Hitting the road with the whole family in tow can be daunting. The more people in your car, the higher the chances of tension, tetchiness or a full-blown bust-up. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of World War III breaking out on your journey.
According to the Daily Mail, getting lost on a journey is one of the top ten reasons for couples falling out. But this is such an easy situation to avoid these days – not only is there the sat nav to rely on, but there are various websites to help you plan the route for your journey.
The AA provides an excellent online route planner. You can also plot routes throughout Britain and Europe with the Via Michelin site – allowing you to plan your journey based on cost, time and types of road.
As well as picking the easiest or shortest route, you should look into some of the places you could stop at along the way – and it needn’t always be a motorway service station. Research some of the little places you’ll be passing through, and you might find an ideal spot for refreshment or stretching your legs.
Think of everyone
You might think that, as the driver, you’re automatically absolved from the responsibility of organising the trip as well. But if you want the journey to go smoothly, you have to take control. Every single passenger must be considered if you want a stress-free journey.
With kids on board, you’ll need entertainment of some sort to keep them occupied. Get them a copy of their favorite comic or magazine, or buy them a new book to enjoy on the journey.
You could also ask friends or family if they have a portable DVD player you can borrow. Screens are available which attach to the back of front seat head rests. This means that the kids can hook up their games consoles, with earphones of course, and play games to their hearts’ content – almost guaranteeing you won’t hear a peep out of them!
Make sure you have sufficient power options – some portable DVD players come with built-in batteries, as do laptops and tablets, but a console might require an adapter to run from the cigarette lighter.
Kids are almost guaranteed to want something to eat, so make sure you pack enough snacks and drinks to see you through the trip. It’s often a good idea to pull off the road to have a food break, not only for safety reasons, but also to make sure their stomachs are settled!
Babies and toddlers
This age group is often the hardest to please, but don’t underestimate the pacifying effect of a favourite cuddly toy. Some nursery rhymes on the stereo might also calm the younger children – although this could be at odds with what everyone else expects to hear in the car!
Who is in the passenger seat?
As this person is the closest to you, they can easily make or break your journey! If this is your husband or wife, you should already know about any potential flash points, so make sure you’re both in the right frame of mind for the trip and well prepared so you avoid any unnecessary tension!
Are you covered?
Planning a long journey well in advance can help reduce the likelihood of any difficulties. Part of that process should be to ensure you have the correct car insurance policy taking care of everything you need to be covered for – including things like child car seats.