Christmas special: Surviving the festive season

Tips on staying safe on the road, keeping the kids entertained and budgeting this Christmas.

Find out more below.

Road safety

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding joins Your shout to talk about Queensland’s horror holiday road toll.

Last year, 13 people lost their lives on Queensland roads, but Steve hopes drivers will heed road safety warnings this year.

“I hope to see a zero at the end of the holiday period but, unfortunately, it never ends that way,” Steve said.

To avoid becoming a road toll statistic this Christmas, Steve has some tips for drivers planning road trips over the holidays.

“Whether you’re doing something around the garden or at home DIY, it’s always about good planning and it’s no different for a road trip,” Steve said.

“Make sure the car is in good order – don’t leave the service until two days before because that’s when workshops are always packed out because everybody else leaves it to two or three days before.”

Spending time with family

Parenting author and psychologist, Dr Justin Coulson, answers some questions on how families can get the most out of Christmas without going insane.

As a parent, Christmas time can bring its own unique challenges, but Justin reveals there’s a big one to consider.

“The thing that seems to be the biggest challenge is we’re all so tired,” Justin said.

“If I was to give a couple of simple tips on this, I would say the first thing is to actually sit down with your significant other, or for single parents just sit down, and find ten minutes of peace and quiet.

“Actually say ‘what are my priorities?’ and ‘where do we find the space to jump in the bed at eight o’clock instead of nine o’clock?’”

Christmas budgeting

RACQ Manager of Business Development in Financial Planning, Eszther Cathcart, spends her day helping people navigate the world of budgeting, so she knows a thing or two about keeping costs down over Christmas.

“To avoid financial breakdown, really set yourself expectations,” Eszther said.

“We’ve always heard that time with our loved ones is a much nicer thing than what we buy them, and I really believe in bringing that back.

“And if you’re thinking about a budget, which most people hate, a budget should really be a 12 month thing rather than a Christmas smash of your wallet.

“That would be my number one tip: make Christmas an all year a saving experience rather than just in November and December when usually we hit it.”

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