“Are we there yet?” – your family road trip survival guide
Road trips with the whole family can be a challenge – one moving car, multiple miles to go and a handful of kids sardine-squished into the back seat. Thankfully with a bit of preparation and creativity, you can transform a potentially tedious car ride into an adventure to look forward to.
Here are a few top tips for surviving your next family road trip. Plan your perks and pit stops ahead of time and you’ll keep things rolling smoothly!
Plot out your journey
Plan your route before you leave and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding when and where you’ll be stopping.
If you have young children, try to punctuate your trip with food and bathroom stops. It’ll give them a chance to stretch their legs and you’ll minimise disputes in the backseat.
Remember, comfort is key
Get your kids ready for a road trip the same way you’d get them ready for a long haul flight – with comfort and ease at the top of the priority list.
Make sure everyone’s in comfy clothes and footwear that isn’t too tricky to take off. For evening road trips, think about including a few blankets or pillows in case anyone needs a nap (and remember to swap out driving duties if possible so you can rest too).
Judge your time wisely
No matter how well you plan, a road trip with the whole family will never be as quick as a trip alone. This doesn’t have to be a setback though, it just means you might have to put aside a little extra time to get everyone from A to B.
As a rule of thumb, imagine how long the trip would take you to make on your own and add a couple of hours. That way you’ll leave room for unexpected detours, slow starts and maybe even the odd playground pit stop if they’re in need of a run around.
Get your game face on
Playing games during long rides can be a great way to challenge your children and keep the whole car entertained. The only real limit to road trip games is imagination, so here’s a few crowd pleasers to spark your creativity:
- Musical statues – Turn your car into a private party and play some fun music for your passengers to dance to in their seats before hitting pause. Whoever freezes the best before the music starts again wins that round.
- Curious quizzes – Grab a bag of your family’s favourite treats as prizes and kick off an in-car general knowledge quiz. You can tailor car quizzes to any age group with questions from “what sound does a cat make?” to “what’s the capital of Canada?” and everything in between.
- ‘Who am I?’ – Pick a category like ‘animals’, ‘fruit’ or ‘movie characters’ and get the whole car to guess what you’ve chosen from a set of clues. “I’m small, cats chase me and I like cheese” could be clues for a mouse while “a wizard with a scar like a lightning bolt” could be Harry Potter.
Technology is your friend
As the hours roll by energy levels often drop and even the best of games can come to a natural close. If you think you’ll need a bit of peace and quiet at some stage, consider bringing a few gadgets along for the ride too.
If you own a tablet, buy a sturdy mount for the back of your car seats and set your pint-sized passengers up with their favourite movies or shows on the way to your destination.