“Are We There Yet ?” and Other Family Road Trip Pleasures

If you’re traveling with the entire family this holiday and have loads of luggage, it’s quite a costly affair to fly to your destination and this is why many South Africans will be hitting the road, kids in tow this season.

Whether you have little kids or teenagers, it’s a brave decision to take them on a road trip. You will certainly be tasked with providing consistent and various forms of entertainment, accommodating frequent bathroom breaks and repeatedly answering the dreaded “Are we there yet?”

We know you love the quality time as well and wouldn’t want to trade this in for the world, so here are some tips to help you deal with the slightly less enjoyable part of family road trips.

1. Entertainment

When they were babies and toddlers it was so much easier to keep them entertained but once they reach the school-going age and have already experienced their fair share of cow sightings, you’ve got your work cut out for you.


Take turns to choose the music, divide the hours of traveling time by the number of people in the car and that’s the number of hours each person gets to choose the music that everyone else MUST listen to during that period. If you want to get creative, and someone’s choice is just unbearable, you can trade 5 or 10 minutes of your turn for a track skip.


With younger kids you could probably get away with the usual “I Spy”, “Count the red cars”, etc. but if you have teens, games can be a tough one. We suggest you let them prepare their own games before hand and you be a sport whether it’s a “30 Seconds” style trivia game or something that doesn’t require your input like taking pics on their phones of different signs or funny bumper stickers on the roads and you can judge the best ones at the rest stop!

2. Snacking

Are your kids the type who refuse to eat a full breakfast before leaving home and then plead starvation the minute you’re on the freeway with no exit in sight for the next 100kms? Always pack food!

Junk Food

It may be a time saver to pick up some junk food and treats at your first pit stop but you’ll most likely regret this after about 30 minutes when a sugar induced tornado is taking over your backseat. Pack sandwiches or home cooked meals to eat a rest stops and lots of water to keep them hydrated rather than sodas or sugary drinks.


Offer all the kids drinks at the same time, about 30 minutes before your next pit stop to avoid having emergency bathroom breaks every half hour for each of them. This is not a suggestion to refuse them a drink of water when they’re thirsty but just as a guideline for young kids, especially.

3. Rest

Ordinarily you would rush your kids to bed early the night before a road trip so they can be fresh and ready to go the next morning. It’s actually not a bad idea to let them tire themselves out, packing the car and getting everything ready the night before so they’ll sleep through most of your journey. Carry pillows or cushions for them to rest on, buckle up and lights out till you’re close enough to your destination. Answering “Are we there yet?” will be far less frustrating when you’re actually almost there.

These are just some fun tips to give you a head start on your road trip planning. We hope you have a great and safe trip and enjoy every minute of family time this special time of year.

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