Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Preparing for a family road trip:

The Easter holidays are approaching and many families are planning road trips. Whether you are taking a day trip or heading off for a few days, here are some tips to help you be prepared and stress less.
By Beverley Scheepers
Date: March 30 2012
Editor Rating:
road-trip

The key to being prepared is not having a rigid schedule and trying to ensure nothing can go wrong – it’s actually acknowledging that things can and do go wrong at times, and that you can be flexible and equipped to deal with unexpected changes without the wheels falling off.

 
Tips for planning ahead:
  • Plan your route using a map book, Google Maps, or your GPS. Then close to departure date check with your local road network authority for road works or events causing road closures, for example http://alerts.vicroads.vic.gov.au/
  • Plot frequent rest stops along the journey and find out what facilities each place has – play equipment, baby change facilities, restaurants, petrol stations, convenience stores etc
  • Plan activities for each stretch between stops, and have a few extras in case the audience is being hard to please! Consider using a caddy or seat organiser to keep things under control on the back seat
  • Check the weather forecast for the travelling days, not only the days you will be at your destination, so that you can factor in extra stops if it’s very hot, or longer travel time if it’s raining
  • Time your journey to avoid getting stuck in peak traffic when travelling through other main towns / cities
Tips for packing:
  • Pack things which can have double functions – a bunny rug which can serve as blanket and play mat for baby; toys which can be used as bath and beach toys for toddlers
  • Find out what is and isn’t available at your destination in terms of bedding and food preparation facilities, as well as the local area for conveniences like grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and ATMs
Things to remember:
  • Charge the batteries for the portable DVD player, iPad, camera, phone etc, and pack the chargers / car adapters in an easily accessible place
  • Confirm your reservation details and what time limits apply for check-in and check-out, so that you don’t arrive at your destination at 11am only to be told your room/campsite will only be available after 2pm!
Expect the unexpected:
  • Make sure your travel insurance is up-to-date and covers you for the location you are travelling to and any activities you have planned while there
  • Make sure your car insurance is up-to-date and covers you for the location you’re travelling to, terrain you are travelling on, and all possible drivers
  • Make sure you have working tools, jumper leads, a spare tyre, and RACV (or equivalent) membership
  • Pack an ‘Emergency Kit’ in the car – First aid kit, water, toilet paper, tissues, wet wipes, non-perishable food, nappies if required, a towel, a change of clothing, and emergency contact details in case you lose your wallet or phone
Remember that time spent planning now can save a lot of time problem solving later. So plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy the ride!
 
Beverley is the owner of LifelineDesign - a professional organising company specialising in creating customised solutions based on people's unique needs and personality.  From preparing for baby’s arrival, to managing a busy family and household, LifelineDesign helps people navigate through the chaos and get organised.
 
For further information visit:
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