Take the stress out of Christmas travelling

If you’re driving to see friends and relatives over the holidays, chances are your car will be laden with gifts and people – and it could be a bit of a squeeze. But, with careful planning and our tips, you’ll be on your merry way with a car full of happy campers.

  1. The essentials – Make sure that everyone has a bag filled with the most important things. For the kids, this is likely to be their favourite toys, blankets and entertainment. For grown ups, think more along the lines of snacks and wet wipes. Basically, think of your en route essentials - nothing is worse than setting off, only to have to pull over after a few minutes to find your little one’s favourite snuggly toy or your teenager’s iPhone charger.

  2. Travel bin – An empty carrier bag or small Tupperware with a lid are ideal for storing rubbish while you’re travelling. This should help to keep your car neat and tidy (ish) and, most importantly, prevent any stray bits of food from falling under seats and creating a pong.

  3. External storage – If you’re heading for a long trip, have lots of people or are planning on taking things like bikes, then you’ll probably need to consider outside storage. Make sure you use roof or bike racks that are suitable for your car and always ensure everything is well secured before heading off.

  4. Food, food and then more food - If you have hungry passengers and want to limit the number of stops and ‘hangry’ squabbles, it’s important to pack plenty of food. Try to pack things which create minimal mess and aren’t too smelly. You might also want to limit any sugary foods if you’ve got a few small people in a confined space.

  5. First aid kit – Make sure you have a first aid kit in case anyone feels poorly en route. It may be worth packing travel sickness medicine if your family are prone to sickness, as well as having a plastic bag or container with a lid, just in case.

  6. The main luggage – Put all of the heavier items on the bottom so that you don’t squash fragile items. If you’re planning an overnight stop on the way, make sure that you have a smaller overnight bag with the essentials and a change of clothes for everyone at the top, so you can grab this easily.

  7. The seating arrangement – Finally, a road trip is more likely to go smoothly if you consider who will be sitting where in advance. If you have someone who is prone to travel sickness, are they better in the front? If siblings squabble, it might be better to sit them apart to prevent them poking one another if they start to get bored. You should also check any restrictions on where your children’s car seats are able to be fitted.

Road trips can be lots of fun and, with our tips, we hope you can have a happy, stress free trip away. If you have any tips of your own, let us know over on our facebook page.