Family road trips are a sensational way to spend time together and create lasting memories for the entire family. It’s a time when all age groups get to enjoy time doing things they love and kick back.
But any seasoned parent will tell you that without careful road trip preparations, you risk it all from the start. With so much excitement and build-up, it’s no wonder that when it comes time to climb into the car – just to sit there, strapped in for hours on end, things start to get dicey.
Starting your holiday off with a smooth, safe, and enjoyable ride is the holy grail for all parents, and we’ve mapped 7 tips that will help you survive the long road trip minus the endless wails of “are we there yet?”
Let’s get into it.
7 tips for a smooth, relaxed family road trip
1. Pack snacks (for everyone)
Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean we don’t deserve snacks. We’ll be the first to admit it, adults can get just as hangry as young kids, so it’s good to plan ahead and pack plenty of snacks for all to enjoy.
Don’t make the mistake of packing only sugary foods, we all know what a sugar rush followed by the inevitable crash looks like – and no one wants that playing out in the backseat at 100km/hr. High protein snacks with plenty of nutritional value are an excellent tool to keep all passengers on their best behaviour.
2. Keep the entertainment diverse and interesting
When done right, entertainment can be the most important technique to keep the kids (and adults) from dying of boredom on the open road. Simply hitting shuffle on your kid-friendly playlist however isn’t going to cut it. Not when your entire arsenal or entertainment options are left at home.
It’s time to get creative.
Games are an excellent way to pass the time. If you’ve got the space and the numbers, think about card games, or downloading a special new game they can try on their device. Market your games carefully, and if technology isn’t a big thing in your family, make sure to come prepared with a bunch of equally exciting group games like I spy, the number plate game, or even pack a notepad and drawing equipment.
The trick is to keep the games interesting and evolving. On a bad day, you can easily exhaust all your games in less than 10 minutes if you don’t keep it interesting.
3. Observe long stops and bathroom breaks
While you may just feel like putting your foot down and getting the long drive over with, younger children will benefit from more frequent stops – whether for fuel or bathroom breaks. Make sure you choose locations that are safe for pulling over – it’s worth doing research on the locations of parks or playgrounds en route – these are always good places to spend a break.
4. Make the backseat the ideal place for a nap
Why entertain, feed and answer endless questions when you can sit in peace while the kids have a snooze? For parents with 2+ children, this can be difficult, but once you have a car full of sleepers you’ve hit gold. Invest in comfy pillows and encourage napping along the way. Long drives are exhausting, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your younger passengers to sleep.
5. Keep that child safety lock engaged + First Aid
Safety should always be in the back of your mind, particularly on a long family road trip. Make sure your child’s locks are engaged while on the open road and stock up on that first aid kit before departure. Emergency snacks are also a great idea – especially if you end up stuck on the side of the road for an hour or two.
6. Create interest in the surroundings
There’s a fine line between maintaining interest and impending boredom. Generating interest in your surroundings, and the route you’re travelling (especially for children who are old enough to read maps) can be a great way to keep them entertained by the trip itself. Interesting landmarks along the way, road signs or looking out for specific cars are all great topics that can keep kids entertained between snacks, stopovers and games.
7. Give your kids tasks along the way
Whether you’re departing, arriving, or getting underway again after a brief stop, delegating simple tasks to your children is a fantastic way to distract them from the impending boredom. Loading or unloading the car, cleaning, or even giving directions is a great way to give them the reins and also take away responsibility from parents in the process.
Subaru Forester family-friendly specs and features
You can play all the games you like, but at the end of the day, your choice of vehicle will decide how comfortable your family road trip is. The Subaru Forester is ideally placed to cater to families of all sizes wanting to escape the city and have a smooth and relaxing ride. Let’s take a look at why the Subaru Forester has the most family-friendly specs and features on offer.
On long drives, quality entertainment facilities are key to having a great time on the road, and the Subaru Forester is positively packed with options. Whether that’s the familiar Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, all your favourite music and messaging apps are only a simple touch away on the 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Listening to your favourite music is a breeze with its six-speaker sound system, not to mention the DAB+ digital radio.
Space & comfort
A long family road trip essentially begs for space and comfort – two things the Forester offers in abundance.
With your seats upright, expect 498L in petrol models and 509L in the hybrid variants. That’s enough to fit your large esky, a large tent, leaving plenty of room for smaller suitcases or duffle bags. If you want to check out how to maximise your available space, read our blog on the absolute must-haves in Subaru accessories.
When you’re packing for a family road trip with young kids, start by thinking about your most important possessions (your children of course).
The Subaru Forester has ample seating options with anchors for baby seats and higher trims treat mum and dad to luxurious heated seating options while the premium + trims boast eight-way power front seats with driver’s memory.
The best family road trips are safe road trips.
With a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating, and some of the most advanced Safeway tech on board, the 2023 Subaru Forester comes standard with the following features:
- Adaptive cruise control
- Autonomous emergency steering
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Blind-spot detect
- Rear cross-traffic alert system
- Lane-keep assist
- Lane-departure warning
- Lane centring tech
Experience the new Subaru Forester. Books a test drive today
Planning a family road trip with kids can almost be as stressful as road tripping itself. When you plan and drive with a Subaru Forester, your job is easier. With family-friendly technology and a great safety record, you can be sure that your next trip will be the relaxed journey you deserve. Test drive the new Subaru Forester today at City Subaru.