keep them busy
There are a number of ways to keep the children occupied. The basics for me which I keep in a grab bag with me are sweets and snacks, drinks (not too much), wipes, tissues, a change of clothes for the littles and my phone. Busy bags work quite well, books, cuddly toys from home and a travel pillow if they’re going to have a nap. When mine were little we would time long journeys around nap time so they would sleep most of the way.
Ultimately, then, the perfect family road trip relies on good planning with a touch of flexibility. With that and the aforementioned tips in place, you and your family will be making memories to treasure.
Disclosure: collaborative post.
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