One of the destinations on our road trip – Lake Garda, Italy
Servicing the car is a must. Brakes, oil and tyres. Do we have a spare tyre? How do I lift the bonnet? Good. Driving across Europe means we must have two reflective vests in the boot at all times. We have one green and one orange, orange goes with my eyes, you see. A rickety, never to stand up triangle and a first aid kit that wouldn’t be helpful for an injured mosquito with a dodgy knee. But still we have one in the boot for form’s sake. It also complies with driving rules in the states we will visit. Namely The Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Germany as well as good old Poland. Children under 12, who are below 150 cm, need to have a child-safety seat. So in it goes! Another handy addition is a torch as cars have a tendency to be troublesome at night. Spare batteries are helpful, too.
Now children and a road trip.Hopefully your not into sedating your children (too heavily) for the road trip, which means you must supply all forms of supplies and knick knacks for them. The children are always given a tablet to help settle their stomachs about an hour before we leave.This helps them to feel better and avoids desperate calls to pull over, which always happens at a highly inconvenient moment. Another advantage is it that stops vomiting which can put a dampener on things, literally. Just in case the tablet doesn’t work it is best to locate a few sturdy bags in the rear seating. Now don’t go stingy here and use plastic bags from a supermarket. Firstly they are not ecological, and secondly they often have little holes that, well, you know what happens.
The children need entertainment and sustenance preferably within arms reach. No,on second thoughts better make that within finger stretch. A food hamper is located in the middle of them on the back seat. Everything is double stocked to stop the ‘he/she took/ate’ the Kinder, biscuit or Mars-replace as necessary.This approach helps to reduce the likelihood of a spat which could quickly escalate into playful kicking, biting and WWF syndicated wrestling. Yet another important thing to do is to make fresh sandwiches or rolls on the morning of departure.Make them well so that hours later after they are squashed, sweaty and ignored they can be passed forward to the driver because all the good stuff has been eaten.
Next and very importantly don’t forget the wet wipes. This indispensable tissue can deal with a multitude of stains and catastrophes. Explosive sneezing noses? No problem. Sticky fingers (reason unknown) bring it on. As well as strange stains of which you simply never want to know the source of! All are gone in a jiffy. These utilitarian wipes are good at keeping the cockpit spick and span as well.
What next? Entertainment. Of course the children have ipads, mobile phones and tablets.Replete with games, tunes and quiz like musings.As an added back up we fix screens to both the back of the driver and front passenger’s seats. Just enough of the fixture to press into the driver’s neck. Wedging a block of DVD’s into the back gives the children, hopefully, hours of goggled eye vision and pleasure. Of course with headphones which have not been packed in the depths of the boot, and ‘Off we go Parker, Yes M’Lady’!