10 tips for a great road trip

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 READY, SET, GO! BUT JUST A MINUTE, DARLING... Use our list of 'things to do', tick them off as you sort them out, then relax for that road trip on which you are about to embark. ~ Shutterstock
It's that time of year when many pack up their bags and head off on a well-deserved holiday for the festive season.

Whether you are going for three days or month-long stay, here are a few things to consider on your road-trip:

1 DID I SWITCH THE LIGHTS OFF?
Before departing for any trip, make sure your house is secure. Switch your lights off, lock all doors and windows and engage the alarm before driving away. Test your alarm system at least a day before you leave.

2 CAN YOU CHECK ON MY PLACE?
Ask a friend or family member to house-sit or check on the house every few days. If they are unable to stay in the house while you're away, ask them to enter your home in the evenings and switch on a few lights so that its appears occupied.

3 PREPARE YOUR CAR
Ensure that you check all aspects of your vehicle especially the lights, indicators, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering and tyres. Have any faults fixed before you set off.

4 WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Pack an emergency kit that includes a torch, spare batteries, medical supplies, a reflective jacket, a tool kit and an aerosol emergency puncture repair kit in a container and place a piece of paper inside with emergency contacts listed. Don't bury it under your luggage or in the spare-wheel well!

5  HAVE YOUR READY BAG HANDY
Pack a “ready bag” for the car to avoid having to rummage around in the back seat for  essentials. The bag should contain healthy snacks, a few bottles of water, tissues/wet wipes, a first-aid kit, medication for headache and motion sickness and sun block. Remember to pack your cell phone charger and adaptor.

6: I’M SURE THE MAP APP WILL WORK
Do not rely solely on technology. Purschase a map book - it won't run out of battery time and leave you stranded.

7 BEAT THE RUSH
Try leaving before the start of the holiday season to avoid the rush of traffic. This can reduce your travelling time substantially.

8 ARE YOU COMFY?
 If you're travelling long-distances wear loose, comfortable clothes with shoes that you can slip off; take regular breaks to stretch and rotate drivers.

9 KEEP THE 'ARE WE THERE YET?' AT BAY
Travelling with children can be a challenge, but there are a few tricks to make the drive as smooth as possible. One is to make them their own travel bags out of pillowcases. These are great because they keep everything your child could need within their reach as act as a comfy pillow they’re able to rest on during a journey drive.

10 LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Break the trip into 30 minute segments, as this makes time pass faster for children. You can designate 30 minutes for car games such as 'I Spy...' and the ‘licence-plate game’, quiet time and singalongs. This is a great way to bond as a family in the close confines of the car and keeps children entertained.