- top tips
5 ways to make your family car trip better
Updated 11 Oct 2019
Families come in all shapes and sizes.
It could be a backseat of kids, a carload of best friends or your four-legged fur babies.
Either way, my 5 hacks to make your family road trip better will apply.
1: To fail to plan is to plan to fail
Get everyone involved with planning the trip.
What are the things to see? What are the things to do?
Where are the best spots to stretch legs?
More importantly, where are the best toilets?
For years, one of my favourite road trip apps has been the free ‘National Public Toilet Map’ app.
It will show you which toilets are open 24 hours, which have disabled access and even which ones have showers.
2: Control your climate
Regardless of your car’s age and features, you will want to make sure that everyone is comfortable.
Pets will like a hit of fresh air every so often so be prepared to crack a window.
If you don’t have the luxury of air conditioning, you can manage the temperature with blankets to make it warmer or drape a damp cloth over an open window (tuck it into the door securely and don’t block the drivers view) to create your own evaporative cooling.
3: Feed the masses
Truck drivers are well known for their stereotypical physique and that is because they source the majority of their meals from service stations.
If you don’t want to look like a rotund truck driver, plan ahead with your snacks!
In my car, I always have a picnic hamper with a cutting board, a cheese knife and some other basic crockery and cutlery so I can drop into any supermarket and grab the basics of a cheese platter to eat beside the road.
I also have a little car fridge that sits within reach of the driver’s seat.
In that fridge, I keep my lip balm, some drinks, some boiled eggs and some fruit.
My other favourite snacks don’t need refrigeration and include carrots (they don’t bruise, smell or ripen too quickly like most fruit), nuts such as almonds or cashews and muesli bars.
Do not be tempted to give your pets processed tinned food – the farts will make you want to get out and walk!
Pack some good quality dry biscuits, some tins of sardines and some dried treats.
And don’t forget their water bowl.
4: Put on a show
There are so many options for great entertainment in the car.
The back seat can watch movies but make sure you give them Bluetooth headphones so they don’t distract everyone else.
Up front, you can play tunes, podcasts and audiobooks.
Share the DJ duties with everyone in the car. Seize the opportunity to learn a new skill or hear a different point of view via a great podcast.
I am also a huge fan of audiobooks on the road.
The key to a good audiobook is they need to have enough action to be interesting, but the plot needs to be simple enough to follow along without taking concentration away from the road.
5: Talk to me
Road trips are a great opportunity to get to know people and have a fantastic in-depth conversation.
Prepare some talking topics or play games like “eye spy” or “car bingo” to get the kids involved and aware of their surroundings.
If you are driving alone with the fur kids, hook up the hands-free phone and call all the folk you have been meaning to call but haven’t had time.
Road trips are better with company so make sure the whole family uses these hacks to make your next journey better.
Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination.
Making sure your car is in tip-top shape is the key to having the best road trip possible.
Book in with an expert mechanic on AutoGuru to ensure your car is running smoothly and is up to the task of transporting you and your family wherever you need to go.
Breaking down on the side of the road is a surefire way to ruin a great road trip!
Image credit Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Lara Wilde is the automotive addict showing you how to love your car without getting dirty.
With more than 20 years of driving experience, Lara has made cars her life.
Lara shares her automotive adventures educating and entertaining audiences as a keynote speaker for corporate events and freelance author for a variety of publications.
Driving across the country or on your daily commute to work, Lara can offer you safe, simple, stylish advice for adventures on the road. Look her up on wildedrive.com.