Family road trip tips

How to best prepare for a road trip with the family.

For some the thought of a family road trip may conjure images of being trapped in a confined space with your kids asking ‘are we there yet’, the experience can be an enjoyable one.

RACQ Technical Advisor Carri Lucas recently completed a road trip from Brisbane to Thredbo with her husband and three children and shared her tips on how you can have a successful family road trip.

Make travel packs

I made travel packs with snacks and activities before we left. I tailored the packs to each child, so they all had their own snacks, activity sheets, colouring books, pencils and road trip bingo. 

I highly recommend personalising the packs as it keeps the kids more engaged. Even my 14-year-old was enthralled with her colouring book as it was of flowers and geometric shapes, rather than the little characters I chose for the younger kids. I wrapped the packs in drawstring bags to give them a Christmas present feel.

Play games

Road trip bingo was by far the biggest success. We spent the entire road trip looking for different items, which was great as it kept the kids engaged.

Road trip bingo is easy to make in Microsoft Word - simply make a table and add things the kids need to look for throughout the trip such as kangaroos, different types of cars, logos and unique items like snow, snowmen and hot chocolate.

Have entertainment onboard

We tried to keep the kids off their devices as much as possible but sometimes a movie is just what the doctor ordered and can allow for some much-needed quiet time for both parents and children.

Pack intelligently

Try to only pack items that serve a purpose and plan how they can fit safely in the car. In terms of clothing, plan for different climates and try to pack things that can be worn with multiple items, such as jeans.

Don’t forget about the car/driver

Have your car serviced before you leave to prevent any nasty surprises. Also, talk with your partner in advance about who will drive what portion of the journey. Remember to take regular breaks, swap drivers and stretch your legs.

Above all else, prepare a good Spotify playlist with music to keep you alert or a podcast that will keep you engaged. If the kids are watching a movie, it’s also a great time to talk and reconnect with your partner or simply take in the sights and enjoy some peace and quiet.