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There are few feelings in the world greater than when you set off on a road trip. If the whole family is heading off then this can be a wonderful chance to enjoy a very special holiday together.
Of course, if you are going to make the most of the freedom of the open road then you will want to plan the road trip perfectly.
Plan the Route
It can be tempting to just start driving and see where you end up. It would certainly be thrilling to watch the unfamiliar landscape roll past you and not know where you are heading. However, this approach is most suitable for a road trip without any kids on board. For a family adventure it makes a lot more sense to plan the route carefully. This means that you can work out in advance which hotels to stay in and which attractions to visit along the way. Most kids will get bored if they are stuck in the car for a long trip and no one can tell them when they are likely to arrive to their destination. Breaking up the journey into small chunks is a particularly good idea if it is practical for you to do this. If you can ensure that the kids never have to spend more than a couple of hours in the car at a time then this should help keep them relaxed and happy. It will also ensure that the designated driver doesn’t get too tired behind the wheel.
Get Some In-Car Entertainment
Even if you manage to plan the route so that you only travel in relatively short stretches you will still need to arrange some in-car entertainment. This is important for everyone in the car but especially so for the younger travellers. A good starting point is to take along some music that the whole family will be able to enjoy. You might also want to consider an in car DVD system or some games for the kids. Additionally, you could think of some classic car journey games that you could all play as you travel. Younger children might be happy playing I-Spy for hours on end but older kids will probably want something more challenging after a while.
Fix the Car
One of the most essential parts of the planning for any road trip is the work that goes into getting the car into perfect working order. You certainly don’t want it to let you down at any point in the journey. A good place to start is at MyCarNeedsA.com, where you can get quotes to get any repair work carried out. If you are going on a long trip then don’t forget to think ahead and see if you have anything to sort out for the car’s maintenance that you might need to get done in advance. For example, if the MOT and service dates are due when you are going to be away then you will want to bring them forward and get the work done before you set off. There is a huge difference in how calm you will feel driving away from home in a car that has been fully checked out and serviced than if you have any niggling doubts about it. Don’t forget that even if you fix any problems out on the road, the delay and the bad experience could put a dampener on the whole trip.
Packing for any sort of family trip is tough but it can be even more difficult when it comes to a road trip. As well as your clothes and other general travelling gear, you will also want to take away some snacks for the time you are in the car. Stopping at motorway service stations is a good way to break up the journey but you will probably still want to take some of your own stuff away with you. If it is a summer trip then you will need plenty of drinks on board, while the kids can pass some time eating snacks while you are travelling. Having snacks in the car will also help give the driver an energy boost when needed. As well as the food and drinks, you should also think about taking a first aid kit and some car repair tools. If you aren’t going far from home or have breakdown cover then you might decide that that the tools aren’t necessary. However, a first aid kit is a great thing to have, as it could help you sort out minor ailments or deal with any serious problems. You’ll probably never use it but you will be able to relax a bit more knowing that it is safely stowed away in the car.