Owning a family car is a huge responsibility, especially when you’re going on vacation with your kids. That’s why every dad needs to learn tips and trick about their family car beforehand and get ready to use them should a need arise. From making the most of those last few drops of petrol to setting the A/C just right, these are the things that will make or break your road trip, so here are five suggestions you might want to take into consideration.
Being on the road for hours with just a couple of bathroom breaks might be quite all right for us grownups, but it’s definitely not something our kids will enjoy. That’s why you need to entertain them and provide them with enough distractions that will keep them busy and occupied. This means lots and lots of songs they usually listen to, as well as some road trip games – this way, your kids will be happy and you’ll be free to keep your eyes on the road.
Utilize the space
Big family cars have lots of space, and, when you’re going on a trip, utilize all of it – and then some more! Being away from home is hard enough for kids, and it can be even harder if they’re away from their toys, so don’t make a mistake and forget packing them in your suitcase. Be sure to have some in a backpack as well and hang it on a front seat so that it’s right in front of your children.
Road trip equipment
If you want your trip to go super-smoothly, you need to have lots of equipment you didn’t even think would be necessary when you’re on the road – from battery chargers to spare tyres that are a must when going abroad. These things are road trip essentials and you’ll feel much more relaxed knowing that you have them by your side just in case. This is why more and more people opt for practical gadgets to be prepared for any situation. These will provide you with unforgettable moments on your travels; all those travel pillows, luggage straps, money belts and well-equipped car kit will turn your car into a vehicle even Inspector Gadget would be proud of!
An improvised bed
The best thing your kids could do on a road trip is sleep – that way, they’ll have enough rest to get them through the day of sightseeing, while you and your spouse will be able to drive peacefully and stay focused. And the best way to get children to sleep in the car is to turn the back seat into an improvised bed with lots of pillows, blankets and – this is my personal favorite when it comes to car hacks – bed sheets that can cover your kids’ new favorite sleeping spot. These bed sheets are great for cleaning as well: you can shake the crumbs and food leftovers off them easily, and wash them from time to time to get rid of the stains.
Establish the rules
In the end, this isn’t a car-related hack per se, but it’s essential when travelling with your kids. Being stuck in a car for days is never easy, both for you and your loved ones, and you need to establish the rules before leaving home. Everyone needs to know when you’re stopping, how long your breaks are going to be, how much TV they can watch, what they can and can’t do, and, most importantly, where your kids can’t go without adult supervision. This is the first thing I talked to my kids about before going on our family road trip last summer, and this little talk made us all calmer, happier and much less stressed.
Turning your family car into a perfect road trip vehicle isn’t easy, but any dad can do it if he sets his mind to it. Just a couple of small tweaks will make your driving much easier and more enjoyable, and the kids won’t mind having to spend so much time in the car. Communication is also important, so talk to your spouse and your children about their wishes, desires, concerns and problems – this is what I always do in order to prevent the unnecessary drama in the car that can ruin a perfect family road trip.