Packing up the car and hitting the open road is a dream many of us have. The reality of taking a family road trip, however, can be quite different to the fantasy if you’re not properly prepared. All you need is a few travel tips to ensure your vacation is all you hoped it would be.
Print off maps of the area you’re going to - one for everyone so that nobody has to share - and show the family the route so they can start to understand how long the journey will be. Decide the breaks as a group and ask them what they’d like as a stopping place. Plan to get out of the car every two hours at the most and look for places where children can run around like a beach, landmark or park. It might mean you have to go off the main track a little, but it will be worth it to keep everyone happy. After all, this trip is as much about the journey as it is the destination.
Make ‘busy bags’ in the weeks before the family road trip. Create entertainment packs in string bags or plastic wallets and put something different in each one. One bag can contain ‘bingo’ cards with things kids can cross off as they spot them along the way - a red car, a cow, a caravan, etc. Another bag can hold an audio story on a device that uses earphones. A new puzzle, sticker books, dot-to-dots, colouring in – all cheap or free ideas. The idea is that the parents can control who does what rather than there being a scramble for everything at the same time. The contents should be tidied back into their busy bags ready to be passed on.
Take some music and have some written lyrics ready for performing! A thought-out singalong with something for everyone can shorten a journey and is better than searching radio channels looking for something suitable along the route.
Plan meal stops carefully. Maybe even have a picnic prepared to eat in a beauty spot. Snacks should not be full of sugar and they should be easy to eat in the car such as fruit, crackers and cubes of cheese. Don’t give everyone too much, even if they ask, because feeling sick on a family road trip is not much fun.
Of course, one of the best travel tips is booking great accommodation before you set off. Let the children see pictures of the apartment, the pool or activities on offer at your destination, before you start your journey, so you can all look forward to it and count down the distance together. Each Accor Vacation Club property has inviting things to do. For example, Members staying at The Sebel Twin Waters Apartments on the Sunshine Coast provides access to nearby Mudjimba Beach, plus a great pool and lake (featuring an aqua fun park) next door. A little further south, Pacific Bay Resort Accor Vacation Club has direct beach access, a playground and a golf course – something for every family member to enjoy.