If you’ve ever travelled long distances – especially with kids – you’ll know that it can be very uncomfortable and can quickly become either very boring or can turn into a yelling match when the kids decide they’ve had enough. Thankfully, there are plenty of travel hacks you can use or create for almost nothing, that can ease the boredom and discomfort. Whether you’re travelling by car, plane, bus, train or anything else, these 10 travel hacks will make your journey much more comfortable:
1. A pack rack to make everything accessible – If you have a deep boot, a hatchback or a larger storage space within a people mover, you can optimise this space by building a shelf rack that not only splits the space in half horizontally, but also creates smaller vertical compartments. Doing this allows you to sort your travel gear into two levels, keeping the things you need to access more regularly on the top. It also means you can designate different compartments for different things, like one for medical supplies, one for electronics, one for tools and one for food. Once you know where everything is, it makes it so much easier to pull over and quickly find exactly what you need.
2. In-car storage – Inside the car, you can use something like a remote control caddy, shower caddy or similar to keep things neat and tidy in the centre console. You can use accordion folders and desk organisers in the glovebox, while a recycled paper coffee cup or yoghurt container makes a perfect tissue holder. Just take the core out of a roll of toilet paper, pop it in the coffee cup or other container and you’ll be able to dispense from the centre of the roll perfectly.
3. Make your seat-backs work for you – Don’t make your back seat passengers stare at the back of a boring seat for the ride! There’s so much you can do to turn them into something useful. A plastic shower organiser is a great idea for storing things. If you’d prefer to DIY, you can create an individual child’s art table by mounting a small suitcase with its bottom to the back of your driver’s seat or passenger seat. Then add straps to the sides to keep the lid of the suitcase open so that it creates a table top.
4. Handy hanging storage – You can use clip-on carabiners to hang items from many places, such as your above-door handles and the metal bars on headrests. As long as the things you hang aren’t obscuring your view or posing a danger to passengers, you can hang clothing, shopping bags, toys, hats, umbrellas and more.
5. DIY window curtains – It’s so easy to make your own window curtains for use in any transport. Just find some waterproof material about 30cm x 30cm and glue or sew some silicone suction cups to at least two corners. When you need to block out the sun or the view, just push the suction cups onto the window.
6. Make a stable table – A simple stable table with legs that sits over a passenger’s lap and is anchored to the seat behind the person with a velcro strap is a great idea for kids or adults alike. If you can make them portable enough, you can also use them on public transport. These are particularly handy for use over the top of a baby seat too and you can modify as required.
7. Prepare, prepare, prepare – There’s nothing worse than heading out on a trip tired, or having to turn around half an hour into the journey because you forgot to turn the oven off, or forgetting something important and having to do without the whole trip. Start preparing for your trip at least four days in advance. Create lists of things you need and tick them off as you pack them. Take note of the things you use everyday and decide whether you need to bring these things. Make sure all your bookings and transport arrangements have been finalised and that you have all the details you need. Get enough sleep the night before and if you have kids, make sure you get them to bed extra early so they’re not tossing and turning with excitement all night.
8. Use an aggregate site to make finding and booking accommodation easy – You can spend hours looking at each individual accommodation website for your destination, or you can use an excellent site like Hotels.com to easily find and book accommodation. With Hotels.com, you can search for all accommodation types in any location and these results can be further sorted by a huge number of filters. This means you can find accommodation that’s exactly right for you, your family and your budget.
9. Kids crafts and games – There are so many arts and crafts you can give your kids to do during travel. For instance, you can create your own ‘Mr. Squiggle’ cards by drawing squiggles on cards or pieces of paper and getting your children to create a picture out of them. You can give them beads or candy beads and string to make jewellery and pipe cleaners are great for this, as well as other crafts. Stickers and coloured tape are a lot of fun during travel, as long as you’re prepared for them to be stuck on seats, windows etc. Another great little craft idea is things like loom bands, paper clips, yarn and similar that can be made into jewellery, bookmarks and more. Of course, there’s always the old Eyespy or car bingo to keep you all occupied and if all else fails, a tablet with some pre-installed apps is always a winner.
10. Travel sickness cures – Travel sickness can hit anyone at any time, even if that person has never suffered from it before. While there are plenty of natural remedies like ginger, chewing gum, focusing on far-away objects, lavender oil or acupressure, you’re still better off buying a pack of over-the-counter travel sickness medication for those times when other methods fail. Trust us – there’s nothing worse than enduring a long journey while you’re sick, except maybe enduring a long journey when someone else has been sick!
Bonus hack – Finally, the main thing that will guarantee your journey will be comfortable is to have fun and enjoy the journey as much as you enjoy the destination. Take it slow and ensure you split your journey up if needed, remembering that it’s super easy to find accommodation fast using Hotels.com. Have a great trip!
This article was written in collaboration with Hotels.com
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