Going on holiday is always tremendously exciting. There is the planning of the holiday – where to go, what to do, who to visit. The packing (and repacking) of the bags. You’re bound to forget something. Then there’s arranging people to house-sit and look after the animals and plants. When you finally get on the road, you want to leave behind all hassle and fuss.
However, if you’re going away by car, you may travel far to get to that blissful spot by the sea. The journey should be part of the holiday, and not stressful, especially if you have children. How do you plan to make the first part of the holiday fun and relaxing? Have you thought of car trailer hire? Playing games? Stop overs? Read the suggestions below to guarantee everyone has a really good time.
The very first item on your mind should be safety. This starts even before you set off on your journey. Get a good mechanic to check for any mechanical or tyre issues before you leave. Rather spend a little money than have your family’s lives endangered.
Music can liven up any journey and even keep the driver awake and alert, able to respond to traffic situations well. Ideally, the music shouldn’t be too loud, but a background noise so it doesn’t distract your driver. If driver alertness is the purpose for the music, choose something fairly upbeat.
Music can also help manage your children. Firstly, calming music can help lull them to sleep. Secondly, they can sing along when more awake, and be in good spirits, by simply enjoying the music.
Games are effective to while away the time and a positive way of engaging kids’ attention en-route.
You can have games that are focused outside the car. For instance, guessing the make and model of cars coming toward you, or guessing how long it will take you to get to the next town. You could also play ‘I-Spy’ with items in or outside the car.
In addition, pack some board games, such as backgammon. As long as you’re not travelling on bumpy roads, this is a helpful resource, as it keeps children from getting bored.
Games will be another way to keep the driver awake and entertained – a most important factor.
Do you remember the days when van owners took out seats and placed mattresses on the floor? The children had more space to sleep and move around in during the journey.
While road regulations may not allow you to do that anymore, it’s wise to create as much space as possible. Hire a trailer that your luggage can be strapped to or placed inside of if it’s a covered unit. Then you have more space inside the vehicle, allowing for a more comfortable journey. Simply have your essentials, some food and a change of clothes in the car, so you don’t even have to unpack the trailer during a stopover.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to any journey will be the places you stop over. It may be for an hour, or even for the night. Whatever it is, try and make it as memorable as possible.
Fuel stations often have places where people can eat, sleep and play. You can bring your own food for a picnic—and to be budget wise—but it’s a delight to any child to be able to select their own treat at an eatery.
What’s more, these stopovers enable the entire family to get out and stretch their legs. Exercise a little and get rid of the excess energy. And don’t forget a group selfie!
Snacks and Drinks
Snacks are really important. They can be there to simply distract the kids, or to feed them because they’re hungry. Added to this, it creates a holiday atmosphere, and it doesn’t have to be messy. You could have:
- Cold, cooked sausages
- Cold toasted sandwiches
- One or two sweets available, kept to a minimum, because the last thing you want is hyper-active children.
The driver will also appreciate something that keeps his or her mind and mouth busy!
How will you keep everyone’s hands clean? You can use those amazing inventions – baby wipes. Shops now even have biodegradable wipes or you can find a suitable eco-friendly alternative.
In terms of drinks, keep them interesting, but not fizzy. Carbonated drinks cause little ones’ bladders to be over-stimulated, and it’s no fun to stop on the side of the highway to let a little one go to the toilet.
Waste or Rubbish
Travelling by car can get rather messy. Why not have some small rubbish bags in the car that can be removed at every rest stop? It not only keeps the car neat but being prepared enables you to deal with messes and rubbish in a headache-free manner.
Drivers need stimulation. They need to talk and listen and have someone tell them when they’re going off-course. For long trips there ought to be at least two drivers, and they should swop every two to four hours. This will minimise driver fatigue and is sufficient to prevent falling asleep at the wheel.
Now, go and have fun!