As school holidays approach, many Aussie families will be packing up and heading on a road trip with the promise of relaxation, family fun and amazing memories whilst exploring our beautiful country!
But if not properly planned, your family road trip can become quite a stressful experience!
We’ve put together some tips to help prepare for your upcoming road trip.
Prepare the car - Service your car! If its not due for a service, have it inspected to ensure that everything is in proper working order and that fluid levels, brake pads, batteries, air conditioning system and tyres are checked to avoid any potential break-downs along the way.
Check your jack to ensure that everything is there and in good working order if you need to change a tyre unexpectedly. Pack some basic tools in the car in case of emergencies and don’t forget to check your spare tyre!
There is nothing worse than having your tools and cutlery scattered everywhere, or in very noisy, vehicle interior damaging, rattling boxes and tubs.
MSA 4X4 have designed a Tool Roll that is tough enough to last and soft enough not to damage your vehicle! Features heavy duty double layered 12oz canvas, separate top flap and elastics to keep everything in place, 18 pockets of various sizes and heavy moulded rubber carry handle. The MSA 4X4 Tool Roll measures 122cm L x 420cm H when open and allows for easy and safe storage anywhere!
Pack an Emergency Kit which includes plenty of bottles of drinking water, non-perishable food, oral rehydration salts, blankets, torches (and batteries), first aid kit, jumper cable & battery phone charger. A small fire extinguisher and/or fire blanket wouldn’t go amiss here either.
Plan the trip – Map out your route and identify any planned pit stops. (If you’re going to use a GPS to navigate, it does pay to have a back-up physical map in the vehicle, just in case!)
Try and drive outside of peak hours as much as possible to avoid traffic and other delays. Unfortunately, no matter how much you plan, at some stage you will hit traffic, or a road closure, or an incident that will delay you, and patience will be a virtue here!
Toddlers & younger kids will struggle to sit still for more than a couple of hours in any one stretch, so planning something fun every few hours will help make the car trip more enjoyable.
A stop at a roadside attraction, such as one of “Australia’s Big Things” (ie Big Banana, Big Bench, Big Golden Guitar, Big Merino, Big Golden Gumboot etc), can provide much needed leg-stretching and break up a drive without costing too much time. At last count, Australia was home to 150 giant roadside attractions which are often found along major roads between destinations.
If you find a great swimming hole during your road trip, take the time to enjoy it without worrying about where you’ll need to store the wet swimsuits & towels afterwards.
Wet items can be securely stored outside of the vehicle in MSA 4X4’s 55ltr Rear Wheel Bag! Perfect for trips where you don’t want muddy or wet gear inside your vehicle. Its unique “Anti-Drop” harness system keeps your gear and bag from drooping behind the vehicle; extra zippered and reinforced pockets on each side offer more storage and its drainage hole releases any fluid. The Rear Wheel Bag can also be padlocked on to the well with a lock strap for added security!
Pack Smart – Check your vehicle’s GVM to ensure that you aren’t putting too much weight in the vehicle.
Roof top bags and boxes should only be filled with light bulky items such as blankets, pillows, chairs etc. Heavy loads on the roof can make the vehicle harder to handle in an emergency situation.
Manufactured from 15oz canvas, MSA 4X4’s Tourer and Basket Packs represent the ultimate in rooftop storage! Store your bulky items on your roof rack, safe, dry and dust free inside an MSA 4X4 Tourer Pack or Basket Bag. It will free up much needed space in the vehicle to make your travels that much more comfortable and safe - no more jamming the pillows & blankets in around the kids!
Do not stack items unrestrained in the vehicle as they become potentially lethal projectiles in the event of an accident, or if you have to brake suddenly.
Pack everything for quick, easy access on the road so that you don’t have to pull over to dig around the boot or in overflowing bags! Basic supplies such as sunscreen, mosquito repellent, a packet of Band Aids and pillows are best kept in the car’s cabin. Antibacterial Wipes & Hand Sanitiser will help prevent everyone from catching common bugs whilst on holiday! Wet wipes are useful for washing hands, wiping down tables and cleaning toilet seats! It can really help to keep the items that you and the kids need for the trip within easy reach.
Keep all your accessories close at hand and easily accessible with an MSA 4X4 Seat Organiser. Offering 12 individual pockets for endless storage possibilities including 3 larger pockets for street directories, maps, magazines, iPads and colouring books. Designed to be easily attached and removed in seconds. Manufactured from heavy duty 12oz canvas, with an aluminium internal frame that prevents sagging even when full. The injection moulded fold away table Seat Organiser even has a cup recess, making it perfect for travel breaks!
The MSA 4X4 Dash Organiser is another fantastic, innovative original that keeps everything you use, when sitting in the driver or passenger seat, close at hand and easy to access, right in front of you! The Organiser will mould to any dash shape and you can even install it vertically on the transmission hump.
Tips to avoid the “Are we there yet”, “I’m bored”, I’m hungry”!
Snacks – Lots and lots of snacks, not just for the trip, but in case you are stuck on the road for longer than expected! Purchase and pack in advance as it works out cheaper than purchasing food at rest stops and keeps the kids entertained! Minimise the spillages by filling mini Tupperware containers with small quantities of treats. They can be filled with sultanas, tiny-teddies, grapes, chopped strawberries, melon etc to provide a variety of treats to nibble on and pass the time, whilst reducing the chance of snacks being squished into every nook, cranny and surface of the vehicle!
Protect your car seats with a set of MSA 4X4 Canvas Seat Covers. Years of design, development and manufacturing knowledge goes into every MSA 4X4 Canvas Seat Cover to ensure that it not only works in perfect harmony with your vehicle’s safety features, protecting you and your family, but that it also looks good inside your vehicle! However, the challenge goes further than just looks; MSA 4X4 created a canvas seat cover that is durable enough to withstand the day to day rigours of life’s adventures, but not too stiff that its uncomfortable for the occupant.
Spill proof drinks – reduce the risk of dehydration by encouraging your kids to drink plenty of fluids.
Activities - Age-specific books (or a Kindle for older kids), hand-held computer games, colouring & sticker books, pack of coloured pencils or textas, word searches, a simple jigsaw puzzle, a notebook, and lots and lots of toys. If your kids get car sick, then a selection of audio books can be a great option. Let each child have their own bag of toys and games to play with, to reduce fights over sharing! Offer the toys one at a time, as the child starts to show signs of boredom with the current one. Swapping toys over once an hour can help alleviate boredom also. Young kids will appreciate their favourite “security toy” for the trip.
Tablets - If you have a tablet that your child can play games on or watch movies on, remember to pack the charging cable and headphones also! There are plenty of apps available that are designed specifically to keep the kids entertained, whilst also being educational.
Old Fashioned Fun – Play family games such as I Spy, 21 Questions, Don’t Say It, The Singing Game, Cows on My Side, The Movie Game etc
In case of emergencies – A change of clothes, disposable nappies, tissues, paper towels, plenty of wet wipes, plastic bucket (with a lid) and plastic bags in case of motion sickness or any other mess. A good first aid kit is a must for any road trip to prepare for the unexpected. Include items such as paracetamol appropriate to your child’s age and weight, thermometer, oral rehydration salts, nappy rash cream and anti-itching lotions.
Safety First – Always, always use appropriate restraints. Seat belts are a non-negotiable for a safe road trip and car seats should be properly installed.
Comfort – Logging the klms can be exhausting for anyone, but its even more painful if your back is hurting through poor support.
MSA 4X4’s Patented Air Lumbar Support System provides adjustable support where and when you need it most! Its quick fit design enables it to be installed and removed in a matter of seconds, allowing for easy transfer between vehicles. Its fully adjustable air inflated bladder insert allows you to position the support to suit you perfectly! You can even install up to 4 internal bladders aimed at multiple support zones.
Getting there is half the fun and we hope our tips will help with planning your next family road trip!