How to Survive a Family Road Trip | Life Love and Hiccups: How to Survive a Family Road Trip
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

How to Survive a Family Road Trip

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Once upon a time I dreamed about lovely family road trips with my hubby and kids.

You know, holiday cruising up and down the coast, little detours for beach side picnics along the way and memory creating adventures as we excitedly explored lesser known places off the main road.

Picture perfect kind of stuff.

Brought to you by Nuffnang & GT Radial Tyres

I had seen my share of Brady bunch episodes where they successfully road tripped to the Grand Canyon and along the Hawaiian coastlines, all happy families, sunny smiles and glorious sing alongs, and so I knew that when the day eventually came for us to pack up the car and head off on our own little adventure, that we were in for a good time.

Only I didn’t know.

I didn’t know those Brady Bunch writers and actors LIED to us.

Our family road trips are NOTHING like theirs because they had been selling us a completely unrealistic ideal for all those years.

Where my family trips lacked in sunny smiles and glorious sing alongs, we more than made up for in back seat punch ups and tussles for the ice-cream container (aka spew bucket). And the only little detours I ever remember taking were the desperate roadside pullovers to clean up a nappy explosion or to empty the overflowing ice-cream container.

OK so I may have been pregnant with my first child when I first dreamt about family road trips. I was probably high on warm and fuzzy hormones and somehow blissfully forgot all my own childhood horror stories of sharing a back seat with my brother.

But surely not ALL road trips are that bad?


Sorry. I’m not going to pull a Brady Bunch over you and lie.

I’m all about keeping real here so I am going to share with you a couple of tried and true pointers to help you SURVIVE your next family road trip.

1. Divide up the backseats into equal sections with gaffe tape and assign a section to each child. Explain to your children that under NO circumstance are any parts of their bodies allowed to cross over into another’s section … and if they do, you will accept NO responsibility for punched, pinched or bitten limbs.

2. Give each child an empty milk bottle labelled with air. Inevitably every family has at least one notorious air stealer in the group and when children start complaining about siblings breathing all their air, just tell them to suck it up and breathe some out of their ‘air’ bottle.

3. Make all occupants of the car over the age of 1 year wear thongs. Believe me; you DO NOT want anyone to get hot feet which results in the removal of shoes and consequential smelly foot odour asphyxia.

4. Play some good old fashioned family games – like ‘Who can be the quietest for the longest period of time’, ‘Counting road signs’ and my personal favourite – ‘The first person to go to sleep and stay asleep the longest wins a hundred bucks’.  They are a fun wholesome way to pass the time.

5. Whatever food you think you will need for the duration of the trip, times it by ten. Trust me; you do not want to add hungry to the tired, cranky, bored, car sick, busting to go to the toilet list.

6. If any of your children have fillings, DO NOT offer them a Minty. Just saying.

7. Leave at crackers. Better yet, put the kids to bed in the car the night before so you don’t have to move them from bed to car in the early morning. Alright, I’m half joking about that although in theory it does sounds like rather a good plan because the more your children sleep in the car, the less stressed you will be. Don’t worry about them not going to sleep at night because they have had too much sleep in the car – that’s what sneakers and running them around the block a dozen times before bedtime is for.

8. Give the kids a reward for weeing before you leave home and consider giving them a bonus reward for a number two. Inevitably they will need to go to the toilet within minutes of leaving home or as soon as you hit the highway, so that extra tinkle before you leave might give you a few extra kms before you need to make a pit stop.

9. Unless you have an unlimited supply of ice-cream buckets and car sickness tablets, don’t let your kids play their iPads in the car. I KNOW it seems like a good idea to keep them busy and all that but trust me – the puke smell only gets worse after a few hours.
10. Check your tyres before you leave and make sure your spare is in good condition. You really DO NOT want to be stuck in the car on the side of the highway with tired, cranky, hungry puke soiled children whilst you wait for roadside assist to arrive … because when they say they will ‘send the next available person to your assistance’, they don’t mention that the person they are sending has half a dozen other cars full of tired cranky hungry puke soiled children to assist before you.

On a more serious note – I know that all tyres typically look similar, but there really is a HUGE difference when it comes to the costs of a tyre and how they perform. Specifically - the distant they can take to stop on a wet road, which could be the difference between life and death in an accident.

My number one tip for surviving a family road trip is actually a deadly serious one – YOU MUST without question, have really good tyres on your car.

GT Radial branded tyres stopped quicker than most other tyre brands in multiple Australian CHOICE wet braking tyre tests over the past few years. Also when tested in a controlled wet braking tyre test conducted with Safe Driving Training in 2015, GT Radial tyres  stopped in a shorter distance on a Toyota Camry braking from 100kmph compared to the same car driven on  "budget" tyres and also when driven on more expensive "premium" tyres.

The GT Radial tyres stopped 11 metres shorter compared to a ‘budget’ tyre and 1 metre shorter than a more expensive ‘premium’ tyre.

Those few metres could help you avoid hitting a wild animal, pedestrian or another car on your trip.
Almost 1 million cars, vans, SUVs and 4WDs in Australia have been fitted with GT Radial tyres in the past 2 decades because not only are they the best value for money tyres in Australia, they are among the safest too.

I know getting tyres checked and replaced is one of the more boring parts of planning a road trip, but it could be the most important part of your planning. Don’t take the risk – ask your mechanic or tyre fitter to fit your car with GT Radial tyres with their Free 5 year tyre replacement guarantee.

I can’t promise you they will help with tired, cranky, hungry puke soiled children, but they could be the one thing that protects them and you on your road trip.

For more information on GT Radial Tyres you can visit their Facebook page here or check out their You Tube Channel here.

Got any other tips for Surviving Family Road Trips?

When was the last time you braved one?

Flashback to when we were brave and attempted a big road trip.. once upon a time... a long time ago.