#parent | #kids | Make road trips with kids fun!

It’s not about the destination; it’s about how you get there that matters. Right? Well, actually, that all depends on whether the kids act up in the car or if they soak up the experience.

Driving from A to B is one thing if you’re behind the wheel and the only one in the car, but a road trip with frustrated, bored, car sick, tired, or irritable kids moaning and groaning in the back seat can mean the difference between a magical experience and a downright horrible one. With that in mind, here are a few road trip tips that parents of children – from toddlers to teens – may find useful.

Enjoy the flexibility

No other mode of transport allows you more convenience and freedom than your own car does. Travelling by car means that there are no timetables, no check-ins, and no baggage restrictions, which can be a lifesaver when it comes to packing for babies and toddlers. You can schedule your departure around your baby or toddler’s sleep and eat roster, go at your own pace and stop and take in the scenery.

Activities along the way

You can forget about the time and be spontaneous. Your children will enjoy visiting famous sightseeing spots and hidden destinations along the way and, depending on your route, stop and do activities your kids normally would never get the chance to do. Let them ride an ostrich, pick strawberries, explore a forest, or go for a walk on a beach.

Capturing moments

Nothing is more accurate than the old adage: “A photo paints a thousand words”. Let your tweens or teens stop and take photos along the way. This way, they can create a visual journal of their trip when they get home.

Thinking and sharing

If you are travelling with children, you can share your life experiences and dreams and really get to know them. Being stuck in a car together gives you the chance to talk about everyday life without interruptions.

Tune in

Let your tween or teen create music playlists by allowing them to burn a few compilation CDs of their favourite tunes. A road trip is the perfect time to listen to a few songs that your children enjoy. For younger children, let them sing along to their favourite tracks.

Stop when you want to refuel and refresh

Stop at Caltex service stations along the way to rest, refresh and refuel. Pop into the Freshstop convenience stores to stock up on refreshments, snacks, and other healthy padkos for the road. Use the restrooms to avoid having to make those emergency toilet stops on national roads.

Cool technology

When your kids get bored of playing ‘I Spy’, there is an abundance of technology to keep your kids entertained. Load the latest games on your iPad or tablet, and load their favourite movies onto a portable DVD player for them to watch.

Creating memories

However long it takes to get there, the experience will be rich if you make the most of your road trip. You and your kids will get to see some great landscapes, have some great experiences, and, most importantly, will make special memories that will stay with you forever.

Road trip checklist

Before you head off on your journey, it is important to make sure your car is road trip ready before you leave home. As well as getting the oil, fluids, tyre pressure checked and filling up the tank, some useful tips include:

  • Load a station locator app onto your mobile device – you do not want you and your family to be stranded without fuel.
  • If your child has a cellphone, ensure they have packed their mobile
  • Make sure you have your licence, medical aid card for you and all your family members, and insurance details on hand.
  • Alert a family member or friend not travelling with you about your movements.
  • Ensure that you have enough cash or credit card for toll fees, fuel, snacks, and accommodation.
  • Pack a pair of sunglasses for your kids and don’t forget
  • Don’t drink and drive, and never talk on your mobile or text while driving. Uploads to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can wait
  • Stop frequently to refresh, refuel, check tyres and water levels, stock up on refreshments, and take a walk around to get some oxygen into your system.
  • Follow the road rules – wear your seatbelt and ensure your children do the same, respect other drivers, and don’t speed.


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