Planning to head off for a road trip or holiday with the family this year? Most parents know the trials and tribulations that can arise when traveling with the entire family, but there is plenty that you can do to make sure that your journey is as happy, safe and stress free as possible.
Regardless of whether you are travelling with older or younger children, it pays to be organised.
Plan your route thoroughly before you travel, along with a number of stops that you can take when you need them. Younger children generally don’t like being kept in the car longer than a few hours, so try to time your breaks appropriately.
If you are heading out on a longer trip then make sure that your car is in a good condition.
Doing a general check a few weeks before you go, including oil, water and tyre pressure is a good idea as you will have time to rectify any problems if they arise.
Travelling with younger kids can be a stressful and exhausting, but there are a number of things that you can do to relieve yourself of some of this.
Firstly, stock up on sweets, water and food. Whilst healthy food is, well healthier, having a few sweets will be a great way to incentivise a few minutes of peace and quiet, and reward good behaviour.
Secondly, when you are ready to leave make sure that your children have all been fed and watered, and have been to the toilet. There is nothing worse than spending ages getting your children into the car, travelling for less than five minutes before they start declaring that they need to go to toilet!
Another good idea is to do some exercise with them if you can, so that by the time they get to the car, they are calmer and will be more likely to sleep.
Most importantly, make sure that your vehicle is safe and secure for children. Car seats should be regulation and properly secured, and any medication and first aid requirements you need should be available.
When you are all packed and have the family all comfortable in the car, make sure that you minimise any stress by making sure all technology is properly charged.
Sat navs are a must-have for longer car journeys as they can sit comfortably on your dashboard and alleviate the usual problems you may have with impromptu map reading. Also make sure that phones are charged in case of emergency, breakdown or incase your sat nav runs out of battery.
Have a good playlist or selection of cds, as well as a few travelling games, so that the whole family are happy.
It is always good to keep a first aid kit in your vehicle in the rare case of an accident, but if you are travelling with your family, make sure that any specific conditions or illnesses are also considered when you are making your travel preparations.
Lots of people suffer from travel sickness, so it is often a good idea to make sure that you have some travel sickness pills available. These can usually be bought over the counter in most pharmacies and supermarkets, but you should check with a medical professional before giving to any children, or if you are worried about any pre-existing medical conditions.
Wherever you are off to this year, make sure that your trip is an enjoyable experience for all the family. Follow these steps and make your journeys are a fond memory, rather than spending your time pulling your hair out. Enjoy your trip!