Monthly Archives: March 2015

How to Make the Road Trip with Kids Fun

Being with your entire family in such a small space for an extended period of time can be really fun – but it can also be stressful. If you’re planning a road trip in the car with your kids over Easter or the summer holidays, then you need to be prepared to keep your children entertained, comfortable and happy.

Before You Go

Remember to think carefully about what your children will wear to travel in – it needs to be really comfortable.

Pack the back strategically – put the stuff that you might need on your journey within easy reach. A spare change of clothes for accidents or getting cold or wet, and sunscreen should be easily accessible.

Pack essentials:

-          First aid kit

-          Torch

-          Wet wipes

-          Tissues

-          Bottles of water

-          Plastic bag for rubbish

-          Blankets for sleeping children

If you’re taking food and plan on eating it in the car, don’t eat anything that’s likely to make a lot of mess!

Some people plan their trip around their kids sleeping habits, leaving really early so they sleep during the day, or travelling at their kids’ bedtime. This works if you yourself aren’t too tired to drive – as the driver it is your responsibility to keep you and your family safe.

Entertainment

Give your children a travel bag so they can take their own toys. You can keep them entertained by buying them a new toy, which they have to wait until you’re in the car and on the way to play with – this usually keeps them entertained while you’re driving.

Play games on the way to keep their minds engaged. Audio books and their favourite music are a great way to keep them quiet too!

Colouring books and crayons are good if your children aren’t prone to car sickness.

A map can help stop the “are we nearly there yet?” questions from older children – draw a line for your journey and keep them looking out for signs and landmarks.

In The Car

Don’t feed them sweets – instead choose healthy snacks to prevent hyperactivity! However, bring them something that they like as a bargaining tool.

Planning stops into your trip is essential, even if you’re only travelling for four or five hours. For small children as well as older ones, bathroom breaks and a chance to stretch their legs will save your sanity as well as theirs. If you have young children, stop every two or three hours.

Petrol vs. Diesel: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re buying a new car, then you may be stuck with the decision between petrol and diesel. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the one that you choose will depend on your circumstances and the type of driving that you’re doing.

The Advantages of Diesel

Diesel engines are being developed to be just as good in terms of performances, smoothness and noise levels – they are definitely quieter than they used to be. They are also able to produce high torque at low speeds, which means that they are good for overtaking and towing. Diesel engines will give you more miles per gallon, on average up to 15-20% more than petrol equivalents.

Diesel has lower CO2 emission levels, which means that they have lower road tax bands than petrol.

The Advantages of Petrol

Petrol is quieter, though there isn’t enough of a difference between them for this to warrant a real reason to plump for petrol instead of diesel. Cars with petrol engines are cheaper to buy, and petrol itself is cheaper at the pump too. Petrol vehicles are closing the gap in terms of efficiency and environmental impact too.

If you’re looking for a speedy car, then petrol may be the choice for you – petrol engines tend to weigh less than diesel.

How to Make the Decision

When making the decision, there are four factors that you need to take into consideration:

-          Mileage per year

-          Vehicle fuel economy (MPG)

-          Fuel cost per gallon

-          Road tax

Calculate these things with regards to potential petrol and diesel cars and you should be able to see which is better for you, and crucially which is more affordable, as a driver.

More often than not, if you intend to on driving a lot, then it is usually work paying more and going for diesel, but if you don’t drive that much, then paying less for the car itself will work better for you.

 Tip: Vehicle purchase price and resell value

If you’re looking to save money, then this is one of the best ways to do it. Buy a used car for a really good purchase price, then sell it a year later for a similar price, and you’ll eliminate a loss. You’ll need to buy competitively and sell it for its market value, which seems like a lot of work but it could save you thousands.