Family Road Trip Time!

Family Road Trip Time!

The summer is fast approaching and for us, that means family road trip time! We’re fairly new to the road trip world as our youngest used to get terribly car sick! he’s doing brilliantly now though and we’re relishing the freedom of being able to jump in the car and head off on an adventure. For those of you new to road tripping with the family, these travel tips are inclusive for all members of the family and might help you with your family road trip planning.

Know What You Want To Do

To start with, you’re going to want to have some idea of what you want to do. Do you envision a summer coasting around Europe? A month over the New Year in the east? Or perhaps a road trip around the states? Maybe like us you prefer shorter trips and UK staycations. Whatever it is, you’ll want to know sort of what you’re aiming for here.

Family Road Trip: Where To Go

You’ll want to think about where you’d like to go, and make sure everyone is “heard” as part of that discussion. Do you want to tour around Europe, island hop perhaps? You may even want to think about some of the best European cities that you could visit with kids, or different child and senior-friendly spots. Try to meet the needs of the entire family, and come up with the perfect range of locations. 

Research The Locations

When you’ve got those thoughts, you’ll then want to do some research to help you make firm decisions on when, where, and what. Read up on the different locations to make sure that you have selected the best possible places. You may find that certain landscapes aren’t suitable for the elderly, or resorts that aren’t child-friendly, so weed these out now.

Plan In The Perfect Time

From here, you’re then going to want to try and identify the perfect time to go to. And you’ve got to look at this in two ways. First of all, you’ll want to research when to go to the locations you have in mind, in terms of the best time to travel for good weather or when it won’t be too busy. You’ll also want to find a time that suits all of your schedules too, as well as consider term times and it can be difficult to get permission to take children out of school. Finding the right dates can take some work! 

Know Your Itinerary

Make sure that you know what you want from the trip. For example, a family road trip isn’t a family road trip if we haven’t been to one castle, museum or something historical and/or geeky. To make sure that we get to do all that we need and want to do I usually put together a loose itinerary. We can be flexible but it pays to have a plan to start with.

Cover Your Kids Needs

When you’re travelling with your children, you’ll want to be sure that their needs are met. Are there things to keep them entertained? The food they’ll like? WIFI? My teen would tell you that this is one of the most important things. Making sure that the kids have something to keep them occupied is a winner for everyone.

Care For The Parents Too

If you are going away with your parents too, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve thought of them. There are a lot of travel tips for senior travellers that may help you. They may want or need certain aids to help them get around. They may want to book onto gorge walking. Everyone is different! Just ensure that the location and activities are suitable for their needs, and ask them if they have any preferences. 

Pack The Family Road Trip Essentials

Make sure that you’ve got everything that you need. When you’re going on a longer trip (and you’ve got to pack for the entire family), you need to really think about what you pack in advance. You’ll want to make sure that you all have enough, but that you’re not overpacked. Ask everyone to pack a small bag for themselves. They may have things they want/need that you wouldn’t have thought of.

Be In The Right Frame Of Mind

Now that you’ve covered off all of the packing bits and pieces, the next thing that you’re going to want to do here is make sure that you’re in the right frame of mind. Because if you want to be able to enjoy a positive experience, you have to be in a positive frame of mind yourself. When you feel calm and happy, you’ll be in the best possible place to avoid stress and make this incredible trip a success. This might sound a bit “wooo” but it’s important. I make sure I have lists ticked off, the house clean to get back to and so on so that I can properly switch off and enjoy our family time together.

 

 

Summer Holiday Car Maintenance

Summer Holiday Car Maintenance

We love getting out and about in the summer. “Road trip” is always a welcome call to our boys. All you need is half decent weather, snacks, a car and you’re good to go. Or are you? Car maintenance is important if you want to make sure that you are travelling safely, legally and that you will arrive where you want to be in good time and without any drama.

We’ve recently signed up for an English Heritage membership and have some Air BnB trips and much budget-friendly fun on the horizon. You know that before we set off all of these checks will be made and that summer holiday car maintenance will be at the top of our do to list. I can’t imagine anything more frustrating than car problems when all you want to do is be enjoying family time.

Check Your Tyres

With fines of up to £2500 and points on your licence if you are found to be driving with unsafe wheels, let alone the damage to yourself, your passengers or others that could be caused by driving on them, there is no excuse for not prioritising good tyre maintenance. At Iverson Tyres, for example, you can book your car tyres in online for free or visit their branch to make sure that everything is as it should be. Don’t forget, The minimum amount of tread that should be on a tyre is 1.6mm in order for it to be legal. This is the legal minimum but not necessarily best practice and therefore you should aim to have more on there to ensure you are driving as safely as possible.

Tyre treads, damage i.e. bulges, patches, foreign objects such as nails where you don’t want them as well as having the wrong tyre pressure (too much or too little) could all contribute to a car accident.

Car Maintenance: Check Your Fluids

Cars get thirsty and for more than just water. Before taking off on any journey you need to make sure that you have enough windscreen water/wash, coolant, oil and fuel. Also, remember that you not only have to have water topped up but that you should have spare in the boot or similar. Running out of water on a dusty road or behind a vehicle that kicks up spray and mud is not great.

Good visibility is essential for good driving which leads on nicely to my next must-check point.

Visually Inspect Your Glass

It only takes a stone flicked up by a passing wagon to chip a windscreen. Chips and cracks often go undetected at first unless you are vigilant. Driving with a chip or crack is a no go, and the Highway Code makes it clear that drivers should have a full view of the road and that all glass must be in good condition. Due to this, driving with anything that stops you seeing properly or with damage such as a cracked windscreen is a motoring offence and therefore could land you in hot water if you are caught. To save your self trouble, make sure that you check your windows, paying particular attention to the windscreen.

Summer Holiday Car Maintenance: In Conclusion

It goes without saying that if you have warning lights on, that they should probably be checked over before you think about taking the car out on a day trip or off on your summer holidays. Not only can effective car maintenance keep you out of trouble with the authorities, but it will also help to keep you, your family and other road users safe. When putting together your “must-do” list for your trip, make sure that car maintenance is right up there at the top. Double check that your MOT is up to date, that you have snacks, drinks, medicines and other essentials in the car and enjoy!

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