I enjoy getting in the car and driving off to all kinds of weird and wonderful destinations. People spend so much money going abroad; they seldom explore what's in the UK. Sure, the British Isles isn't a huge area. But, that doesn't mean Britain isn't packed full of cool places to visit!Don't get me wrong. I love going on family road trips as much as many other parents. But, what I don't like about them is when stressful situations creep up on you! All parents dream about going on road trips where everyone is happy and content. In reality, it's not always plain sailing.
In my experience, other parents rarely tell you about strategies to help you stay sane on the road. It's like some kind of ritual that all new parents must learn for themselves, it seems!
If you're planning your first family road trip, don't despair. I'm going to be the parent that breaks the secret code! Let me share with you some simple strategies to keep stress levels down and fun up when you're out and about:
Take lots of drinks and snacks with you
One of the biggest complaints you'll hear from your family members is that they are hungry or thirsty. Let's face it. The last thing you want to do is stop at expensive motorway services and spend a fortune on mediocre food!
Instead, it makes more sense to pack an array of drinks and snacks for your journey. I won't make any specific recommendations for obvious reasons. But, what I will say is that you should consider storing them in a cool box.
On a recent camping trip, I used the Coleman Xtreme 28 for this very purpose. It actually kept things cool for an entire weekend. That was great, as it meant there were snacks available for both legs of the journey.Obviously, you don't need to store things like crisps in your cool box. Just perishables that you'd usually stick in the fridge at home.
Book accommodation BEFORE you travel
We all have the best of intentions when we go somewhere for a day trip. But, sometimes, circumstances can go beyond our control. For example, a family member might feel car sick. Or there might be a need to spend another full day exploring a new area.
It's important to anticipate such things in advance, if possible. If you think you'll need to stay over somewhere, book a hotel before you leave home. Be sure to search for Travelodge discount codes online to save money on accommodation.
Technology is your friend
Unless you live a traditional Amish-style life, your family will be tech junkies. Sure, you can keep your kids occupied by singing songs or playing "I Spy" while on the road. Still, there's only so much of that you can do before everyone gets bored!
I strongly recommend you invest in a tablet of some description, such as the Apple iPad. You can load it up with family-friendly games and music. You could even download some kids TV shows with the BBC iPlayer app.
Thanks for checking out today's blog post. Feel free to share with us your stories of how you avoided stressful family road trips!