Got plans for a family road trip this Australia Day’s long weekend? Family road trip is a good way for the whole family to take a break from their daily routines, engage and interact with each other while having fun! But trust me, I understand that there’s nothing in the world that’s more irritating than a car full of bored kids on a long road trip. The last thing you need to hear on a long weekend road trip is the dreaded line: “Are we there yet?” on repeat. But fear not, I am here to share my top family road trip survival tips to guaranteed you and your family a fun and safe time.
Put your family's safety first
First and foremost, make sure your car provides a comfortable and safe environment for your family road trip. Before the trip, make time to take your car for a tune-up to make sure that it will be in top condition for long distance drive. Check that you have a spare tire and tools to change a tire in case of emergency. Get a good night sleep the night before the long drive, as driving takes up a lot of concentration and really drains out your mind and body. Other essentials for the trip include warm blankets, flashlight and first-aid kit.
- Keep hydrated & prepare plenty of snacks
Keep your kids well hydrated throughout the trip by preparing plenty of water - there’s no such thing as too much water! If your kids enjoy their daily dose of fruit intake, be sure to prepare some fruit juice for the trip. As for snacks, opt for something that’s healthy and will help to keep your kid’s energy level up: a healthy sandwich, fruits and yoghurt are all good options. Be sure to pack some sweeties as well. A small chocolate bar and lollipops will help to give your kids the sugar boost that they’ll need to keep them going for the long trip.
- Plan stopovers in advance
Prior to hitting the road, make sure you schedule in regular pit strops throughout the day to refresh your mind and body. Get your family out of the car to take in some fresh air, enjoy the view, go to the bathroom and get everyone to give their arms and legs a good stretch. If you planned your trip well, you could even schedule in time to park the car somewhere and take a short bike ride with your kids along bike trails and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Or pack a picnic basket and stop at a nice park along the way for a family picnic .
- Keep them entertained
It’s no myth that kids get bored easily - especially when they’re in a confined space so make sure you’ve prepared some entertainment options to keep them busy at the back of the car. Try to avoid iPad or portable game devices, as it’ll give your kids sore and tired eyes after a while and make them more prone to car sickness. The same goes for reading in the car. Instead, think of games that allows you the chance to interact and engage with them. My kids and I like to play ‘The House on the Hill’, where we invent stories about people in the houses we are passing by in the car - “How many children live in this house?” “what do you think their parents do?” “what are their favourite food to have for dinner?” “do they have any pets?.
- Make it interesting & memorable
Sometimes when we take our kids on road trips, we forget that it’s supposed to be a fun experience for the whole family. We are often too busy fussing over little things like did we bring enough water, when can we take the next bathroom break. A family road trip is all about making precious family memories that the kids will remember for the rest of their lives. On our last family road trip, we got the kids involved in making a road trip scrapbook. We took a lot of photos and collected a lots of ticket stubs, seashells, postcards of all the places we stopped by along the way. My husband even took a basic photography lesson with the kids prior to our last road trip to boost their confidence in capturing those precious Kodak moment. Look up kids friendly photography lessons in your local area and snap away during your weekend road trip.
Now that you are well prepared for your family road trip, head over to our kids activities directory and start planning fun kids activities to enjoy with your kids once you’ve reached your travel destination!
Virginia is a busy working mother to two energetic school-aged children. With the help of her supportive husband, Virginia successfully juggles the dual roles of career woman and loving mother. Virginia is particularly passionate about health and fitness, and is always looking for new ways to keep her children happy, healthy and active. Virginia lives in Sydney and is a veteran blogger of almost 5 years.