The car’s loaded, the roof box is strapped on and all you have to do now is drive. The thought of this often fills parents with dread, how on earth can you keep the kids quiet and happy throughout your eight hour journey?! There are many things that can help make your journey a lot easier, from entertainment through to choosing the best car for you in the first place. A little bit of forward planning can go a long way to turning the situation from potential nightmare to dream journey. This article aims to talk you through some useful advice and tips to help make your family journey’s peaceful and enjoyable.
The Right Car
Picking the right car for your family’s needs is the first step to ensuring your long drives are nice and calm. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a fortune on an expensive people carrier, there are plenty of family cars that offer great value for money. Try to think about how much space you need, and also what sort of journey’s you could be taking. If your family regularly drives to the south of France for holidays then space and comfort will probably be a priority. Just make sure you do your research and think carefully about what exactly you need.
Fitting all your luggage and bits and pieces in can be a huge challenge in itself. Thankfully there are loads of products on the market to help you. Roof boxes are an extremely popular way of fitting in lots of extra kit whilst freeing up space inside the car for passengers. There are some really good examples available that are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible thus cutting back on any excess fuel costs. If you’re an adventurous family then purchasing a bike rack could be a great idea. Again, there are many different shapes and sizes available for a varying amount of bikes.
Keeping the kids entertained on long journeys is something every parent wishes to master. Long gone are the days of talking books on cassette tapes, nowadays kids have the luxury of DVD players, PSP’s and many other gadgets that can keep them busy for hours on end. However, you needed spent a fortune shelling out on all the latest toys. The trick is to keep them busy; try taking a variation of music, colouring books and games. This can all work wonders without breaking the bank.
Navigation and Planning
Planning a journey well can really help take the stress out for parents. The first thing to do is work out a route using maps, online route planners or by simply tapping a postcode into your Tom Tom. Once you have done this you can work out how long your journey is likely to take, and plan an appropriate amount of stops. The worst thing to do is set your-self time pressures. Leave with plenty of time and make sure you are free to stop whenever you need to.
For some great examples of family cars, and more motoring advice, please visit Ian Allan Ford.
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