Road trips are a great way for your family to spend quality time together. However, as the hours roll on boredom can set in, and your patience can wear thinner than a hungry supermodel and make the whole journey the opposite of what you wanted.
There is another way. By utilizing the selflessness, military precision, and powers of persuasion only parents possess, your road trip can become a highly anticipated part of your vacation.
Prepare for Success
If you’re prepared for all eventualities, it minimizes any hassle. Around 75% of the success of your road trip is decided long before the driving starts. There are things you can do beforehand to ensure you minimize the chance of a potentially disastrous breakdown, and maximize your family’s levels of comfort and contentment.
It’s important to check your car is up to the task. When was it last serviced? Have all the tires got plenty of tread? If you’re unsure what you should check, then use the acronym POWDER to help you remember. A POWDER check is:
All of these should be at a sufficient level, or in good working order before you set out. It can also be a good idea to ensure your car is spotless before you leave. Just as clean sheets make your bed feel more welcoming, a clean and fresh car will help you get off on the right foot. As a parent it can be a struggle to find the time, I hardly ever get to the car wash near me, but thankfully there are now mobile car cleaners who will come to you, saving you the hassle of squeezing something else into your day.
There are a few essentials that will help your journey go smoothly. A garbage bag for the front and back seats stops wrappers building up. A pack of baby wipes in the glove box can be invaluable in many situations. A change of clothes in case of spillages is essential. You might have everything in a suitcase, but do you really want to empty it at the side of the road while you try to piece together a new outfit? A first aid kit is a must. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks, including water. Pillows or soft toys make naps easier.
The advantages of a road trip can start weeks before the actual journey. Get the kids involved in the planning process. It helps them become more invested in the journey and they may even begin to look forward to it. How you achieve this will depend on their ages and interests.
You can ask them to make their own journey playlists. If they have smartphones or tablets, pick some new designated journey apps, then agree not to try them until you’re underway. You can also do the same with a new movie. Coloring or sticker books can be a great way to keep younger kids happy and quiet for a while.
The Most Important Ingredient
The above tips will help reduce potential problems and give you peace of mind, so you can approach the journey in a positive way. Allow plenty of time for all your stops so you’re not rushing and getting stressed. Play silly games and have fun. Relaxing and enjoying the journey will help everyone else do the same.