Tis the season….finally! It’s been a busy year and it’s exciting to think that soon we will be on holiday and spending quality time with family and friends. A well-deserved break after the hard slog of 2019.
We know many of you will be travelling – driving across the country to see loved ones. At this time of year when stress is high and many of us are rushing to get everything done, we just wanted to remind you of a few tips to help keep you and your family safe on the roads this festive season.
- Be as organised as possible
We realise this adds another item to the already lengthy, and dreaded, ‘To Do List’. However, the more organised you are before you head off on your journey, the better it will be. Plan your route carefully, including pit stops if it’s a long drive. Know where you can take toilet breaks and coffee and food breaks as needed. Know the address of your destination and have it locked into your GPS. Plan everything as meticulously as you can so that when you are on the road you can relax.
- Get your vehicle checked.
It’s not just about making sure you have enough petrol, although obviously that’s important, but make sure your car is roadworthy ahead of any long journey. Have you had your annual service? If so, then take it to the garage for a tyre pressure check, water and oil check and to make sure your windscreens are clean and clear. Also take the time to clear out your car of anything unnecessary so as to avoid the risk of projectiles if an accident were to occur.
- Realise that you are likely to be tired and stressed
Heading off on holiday and closing off from work for a bit is stressful. When you do it, it can often take a few days to feel mentally and physically refreshed. Be kind to yourself when you head off on your journey and don’t try to be a hero. You are probably more tired than you think so try and alternate driving with a partner and make sure you have plenty of water and snacks in the vehicle to keep you going. It is also important to make sure someone in the vehicle is keeping an eye on you to ensure you are stimulated, awake and focussed while driving. Also realise that others on the road are stressed and their decision-making abilities might be impaired. The more vigilant you are, the safer your family will be.
- Limit projectiles
We have spoken of this before but any loose object in the vehicle is a potential danger. We understand that with children in the car you will want to have items to hand for them to distract themselves with. Try and ensure these are protected as much as possible (ie.a soft ipad cover) and make use of storage facilities that can be strapped securely onto the chair in front of them
- Enjoy the journey
Too often we are focussed on the destination and just getting there as quickly as possible. However, if you make the conscious decision to really enjoy the drive as part of the trip, you will definitely enjoy it much more as will your family. Make it fun, plan pit stops, sightseeing games in the car, listen to audio books and music. Relook at the way you see your festive season travel.
For more tips on how to travel safely, and sanely, with children, take a look at these blogposts: https://coolkidscabs.co.za/travels-with-kids-part-1/
We wish you all a very safe and happy festive season!