This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and NRMA .
Often long car journeys are inevitable, especially in the school holidays. However, losing our sanity along the way and over-spending on petrol should not inevitable! Well, not if we don’t let it. Roads trips can be fun but they can also chip away at your sanity and cost more money than you would except, so I’ve got a few tricks that can help put the fun back into road tripping.
My NRMA is a super cool little app that, well, everyone who drives should download, regardless if you’re got a road trip planned or not. It receives real time fuel information and pricing from the NSW Government allowing you to locate the cheapest place to fill the car up where ever you are.
It’s really handy and if you use it correctly can save you up to $500 a year in fuel. How cool is that??
If that were me, I’d use the $500 to upgrade from sleeping in a tent to a cabin next time go on holiday. I’m not sure Mr D and the kids would agree though.
The My NMRA app is really easy to down load and use, just follow these simple steps:
- Download the My NRMA app at iTunes app stores
- Accept ‘Location Services’ to ensure your APP is pulling in your local service station data
- Tap on ‘Fuel’ which can be found at the bottom of the Login page or as part of the navigation
- Take a few moments to set up to your preferences (fuel type, distance or price toggle)
- Check fuel prices via My NRMA app each
8 Tips to save your sanity when Road Tripping with the Kids
1.Board Games are so last year
If your car doesn’t have an in-built entertainment center then personal devices, like tablets are a life saver. Load them up with new (or old favorite) games, music and movies before you leave and make sure they are fully charged. If you don’t have a USB port in your car, then you can buy an adapter that plugs into your 12-volt socket (used to be the cigarette lighter socket) that can charge up your devices when needed.
Another good idea is to make sure the kids have well-fitting headphones so that you don’t have to listen to several different movies all at once. Another alternative it to get a stand that you can clip your device somewhere high, so that they can all watch the same movie together.
2. Prepare for the mess
Your car may be clean and tidy at the start of your journey but believe me it’s not going to stay that way for long. Make sure you pack baby wipes, paper towel and a big towel so that you can wipe sticky hands, spilt milkshake or vomit if and when it happens. Keep them handy too, they’re not going to be of any use to you if you’ve packed them in the boot. It’s also a good idea to have a rubbish bag handy, that you can throw away when you stop for fuel.
3. Snack Attack
Be prepared to continually top up little bellies. In my experience on long road trips, the kids seem to be hungry every 5 minutes! Get busy the night before and pack an esky full of healthy car friendly (i.e. mess free) snacks. Lollies may seem like a good idea (to give you 5 minutes of peace), but believe me the sugar come down combined with kids fighting will drive you crazy (especially in a confined space). Use treats as rewards as and when you need them.
Top tip: Bring your own water bottles and even a spare 10-litre container to fill them up so you don’t have to waste money buying them at the service station.
4. Make a list
Make a list of everything you might need in the car before you even start packing. Try to think of every situation that you could find yourself in while on the road and what you might need to have on hand. A few ideas are:
- A first aid kit
- Spare nappies / pull ups (especially if you’re toilet training)
- Baby wipes
- Batteries and chargers
- Change of clothes
- Blanket and pillows
- Ice packs in the esky to keep your drinks cool (someone is also bound to bump their head or bang their finger and need a magic ice pack).
Fuel stops are inevitable when you’re doing a long road trip. My advice would be to plan them well. Use the My NRMA app to help you find the cheapest place to stop, because of course we want to save money where we can. Also make sure that you plan these stops around the kids too. They are going to need to use the toilet and stretch their legs, so to avoid needing to stop every 20 minutes make sure that you utilize your fuel stops to the max.
6. Get the kids involved
If you kids are old enough to understand, get them involved in the trip during the planning stages. They might want to see where you’re going on a map or even follow your journey on google maps as you go. You could even ask them to use the My NRMA app to tell you when the next best fuel stop is.
7. Something new
Never under estimate the power that something new has on keeping kids happy and entertained. Packing a new coloring book and pens, new movies and games on their devices or even a new toy will work wonders. My advice is to keep them in a secret stash and only bring them out when the mood in the car starts to take a nose dive. No one wants to listen to siblings fighting because they’re bored and tired of being in a small space. It’s also a good idea to pack a ball or two, so that the kids can have a bit of a kick around when you stop for fuel to stretch their legs.
8. Take the scenic route
If you time, you could even use the My NRMA app to help plan your route. You could change it up and little and drive the scenic route. This will help the driver to keep alerts and you could even use the change of scenery to plan a game or two of I-spy with the kids.
My biggest tip of all is to pack all of your patience and enjoy the ride.