The world seemed to stop for a while thanks to the pandemic. But, now that travel is starting to open up again, people are eager to get out and take a break. With that in mind, however, you might not be completely comfortable with public transportation or air travel just yet. In fact, some countries are still on the ‘red list’ when it comes to travel.
Even if you don’t want to fly somewhere or go to a different country, you can still enjoy some quality time away with your family by hitting the road. Road trips are great bonding experiences, and with a little planning ahead, you can have a safe and unforgettable family holiday just by getting behind the wheel.
Safe is the key word there. When you’re driving, you’re responsible for the safety of everyone in the vehicle. So, what should you do to make sure you’re keeping everyone secure?
Practice Defensive Driving
One of the most important things to keep in mind is how you drive. When you’re on the road for several hours, it’s easy to get distracted, get lazy, or even get tired. But, defensive driving is crucial every minute.
You could be the best driver in the world, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is. Anticipating the actions of other drivers will help you to stay aware, and avoid any accidents. Some tips to keep in mind as you’re driving include:
- Avoiding distractions
- Not eating or using a cell phone
- Controlling your speed
- Expecting the unexpected
It’s also crucial to make sure you’re awake and that you feel good while driving. If something feels “off” or you’re worried that you might start to fall asleep, take a break or hand the driving duties to another adult in the vehicle.
Take Care of Yourself
Speaking of making sure you’re awake, that’s only one step in keeping everyone safe while you’re driving. A lot of responsibility falls on your shoulders when you’re behind the wheel. Not only do you need to pay attention to fatigue, but don’t be afraid to express your needs to another adult in the car. If you need to stop and stretch, do it. If you need something to eat, grab a bite.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important. Road trips are meant to be fun, not stressful. Practice mindfulness as often as possible and remind yourself of the moment you’re in. If you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a few deep breaths.
In the unfortunate event that you do get into an accident, take the time to make sure everyone is okay mentally, as well as physically. Car accidents can impact your mental health months later if they haven’t been able to fully process the emotional trauma. If you’re feeling angry or guilty, or you’re worried about other family members, it’s a good idea to seek some help.
Obviously, no one wants to think about getting into that kind of trouble. But, despite your best driving, accidents can happen, and keeping everyone safe on a long-term basis needs to be your focus, especially with children involved.
Keep the Kids in Mind
Taking a trip on the road typically means you’ll be in a car or van for several hours at a time. When you’re traveling with children, that isn’t always easy. No parent wants to hear the dreaded, “I’m bored!” coming from the back seat.
But, you can make traveling with kids easier on everyone with just a few simple tips for your trip, including:
- Having plenty of snacks in the car
- Planning activities your kids can do while you’re driving
- Taking frequent breaks
- Sticking with your child’s daily routine as much as possible
When your children are occupied and content in the car, you’re less likely to get distracted while driving. So, you can travel your route safely and focus on driving defensively.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most of any family road trip by keeping everyone safe. After the year we’ve all had thanks to the pandemic, everyone deserves a fun, safe, and memorable trip with their loved ones.