Avoiding road trip rows

Families heading off on a road trip these school holidays might want to take some earplugs. New research reveals it takes
just 31 minutes into a car journey for arguments to start.

The most common reasons arguments break out in the car are incorrect directions (40 per cent), followed by missing a turn (29 per cent) and wanting to stop for food (26 per cent).

Other reasons include squabbles over the type of music being played (22 per cent) and needing a bathroom break (18 per cent).

The research, conducted by Budget New Zealand, investigated a wide range of travel trends and found well over half (69 per cent) of Kiwis with children under 18 argue at least once every time they take a car journey with their family. 

“Our research shows the car can be a high-pressured place. But with the right planning, a road trip can be an unforgettable way to spend a holiday together,” Lee Marshall, General Manager at Budget New Zealand says.

So, whether you’re exploring the rugged coastline of the Catlins, or heading to the mountains for some tramping these school holidays, here are a few simple steps designed to ensure you avoid some of the most common car arguments. 

Pre-plan your route
Twenty-nine per cent of arguments stem from the driver taking a wrong turn, so consider mapping out your next journey before you go. 

Have multiple playlists ready to go
Choosing a podcast to listen to is another way to avoid the great music debate. 

Pack snacks and plan toilet stops
Stopping for a breather or a bite to eat gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and get some fresh air. It’s also the perfect excuse to use the bathroom, minimising the chance of you being in the 18 per cent of families who fight over needing to stop for a bathroom break. 

Are you adventure ready?

  1. Make sure your tyres are not only pumped up but have good tread depth (over 1.5mm). Don’t forget the spare!
  2. Check all your lights are working, including the indicators.
  3. Check the engine oil level is above the minimum indicator on the dipstick.
  4. Check the condition of the engine oil. It shouldn’t appear dark, thick or sludgy.
  5. Check and, if necessary, top up the window washer fluid level.
  6. Clean the front windscreen and check there are no chips or cracks.

If you’re travelling by motorhome or towing a caravan check out the advice and benefits at nzmca.org.nz