Australia’s spirit for travel hasn’t diminished, although we’ve had to be very cautious given the current climate, it seems road trips are where it’s at this Easter Break. With so many amazing cities to see and discover there really is no time like the present to get on the road while you create some amazing family memories along the way!
Travelling with children is no easy feat so we’ve put together the top tips to get you and the family moving and arriving safe (and with your sanity intact).
Preparation is key and ultimately if you are nearly due for a service prioritising getting it done before your big Aussie adventure will ensure you have ticked the safety-first box but if not a general check of your car will give you peace of mind and save any surprises when you’re on the road.
- Check your oil levels and buy a 1-litre bottle of oil to keep in the boot as a just in case
- Make sure your radiator has water
- Check your tyre pressure, ensure your wheels are roadworthy and that your spare tyre is pumped up and ready to use if needed
- Fill up the water in your windscreen wipers
- Fill the car with petrol before you take off, it’s easy to forget the simple things!
- Jumper leads (you can never be too careful!)
- Get driving early to beat the crowds. If you’ve planned a road trip these Easter holidays then chances are so are other Aussie families. Get a good night’s sleep and pack the car the night before so you can hit the road early to avoid traffic delays and congestion.
- Pack the kids iPad’s and make sure they’re charged; we know screen time isn’t the best time but it’s a great way to keep the kids quiet and engaged in other activities than asking ‘ARE WE THERE YET MUM?!). Invest in some kid’s headphones too and pair them to the iPad so you can listen to your playlist in the front of the car without the noise from the iPad taking over the drive. Movies are also an amazing way to keep the kids busy for hours on end and if you’re stuck for inspiration, Rotten Tomatoes has done the work for you with a list of the critics’ top 10 family movies …
- The Wizard of Oz
- E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
- Inside Out
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Toy Story 2
- Toy Story 3
- Finding Nemo
- Toy Story
- There are also a number of great educational, interactive apps for kids of all ages to keep them entertained. Check out ABC Reading Eggs it quizzes your child to work out their reading level then tailors a program so they are learning reading and phonics skills while you’re on the road – genius! Also check out Prodigy which creates cute, magical characters to help them complete math questions and learn to spell in a fun interactive way.
- Get Creative If iPads just aren’t your thing, then it might be worth buying some activity pads, we love this reusable Water Reveal Activity Pad which features reusable pages that come to life when wet. Another great idea is audiobooks, check out audible.com for options. Plus, there are classic games like The Alphabet Game – This one will keep your kids occupied for a while, especially if you aren’t in a busy area. Have them look for all letters of the alphabet in order on road signs, licence plates, and anything else they can see outside of the car. I Spy is another classic that is fun for everyone. One player starts with a vague clue, like “I spy something green.” The other players must then ask yes-or-no questions to identify the item in question. For slightly older kids who are beginning to learn words and spelling, make the game word-based, such as ‘I spy something beginning with g.”
And while we’ve got you, here’s a great Spotify playlist you can sing along to while you drive.
- Pack a spare change of clothing in the kids’ backpacks and keep them separate from the kids’ suitcases, that way you have quick and easy access to a new outfit in case of any spills or if someone feels uncomfortable.
- Download Waze this will help you find out about possible road closures and festivals along the way – There can be lots of festivals and other activities that can hold up traffic or block off roads in country areas during the school holidays. Make sure you find out about any road closures ahead of time so you don’t get stuck.
- Take lots of breaks to let your kids stretch their legs, use the bathroom and have something to eat. Don’t drive for more than eight hours a day – and to stop driver fatigue make sure you stop every two hours for at least 15 minutes.
- Don’t leave home without toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towel and sanitiser- for when the kids are using public toilets on the drive. You can never be too careful!
- Stay away from the wrong foods – Pack lots of water and prep nutritious snacks pre-drive, this will ensure there are no sugar rushes and a steady stream of energy throughout the drive.
And finally, but probably most importantly make sure your vehicle is covered, you have Road Assistance for any mishaps, flat tyres or breakdowns (better to be safe than sorry!) and your licence is up to date.
Safe driving and remember it’s double demerits these school holidays so keep an eye on the speed limits but most importantly, have the most amazing time!