The idea of a family road trip always seems like a good idea at the planning stage as it can seem convenient with loads of room to pack everything from the buggy to the bucket and spade with all the flexibility you might need. However, for some, as the date gets nearer and nearer, the prospect of spending an entire day in the car with children of varying ages can be nothing but traumatic! So, in order to help you, the domestic cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID have a few top tips to surviving a family road trip:
Time of Travel
This is a crucial tip out of all tips to surviving a family road trip particularly if you have younger children and pets. Many parents recommend leaving home at the children’s normal bedtimes’ so they fall asleep soon after the drive begins. If you do start a long journey, then make sure that you have plenty of fresh air, caffeine and conversation to help you stay awake. The theory of driving in the evening with pets applies too as they tend to have worn themselves out during the day and will settle well, especially when it’s cooler in the summer months.
Plenty of water and snacks
It’s always a good idea to travel with plenty of water and snacks for the whole family. A top tip so that they don’t all disappear within the first five minutes, is to be in charge of the distribution! Avoid sticky or fizzy drinks as these can only cause havoc when spilled! Be careful when choosing snacks that you don’t overdo it on the sugary ones as there will be little opportunity to burn off the sugar rush. Crisps, cereal bars and fruit are ideal along with vegetable sticks and sandwiches. Why not give each child a treat (choose their favourite, but wrapped up as a surprise) to give to them mid-way through the journey?
Load up smart devices
It’s no secret that iPads and other smart devices have revolutionised family travel. Younger children can busy themselves for hours on an iPad, however somebody does need to remember to download new games and films to keep their interest. If you’re not that keen on games and films, there are a variety of educational apps that can be downloaded too. A top tip to surviving a family road trip involving smart devices, is to remember the headphones! Teenagers will, no doubt, already be plugged in to their smart phones as soon as the engine has started.
Plan for emergencies
The longer you are on the road, the more chance of an unwanted emergency such as bathroom accidents, car sickness and even spillages. So, do make sure, particularly when travelling with younger children to have spare clothes in the care and even yourself! You never know when your baby may decide to vomit on you! If travelling with an baby or toddler, it may be a good idea to cover the car seats with an old sheet, so that if there is an emergency, it can be quickly whisked away!
In case of car sickness, take an old Tupperware box with lid. Line it with a small bag and if your child feels sick, they can hold it comfortably and the lining may be removed or sealed with the lid until the next stop.
It’s always advisable to travel with several extra replacement bags, which you be used to bag wet clothes from accidents, rubbish or other disposable items.
A family road trip wouldn’t be road trip without a session playing some obligatory old school family games, such as:
- I Spy: Start with: “I spy with my little eye and the colour is….” Then others take turns trying to guess the object.
- The Alphabet Game: Everyone takes turns looking for letters on the road signs, starting with the letter A working through to Z. You can do this as a competition or as a group activity.
- The Picnic Game: The first person says, “I’m going on a picnic and bringing an apple” (or anything starting with A). The next person continues with B but must also remember what A was and so on until someone brings a zebra (or something starting with a Z). Note: You almost never get to Z!
- 20 Questions: One person thinks of a person or a thing, and the others take turns asking questions to guess who or what it is. Questions must be answered only by “yes” or “no.” For younger children, use family members and friends or familiar objects.
- The Animal Game: One person thinks of an animal, and others take turns asking questions to guess what animal it could be.
Plan stops with entertainment
Use stops to let the children out of the car, stretch their legs and run around. This will give you a chance to do the same and break the monotony of driving. Ideally, in order to have a bit of peace and quiet later in the journey and to surviving a family road trip, you need to make sure they burn off some energy before the next leg of your journey. Keep at least one of the following items in boot and within easy reach: Skipping rope; inflatable beach ball; Bubbles; nerf guns or a run with the dog!
You can never have enough wet wipes for any family road trip! They are so handy for wiping down sticky surfaces, hands and even pets when they slobber in the car!
So, here’s wishing you a very happy holiday and we hope our tips to surviving a family road trip entice you to do more in the future!