Road trips are making a big comeback in the UK, as a part of an increased national interest in domestic holidays – colloquially known as ‘staycations’. A number of factors have resulted in road trips and camping alike becoming popular again, with sustainability and the increased cost of international travel key elements.
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Tips for Preparing a Long Road Trip with Children
Whatever your reasons for your road trip, if your children are coming with you then you’ll need to prepare with them in mind. Here are four key tips for preparing a long road trip with chidren in mind, to make life easier for yourself and to make the trip go smoothly.
1. Sort In-Car Safety
First and foremost, the safety of your children is a key priority in any road trip preparations. The roads are dangerous places to be, even when in a car yourself – and longer road trips bring with them a higher risk of accident or injury, statistically speaking.
For younger children, you need to ensure that you have adequate child car seats for their size and for the length of the trip. You must also ensure they are installed correctly; many families make the mistake of installing booster seats backward, which can in fact make a car accident much more dangerous for the child sitting in it.
2. Get Insured
Next, you will want to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage before you set off on your journey. While this will not necessarily contribute directly to your road trip, it will mean that there are fewer things to worry about in the event of the worst-case scenario.
This is just as true for borrowed or rental cars as it is for your family vehicle. If you have rented a bigger car for a longer trip, you will want to have the right temporary car insurance to protect you and your children from costs relating to injury, as well as any financial considerations for the car itself.
3. Bring Snacks and Entertainment
As for the trip itself, long road trips can be taxing on the young mind – especially if there is little in the way of entertainment between destinations. You can plug this to some extent with the provision of road trip snacks – a fundamental ingredient to any extended car journey – and on-board entertainment.
With regard to entertainment, you could treat this in one of two ways. Firstly, you could take an active approach to engage your children, by talking about plans for the trip and playing verbal party games such as I Spy. Alternatively, you could make use of smart devices and portable screens as a more passive approach, allowing the kids to entertain themselves with children’s television and video games while you focus on the journey ahead.
4. Plan Regular Breaks
Lastly, you should plan your trip not just with route efficiency in mind, but also with your children. Regular rest breaks should be baked into your route plan so that your kids can stretch their legs and use service station facilities. This is also a good opportunity to eat a substantial meal together, and talk about the next leg of your trip.