In Part 1 we discussed lists of what to pack, we now move on to the actual car trip and how to make it more enjoyable. Here we dig a little deeper into the preparation.
Related article: Preparing to go on holiday
Look up where you are going on a map/gps and discuss the route you will be taking. Decide on a few pit stops and relaxation points to visit. There may even be a few small towns that are worth exploring and taken a few random pictures. It is also practical to know your surroundings, as your kids are bound to ask you about the things they see, and it will be 10 times better if you are able to answer their questions. Try Google maps and Google to research a little about your route and your destination.
Start a holiday journal for your children where they can stick in postcards from each town and record interesting things they have seen and done. When they are older they can look back through all their mementos from each holiday. It is a nice way to capture memories in their own words.
The games and activities you have packed for the children can be handed out every hour to keep them stimulated and avoid boredom and possible nagging as to “are we there yet!?!?” Try out these fun car games we found here:
Invest in a camera for the family and let everyone have a go at taking a few shots of the scenery and the beautiful places you end up in.
Approach the journey as part of the holiday and aim to enjoy it and take it at a calm pace instead of arriving at your destination frazzled with fractious, grumpy kids and exhausted worn down parents.
As we mentioned in Part 1, you should have a “tucker bag” for each child filled with an assortment of snacks, such as bread sticks, cut up fruit, cheese cubes, mini meat ball, julienne carrots, peanuts and raisins and sandwich batons. Fruit juices and water should be in bottles with lids (avoid the sugars!). Have a cooler box with refreshments in the car for the adults too.
Let each member of the family (except the driver!) have their own pillow to sleep comfortably in the car if it is a long journey.
Have suitable music for all family members. Let each member choose a few cd’s or song (on usb if your car supports it) for the car trip.
Tips for the journey
- Have antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers ready for possible “unsavoury” pit stops with limited hygienic facilities.
- Have extra rear view mirrors trained on the back seat so you can keep an eye on the “little” passengers.
- Ensure they are suitably dressed for the travel conditions, certain clothes are totally uncomfortable for the car ride. Always have a warm jacket at arms length, as depending on where you travel, there may be a change in climate conditions.
- Ensure everyone is kept hydrated.
- Be adventurous, be prepared and tune in to part 3 for the Destination.