Tips for taking a family road trip

9 Tips and Tricks for Taking a Family Road Trip

With Christmas just around the corner, you’re no doubt planning trips to see family and friends across the country. Whether you’re popping in to deliver presents or staying over to partake in festive celebrations, getting the whole family prepared for a road trip can be hard work.

At Car Accessories Plus, we believe that every car should be comfortable, especially if you’re using it to drive your whole family around. Not only should your car be comfortable, but the little extras can make all the difference when it comes to long journeys. With this in mind, we decided to come up with a few tips and tricks for taking a family road trip.

In the run up to Christmas, there are so many things to remember and you probably have numerous lists, so let us take care of this one to eliminate the stress of a journey with the kids in tow…

1) Organised Packing

Write a list of everything you and your children need for the trip. Being organised is crucial when you’re going away - whether it’s just for a day trip or for an entire month. Writing lists for each person in your family will ensure you don’t forget anything vital, including toys your kids can’t live without.

Not only that, but it will also help when it comes to over-packing. There’s nothing worse than taking a long road trip with bags piled high on knees and in foot wells when you’re sat for long periods of time… especially if half the things you’ve packed aren’t even used!

Optimising space within your car is an easy and efficient way to ensure you are all comfortable in the car without leaving anything vital behind. A roof box is the perfect way to optimise space. Fill the box with cases and bags filled with things you won’t need until you’re at your destination, saving more space for the journey essentials. Our range of Thule Roof Boxes are a great option for any car make or model.

2) Prepare for Santa’s Delivery

Christmas means presents and presents are usually something that the kids have wanted for months. A new bike is usually the top of their Christmas lists.

If you…sorry, we mean Santa… have bought your children new bikes for Christmas, they’ll probably want to show them off to friends and families on Boxing Day celebrations and New Year’s parties. Transporting bikes, along with everything else, is no easy feat, so investing in a bike carrier is a brilliant idea. Not only will it come in handy over the Christmas period, but throughout the summer months when you go on holiday in the countryside surrounded by forests and scenery to explore, and those crisp Autumn dog walk days when the kids would much rather zoom off than stroll along.

3) Stock Up on Activities

Long journeys are boring. As adults, we know that, but kids can become even more irritable. It’s a good idea to have as much as possible to do when you’re together in the car – there are only so many rounds of I Spy anyone can take. Come up with some car games to make the time pass, and pack a small bag of activities for each child to keep them amused.

Portable DVD players will keep them quiet for an hour or so, and hand held games consoles are great too, but try and keep their senses sparkling with a variety of activities. Pack puzzles, books and toys that will keep them happy without the aid of technology, and come up with a few fun games to play as a family that will pass the time away (although do remember chargers for iPads and anything else you do decide to bring!).

4) Pack Plenty of Snacks!

There’s nothing worse than the “I’m hungry!” moans every ten minutes alongside “Are we there yet?”. Invest in a lightweight cool bag and pack sandwiches, fruit, vegetable sticks and cereal bars to snack on throughout the journey, especially if you’re travelling a fair few miles, alongside juice cartons and bottles of water.

Save sweets, chocolate and crisps for treats to make sure they don’t get too hyper in a confined space. If your child wins a car game or has been exceptionally good, create treat bags as a reward with a few sweets and a packet of crisps. Let them know in advance about the treat bags to encourage good behaviour.

5) Take Advantage of Nap Times!

Drive long stretches at times the kids usually have a nap. The more they sleep during the journey, the shorter it will seem for them and the less irritable they will become. If you need to, try and set off very early in the morning or late at night. If you do decide to do this, make sure you have enough sleep before you go and schedule coffee and nap breaks if it is a particularly long journey.

6) Keep Spillages and Mucky Hands At Bay

Pack more baby wipes and bottles of water than you think you’d need for an entire week. Not only do bottles of water mean you always have access to an easy drink wherever you are, but it also means that any mishaps or spillages can be cleaned and wiped up before it stains the interior of your car. Wet wipes are also a god send on a long journey. There’s bound to be sticky hands and faces after snacks and juice, so keep a stash in the car to mop up any mess.

7) Don’t Forget The Pets

Christmas is a busy time for everyone, so the likelihood that you can find someone to look after your dog when you’re visiting family and friends is slim. Your pet can travel in style alongside you if you invest in a dog guard for the boot. A dog guard separates your pet from your family, meaning you can all travel safely in comfort.

8) Stop The Annoying Rattling

There’s nothing worse than having loose bits and bobs rolling around in the boot when you’re travelling on the motorway. The constant banging and rattling can be extremely distracting, especially if you have breakable gifts or bottles in the boot. A luggage net keeps everything in place so you don’t have to worry about damaging your belongings.

9) Car Mats

For anyone who likes to keep their car in pristine condition, car mats are an essential way of keeping the footwells clean. Not only does it look nicer and makes for a more comfortable journey, but it also helps with the depreciation of your car when it comes to selling up and upgrading to another model. At Car Accessories Plus, we have a wide range of car mats suitable for all makes and models, making sure they fit correctly.

Do you have any more tips and tricks for taking a family road trip? Let us know by Tweeting us at @accessory_plus! From everyone at Car Accessories Plus and Stoneacre, we hope you have a safe journey on your travels visiting loved ones and wish you a very Merry Christmas! See you in 2017!