The family road trip to see friends or relatives in another state can be a fun and rewarding experience. I remember going on a camping road trip as a teenager and having a blast during our trip from Sydney to Adelaide, and we didn’t have the luxury of iPads and electronic movies either (except for the loyal Game Boy and Discman)! Naturally, there will be some fights and arguments but by understanding how to prepare, what to bring, and how to break up backseat boredom, you can guarantee you’ll have a memorable and enjoyable trip! To give you some insight, here are our top tips for road trips with the kids.
With a wealth of entertainment and games now available on iPads, you can download heaps of movies and educational games to keep the kids occupied. Of course, you don’t want them to be using a device for the entire trip, but they go a long way in helping the kids behave and have fun during long stints. It’s also a great idea to bring some good old fashioned games and toys as well, such as activity books, colouring-in books, toy cars, dolls, and even an etch-a-sketch. When you want to play a game involving the whole family, don’t forget the classic ‘eye-spy’ which can offer hours of enjoyment!
Allow plenty of time
It’s important to be flexible and take plenty of time for stops so the kids can run around and burn up some energy. If you’re traveling along the coastline, stopping at the beach and having a swim once a day is a refreshing break from the road that will guarantee a long nap afterwards! Another useful idea to is to ask your kids to do some research and find one attraction they want to visit along the way. This will get them involved in the planning of the trip so they’ll likely be more helpful and better behaved.
It’s very easy to give into the temptation of fast food during your trip but remember that the more sugar your kids consume, the more unstable they’ll be. Always bring plenty of water, healthy snacks, and sandwiches to minimise the amount of unhealthy and expensive road trip food. Everyone will need a water bottle plus snacks such as carrot sticks, dried fruit, muesli bars, yoghurt, and popcorn to keep the munchies at bay. If you stop for a meal, it’s worth spending an extra 5 minutes to detour off the highway and find somewhere near a park so your kids can eat then play before hitting the road again.
You should expect the unexpected on a road trip so bring a range of clothes for all occasions. From swimming gear for the beach to jumpers, blankets, and pyjamas for those chilly nights, having the appropriate clothing is vital for family road trips. It’s also advisable to bring plenty of sunscreen and shade in case your vehicle breaks down and you’re stuck for an hour or more in the blistering sun. A beach umbrella and car awning should do be sufficient and you can use them at the beach too.
It’s not uncommon for at least one of your kids to have motion sickness along the way so bring a first aid kid and medication with you. Rather than treating motion sickness, try to prevent it by giving your kids the dose before you hit the road. A plastic bucket and wet wipes goes a long way when your kids are sick in the car and will come in handy if any food or drinks are spilt as well!
It’s highly recommended to get your vehicle serviced well before your road trip to ensure it’s in good working condition and isn’t going to break down along the way! Of course, traveling in a bigger vehicle with more room also makes a significant difference so if you have a 4WD then it’s the obvious choice. If you need any 4WD products or accessories to help you on your journey, TJM Australia have you covered. For more information, phone their friendly team on 07 3865 9999.