By now you probably have your holiday plans sorted - for this short Spring break and the long December holidays, and you’re about ready to hit the road for some family time away. Here are some things to keep in mind for the long-road.
Have your vehicle checked
First and foremost, get your vehicle checked before you head out on a great adventure. Check your tyres, your wipers, your brakes, air-con and - equally as important - your spare wheel. Make sure it’s there firstly, and that it’s in good working shape. Also, check to see that you have all the parts that you need should a tyre change be required.
Be prepared for an emergency
Anything can happen on the long road. Make sure that you are prepared for any situation - pack a mini first-aid kit with the bare essentials such as plasters in all sizes, bandages, sterile gauze dressings, safety pins, disposable sterile gloves, tweezers, cotton wool and antiseptic such as Savlon or Dettol.
As part of being prepared for any emergency, keep a list of important numbers written down on a page in your purse or wallet - close relatives, emergency services, etc. You may find yourself out of cell range in a town with only a public phone. You never know!
Make sure you know the size of your fuel tank
This might seem like an odd one, but when you have a small fuel tank and the stops between fuel stations are far and few between, you might catch yourself out of fuel, out of luck and out of patience on the side of the road.
Plan your route ahead of time and work out where the fuel stops are so that you know which ones you need to stop at to make sure that your tank is always topped up.
Keep those devices charged
On the long road, you really want to keep your phones charged as much as possible. You never know when you will need it and it’s going to be really tough if you find that your battery is flat at the time that you need it most. Invest in a power bank or a car charger to help this along.
Keep a real (updated) map in the car
In those instances when Google maps can’t find the satellite or your phone dies, it will be time to resort to an old-school map. Make sure you have the latest version too because the roads are ever changing!
Have entertainment covered
This is very important on a long drive, especially if you have kids in the car with you. Be sure to have music that entertains everyone (dear parents, you may need to sit through Disney songs) and the odd road trip game comes in handy!
Keep the driver’s energy levels up
If the driver is looking a bit fatigued, it’s time to stop and have a break or swap drivers. Give them the chance to rest and re-energise before they do another stretch. It’s dangerous to carry on in that state. And be sure to keep snacks and drinks in the car that’s good for a quick energy boost.
At the end of the day, have fun. It’s about family time and creating memories. Snap some photos, yes, but also don’t be afraid to forget about phones and cameras and just enjoy the time spent together as a family.
Make the most out of every stop, make every minute count and turn it all into one big adventure.