“Are we there yet?”. How to survive summer travel

summer 1

With all this unsettled weather we’ve been having, its hard to know what to do this summer let alone starting to plan your family adventures. Whether you are going on a long road trip or just hoping for a few days out over the summer holidays, sometimes travelling with kids (and adults) isn’t as much fun as you imagined. Long journeys can be challenging, but they are doable, and can be memorable. However, a little bit of planning beforehand may just help save your sanity.

car trip

No one wants a summer holiday to be remembered for the wrong reasons. We want our children to have great memories to go back to school with and share with their friends.

Planning your perfect road trip can be a stressful and exhausting ordeal, but Leeds City Council’s ITB team is here to help. Here are some practical tips on how to make your journey as successful as possible:


  • Is your car road ready? Highways England recommend carrying out a few quick and easy checks to ensure you and your vehicle are safely equipped to drive.
  • If you are driving with kids, give them plenty of planned activities to do, especially if your destination is a long way from your home
  • Before you hit the road, make sure you have any child car seats fitted correctly. Check out the new laws on car seats here and to see if you have the right size for your child.

Are you having a Staycation?


Just one more point for those of us you aren’t going on holiday and who will be going about our normal routines – Watch out for the kids! They’re everywhere!

I know what you’re thinking … that you’re a ‘good, safe driver’ but a little reminder won’t harm, and don’t forget many of the residnetial streets in and around Leeds are now 20mph. Now is the perfect time to adhere to those new speed limits, you could just save a childs life.

Please do take a little extra time to watch out for those children who aren’t going away on holiday, and who will be out and about with their friends, running, skating, scooting and cycling in the streets, parks and playgrounds. Unfortunately some may be too occupied playing with their friends and being away from their bossy parent to remember all the road safety training they’ve had.


There are so many distractions affecting both pedestrians and drivers. As a driver make sure your distractions are out of sight and that you’re prepared for and looking for those pedestrians who forget to look when they cross the road, because of their hand held devices or excitement at having freedom. If you’re driving, you are largely responsible for their safety. A child doesn’t have a chance against a 3,000-pound (or heavier) vehicle in the street.

So with all this in mind, don’t forget your bucket & spade and sun cream and go have some fun. Have a safe and hassle free journey and we will catch you at the beach!


Have you considered leaving the car at home and exploring Yorkshire on your bicycle? How about taking the family out on some of our fantastic local cycle routes and explore what Leeds and the surrounding areas have to offer?

summer 2

Leeds City Council has loads of information on how you can safely get about on your bike over the summer. Follow this link for planning your family outing – there is information on cycle routes, city centre bike storage, cycle loans, bike maintenance and information about cycle to work schemes.

There are also interactive maps which will help you find those hidden places which you didn’t know existed. Follow the link to view cycle routes using City Connect’s interactive map or use the cycle journey planner to plan your route step by step.

Have a fun summer cycling and let us know what you get up to by following us and tweeting your sustainable activities @SaferRoadsLeeds.

Vehicle Preparation

Long drives can be a great way to help you communicate and bond with your family better. Being inside the same vehicle for long stretches of time, you and your family have the opportunity to talk to each other and find out what you all want and expect from the trip.

While being in the same car for longer than normal lengths of time can be both fun and stressful, safety should be your number one priority. Whilst you may have planned your trip down to the finest detail, if youve over looked your vehicle (the one thing you will rely upon to get you there safe) and undertaken basic safety checks you may be heading for disaster.

The ITB Team have put together some useful tips to make sure that your long trip with your family is safe and fun:

  • Checkup and tune-up – Before any long drive, take your vehicle for a service.
  • Car seats – Do your children need car seats? Are they fitted correctly? Now is the perfect time to make sure they are.
  • Mobile Phones / Handheld devices – It is against the law to hold or use a handheld device whilst driving. Dont be tempeted put them out of sight.
  • Know your limits – If you’re the only person who will be driving for the whole trip, make sure that you know your limits as a driver. Even if you can drive for nine hours straight, it’s best to schedule breaks every two hours, not just for you but also for your family who might need to stretch their legs and get fresh air outside of the vehicle.
  • Slow down – Theres no need to rush, slow down and enjoy the journey.
  • Familiarise yourself with the route – theres nothing worse than getting lost to highten tension within the vehicle. Don’t rely too heavily on your satnav, if it breaks then you need to havea rough idea of the route you will take.
  • Weather forecast – What is the weather like for your journey ? do you need to factor in more breaks?

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