You’ll always forget something and leave something somewhere so get used to it.
Spend lots of money on your car and let your mechanic know so they make sure you’re good to go the distance, and get some sort of roadside assistance membership just in case.
Get an in-car DVD for the kids. The kids get carsick from looking down at books and I-Pads for too long. In-car or seat-back DVD players help them keep their heads up and for us parents, while they have the headphones on, the sweet sound of silence from the back seat is a bonus.
The luggage is always under control when you leave but it’s generally a mess within a day or so. The car starts out clean and well-organised… good luck.
Things take longer than planned. There’s roadworks, extra toilet stops, slow cars and trucks, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, flooding, etc.
Pad your intended travel times out a bit.
Book before you go with realistic travel times in mind.
Budget realistically. Once you’re on the road you’ll need spare cash for unexpected bits and pieces like the ‘extra’ lunch and snacks, coffee, souvenirs, and stuff like the AAA size batteries you forgot to pack. We always bring our lunch from home on the first day (to save money) but we budget to buy meals on the road after that. When we stay at farmstays or in cabins with cooking facilities, we shop and bring supplies, but when we stay the night in hotels and motels we find going out for meals or getting takeaway is the easiest option. We just bring a small esky and try to keep under our budget for a few days by bringing yoghurt and cereal and fruit for breakfast. Cheese and crackers has turned out to be a budget snack hit in our car on long days.
To help the kids handle the long days of driving we try to plan and prepare for the first and last days to be the longest. We talk to them for a few days beforehand to make sure they understand how long the day is. Take plenty of snacks and have backup supplies.
Have lots of chargers and a plan for how you’re going to keep six devices charged for long periods of use in the car. Multi port car chargers, small battery packs, and small flexible solar panel chargers are worth considering. Buy a good car charger. Some recharge faster than others.
When batteries run out… so does patience.
Finally, clean your house to the point that you’d like to go on holiday in a place like it, and that your house is ‘always like this’ to the people you’ve organised to feed the pets.
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