You drive me crazy: Tips for travelling with kids

Posted by: Cal on 6/11/2013

Category: General

The school holidays will be upon us again before we know it, and that means your delightful cherubs will soon be back at home, demanding your attention.

One way to prevent everyone from going stir crazy is to take a trip somewhere new or exciting or, perhaps, straight to the grandparent's house where you can drop your kids off for a well-deserved break.

No matter where you go or how long the trip is, it's important to keep safety paramount when driving with kids. Travelling with other people in the car can lead to driver distraction, which is largely associated with rear-end crashes, single vehicle crashes and same-way travel crashes.

If you can't travel with another adult to help supervise and entertain your children while you're on the move take frequent breaks to give the little ones time to unwind. Get them out of the car and into the fresh air for a quick run around and a toilet break.

If it's a long trip or your kids are prone to restlessness, make sure you've packed plenty of toys and other entertainment for them. If they don't get car sick they may like to read on the journey, or listen to a favourite CD.

Make sure they're stocked up with fluids to keep them hydrated during the drive, along with healthy snacks. Often kids just need something to keep them occupied whether it's eating or playing, to stop them from distracting the driver.

If you're planning on venturing huge distances on your road trip, break it up into manageable chunks to avoid frayed nerves and boredom getting the better of your family. Stop at famous landmarks on the way, or consider checking in to accommodation overnight to allow everyone to rest before continuing the journey.

The Australian summer can get really hot, and kids especially can be affected by warm temperatures. Fit sun shades to car windows to protect them from direct sunlight, and remember to apply sunscreen. Dress them in cool, light-fitting clothes that are comfortable for sitting in for long periods.

As with any long-distance trip, make sure you do a thorough check of your car tyres and other vital mechanics of your vehicle before you set off. You don't want your holiday to be ruined by breakdowns.