Before you set out on a family road trip comes the packing! There is a range of situations and challenges that can present themselves during the car trip, but with good preparation you can limit any inconvenience.
We have put together a list of things you can consider packing for a family road trip to help make sure the memories that stand out are the good ones.
1. Waterproof bags
Tuck some different sized waterproof bags (resealable plastic or reusable) in the glovebox to pop wet or soiled clothes in.
2. Wipes and an old towel
Wipes are essential for small clean up jobs while having something larger on hand like an old towel for a major clean up can also come in handy.
3. Comfy and safe child car seats
Ensuring the children are comfy and safe is an essential for a car trip. While under New Zealand law all children under seven years must use a child restraint appropriate to their size, age and development, it may be that a child older than seven will be safer and more comfortable in a car seat. It is recommended that children under two years old stay in a rear-facing restraint.
Ensure the car seat fits your child – check the manufacturer’s recommended weight or height restrictions for that model of child restraint and also check the expiry date. Have a good look at the restraint and ensure there is no wear and tear on any of the straps.
If the car seat has been involved in a minor accident, ie the vehicle was able to be driven, the door nearest the car seat was not damaged, no passengers sustained injuries, air bags did not deploy, and there is no visible damage to the car seat, you probably do not need to replace the seat.
If any of these outcomes did occur in the accident, you should replace the car seat.
4. A change of clothes
Have a complete change of clothes for each person packed in a separate, easily accessed bag.
5. Bottle warmer
If you have a child reliant on a bottle, invest in a USB powered bottle warmer for heating on the move.
6. Tyre changing / breakdown kit
Other than your tyre changing kit, other items that are useful for dealing with a flat tyre or a breakdown include two reflective warning triangles, a reflective jacket, a torch, and a small tarpaulin. You might like to include a can of tyre inflator and sealant.
7. Emergency kit
It’s a good idea to prepare for an accident, a breakdown, or a road closure so check you have a small tool kit, a first-aid kit, warm clothes, and a blanket. You might like to include a hammer product that can break glass as well as cut seatbelts in case of an accident.
8. Snacks plus a surprise
Ensure you have a sealing water bottle for each person and some handy snacks that are easily opened by small fingers. Hide away a surprise treat for when the kids get restless.
9. Pillow and blankets
If you are hoping your children will sleep, consider popping in a small pillow and a snuggly small blanket.
Have a small bag for each child that their books, car games and other bits and bobs can be safely stored in.
11. Picnic blanket
Perfect for rest area stops.
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass”