If you’re heading out on a car trip with kids these December holidays, your stress-o-meter is probably already rising. Fortunately, there are a ton of things you can do at home pre-trip to make the experience a positive one for you all…

Child-proof the car

You’re probably going to be prepping the car for the trip, so now’s a great time to add a few easy extras to ensure the journey goes smoothly. A small pedal bin, or Tupperware-like container with a tight-fitting lid, can be packed with some spare shopping bags to hold trash for easy dumping and keep everything clean.

If one of the kiddos (or you) get carsick, add a few paper bags airline-style in case of emergencies.

Lastly, toss in a couple of old cloths and a spray upholstery cleaner- the quicker you can tackle spills on the road, the less chance your upholstery will suffer the marks forever. Take it to eleven and toss in a (charged) portable dust buster too!

Make it fun

“Are we there yet?” won’t be heard in your car this festive season! For younger children, pre-pack some distracting items and favourite toys so they’re easily accessible (think of it as hand luggage for your road trip).

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You can make a fun (and neat) Lego travel kit by glueing a building board to the lid of a small container, allowing them to build without blocks ending up strewn across the car, or use a small basket to pack fun activities like drawing materials or cards without them ending up all over.

For older children, a few entertaining apps pre-installed while you have your reliable home Wi-Fi to rely on should help prevent backseat anarchy breaking loose.

Keep first aid (and snacks) on hand

From nausea-quelling meds, to some Elastoplast and hand sanitiser, you can toss your own little first aid kit in the cubby hole so you’re ready for anything. Likewise, ward off cries of starvation by throwing together a cooler bag of healthy snacks and drinks the night before and storing it in the fridge. When the hectic departure morning arrives, you have a grab-and-go bag ready.

Wherever you may roam this summer holidays, take a bit of home with you – and keep the holiday stress at bay – with these simple prepare-ahead tips!