School holidays start this week which means it’s time to throw routine out the window and head out the door for a family road trip with your little ones in tow. If you are planning on getting away this Easter, then you need to read this before you go! It could save you several headaches, several hundreds of dollars and several hours spent cursing on the side of the road.
You can already taste the delicious meals you don’t have to cook and feel the hotel sheets that you don’t have to wash. But are you ready to go? Or are you driving into disaster?
1. Is your car serviced?
Call your local service centre and schedule a full service on your car. This includes checking the oil, the water, the tyres, the brakes – the lot. Knowing your car is ready for heavy driving will eliminate any last minute anxieties as you lay tossing and turning in bed the night before you go.
2. Have you confirmed everything?
Because mistakes can happen. So spend 15 minutes contacting the hotel, the tour booking office, even the pet resort if your animals are going on holidays too, just to be sure. Fifteen minutes on the phone now can save you driving around for three hours once you arrive, looking for last minute accommodation in the event your booking was lost.
3. Are the kids ready for the road?
Safety comes first when travelling with children which is why all parents should double, if not, triple check, that the car seats are correctly installed. Check that the child restraints are in good condition and that the car anchor points are tightened. They can easily become loose over time. Check that your child’s shoulders are at or below the correct shoulder marker and have a look at the harnesses and straps for any tears or fraying.
Car seats aside, it’s a good idea to have some easy snacks, drinks and games ready for the road. And, since you are going away over Easter, it might be a good idea to bring a few treats from the Easter bunny as well.
4. Is the house in order?
If a storm was to hit while you are away, are all the toys and outdoor furniture safe and secure? Do you have a neighbour or friend coming over to check on the place just in case? Do you have someone collecting the mail to avoid it looking like you are away from home? Have you cancelled the newspaper delivery? If the power were to go out, do you have a freezer full of meat that could go off? Take a few moments to check over these things before you go.
5. Do you have roadside assistance?
If your car does happen to break down, you don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road with children, toddlers or infants in the back seat. What’s more, most companies charge you more to join up for their roadside assistance if you call them in need from the side of the road rather than from the comfort of your lounge room. Get this one sorted before you go.
And, most importantly, make sure you have a strong mug of coffee and plenty of bathroom breaks prepared for the ride ahead! Good luck!