Road Trip Tips & Tricks

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Make your family road trip a safe and enjoyable adventure with these tips and tricks for a hassle-free holiday on the road.

If you’re about to embark on a holiday road trip with the family, make it a safe, happy and enjoyable travel experience. A little preparation before you embark on your adventure can save you a lot of headache and hassle down the track. Here are my top tips and tricks for making sure you and your precious peeps have a safe and perfect road trip.

ROAD TRIP TIPS & TRICKS

CHECK YOUR VEHICLE  –  You certainly don’t want to break down in the middle of your road trip! Check that you’re vehicle is in good working condition before you set off on your adventure. Check things like fluids, tyre pressure, engine oil, tyre wear, brakes, air filter and lights. If you’re planning on taking a trip during the summer, I highly recommend making sure that your air-conditioner is working too.

CLEAN YOUR CAR BEFORE LEAVING – Before you set off on your journey, make sure your car is squeaky clean – inside and out. There is nothing worse than spending hours in a car that has a pungent smell or one where you struggle to see out of the window. This will put you in a positive headspace before you’ve even started driving.

BRING A SPARE TYRE – Taking a spare tyre with you will spare the hassle of getting someone to bring one out should you need it. Make sure you also have the tools with you to be able to swap a tyre if necessary. This is especially important if you are planning on driving on rough terrain.

INVEST IN A PORTABLE CHARGER – Portable chargers or ones that are able to plug into your cigarette lighter are incredible handy. These days most of us use our phone for contacting people and navigating, so make sure there is a charger to fit your phone. I would recommend buying an extra one and keeping it in your glove box, just in case.

STOCK FIRST AID KIT – You don’t want to be caught out if something happens. Before you go, check you have all the supplies you need available in your car’s first aid kit. If you don’t have one, invest in one! You can find them at most chemists and Bunnings.

ENSURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF ENTERTAINMENT – Phones and iPads are great for keeping kids entertained for a little while, but part of the fun of a road trip is talking to each other and taking in the great outdoors! This Road Trip games printable is the perfect tool for keeping kids entertained the old-fashioned way on family road trips.

CREATE A CAR PLAYLIST – Having good music on in the car can affect your mood dramatically. If you don’t want to listen to it, don’t play it. I recommend finding the local radio station of where you are driving through or creating a car playlist that caters to everyone’s tastes before you head off. That way you can ensure you have good tunes playing all drive long!

ROAD TRIP SNACKS – There’s nothing like hungry little (or big!) tummies to ruin a road trip. Having mess-free snacks on hand helps to save money, minimises pit-stops, and is great to keep the driver’s mind active and alert too. I recommend avoiding pre-packaged foods full of sugar – you definitely don’t want children trapped in the car who’ve had lots of sugar! Instead opt for fresh fruit, nuts, and home baked goodies like these Apple and Oat Muffins from my Lunch Box Recipe Cookbook. All the goodies in my cookbook are freezable so you can make them in advance, pull them out of the freezer when you set off on your road trip, and they will be perfect to eat a few hours down the track.

Keeping the kids snacks in a bento style lunch box is great for minimising mess and packaging in the car, plus the seperate compartments makes it easy to offer them a variety of snack options.

PLAN REGULAR STOPS – Before you even set off, plan out where you’re going to stop. This will give the driver a chance to recharge and it will allow the kids the opportunity to stretch their legs and get some of their ‘sillies’ out.

SET A LIMIT ON HOW LONG YOU DRIVE – Set a limit on how many hours you will drive each day. Don’t drive over this limit, even if you don’t feel tired, as it heightens your chance of being involved in an accident. Make sure you stop, revive, and survive.

SHARE THE DRIVING – If you can, allocate time slots for those that can drive. You may feel tempted to soldier on, but it’s safer to share the time around so you can feel refreshed.

PACK ESSENTIALS – There are a few things that you don’t want to be without on your road trip – especially when travelling with kids! A torch, pack of tissues, wet wipes, sunscreen, jumpers, plastic bags, phone charger… the list goes on! Check out my Road Trip Checklist for a list of all your must-have items.

KEEP SUPPLIES HANDY – A few of your items will want to be kept in easy reach. Wet wipes, vomit bags, water bottles, towels and nappies (if needed) are a few things you don’t want to have to search and rummage for. A good sized waterproof tote with a zip fastening like this one, is great for keeping all these items secure in the one easy-to-reach spot.

KEEP IT FULL – Get in the habit of filling up your petrol whenever you go below 1/4 of a tank of fuel. This is handy if you are driving for a long time – you don’t want to come across a gap where there is no service station and risk running out of petrol.

PACK STRATEGICALLY – Don’t pack things like food and toiletries down the bottom of the car. Leave what’s most important or things that are used frequently in a convenient space, such as at the top of the pile or near the boot door.

MAKE IT COMFORTABLE – Pack pillows, seat belt comforters, blankets and your child’s favourite stuffed toy. This will make the car much more conducive to sleeping and relaxing.

GET YOURSELF A CHECKLIST! – Get all these tips and tricks in one convenient printable that you can pop on your fridge to make the whole planning process much easier! Our Road Trip Checklist covers the essentials you’ll need, whilst also giving you some ideas for extra items that you don’t think you need until you need them.

Road trip checklist printable to prepare for car trip holiday

What’s your best tip or trick for a family road trip?

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2 comments

Andrea December 7, 2019 - 3:32 PM

What a great list… when my girls were little and it was hot, we gave them frozen water bottles. They could drink them – break them up and no sticky mess in the car as with juice and cordial…

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife December 10, 2019 - 9:06 AM

Great tip Andrea! Glad the lists helped too 🙂

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