Because it feels like I spend half my life in the car driving the kids around, plus racing to appointments and running errands, it feels like I’m The Old Woman Who Lives in Her Shoe. Except the shoe is my car.
Recently I swapped my usual family ride to test out the new MG GS SUV, and in the process of moving our “essentials” from one car to the other realised I’ve developed a bunch of systems over the years for keeping my car organised and – dare I say it, tidy – while filled with practical stuff for fun on the run.
DETOUR to fun
Some of the most memorable playtimes with my family have happened spontaneously. Some because we’ve found ourselves somewhere great and wanted to hang around more, and others because the kids were getting restless and cranky and I’d probably be driven to road rage if I’d not put a brake on things and changed direction.
I keep a stash of things that don’t take up a bunch of space in the boot of my car that means I can create a fun and cheap outing in an instant, including:
- Fold up kite
- Picnic blanket
TIP: Use a soft plastic tub with carry handles to store things in your boot and keep it tidy without taking up too much space.
The MG GS SUV has a boot that’s easily big enough for all this, plus a bike or pram, or rouge kid. The back seats fold down too if you’ve braved IKEA on the weekend
Because being Hangry is now a legitimate thing (the Collins English Dictionary defines it as “being irritable as a result of feeling hungry”) it’s advisable to always have a few snacks in the car.
A selection of healthy treats like nuts or muesli bars can easily fit into your glove box to scoff down fast when your tummy’s fuel gauge is on low.
Primp your ride
A slick of fresh lipstick or a mist of your favourite perfume can be an instant mood lifter. Keep spares on hand in your glove box, along with other ‘beauty essentials’ for style on the go. A quick scan of my stash reveals hand cream with a high SPF, mascara, a couple of bobby pins, a hair-tie, and tweezers (it’s amazing how many rogue hairs reveal themselves in that harsh daylight!)
Tune in, tune up
Commercial radio stations tend to have too many ads, not enough music, and announcers that don’t seem to give a rat’s that my kids are too young to know about vibrators. So create your own epic road-trip-worthy track lists on your phone, sync up with your car’s Bluetooth and work on your Carpool Karaoke.
Given you’ve got a captive audience you can take the opportunity to dazzle your kids with your Whitney skillz. Or treat it as a Music Appreciation Lesson, schooling them on your favourite artists, teaching them the words, and doing spot-quizzes to guess who sang the song. Because everyone wants their kids to be able to identify a track by Queen in the first couple of bars, right?!
The MG GS SUV has Bluetooth, epic speakers and a big swipey touch screen on the dash to flick through settings
Road side assistance
Scratches, bruises and boo-boos tend to happen when you’re mucking around outdoors with the kids, and having to abort a fun outing because they’re in tears over a speck of blood is a punish.
Keep a well-stocked First Aid Kit in your car, with a serious wad of extra bandaids and a bag of jelly beans. These will cure most minor ailments.
To keep you safe the MG GS SUV includes great safety features as standard, including six airbags and a 6-year roadside assist”
Getting grubby is part of the fun, but cleaning up is not. Keep baby wipes, a box of tissues, and a packet of biodegradable nappy bags on hand to get rid of messes fast.
Train your kids to keep the back of the car clean and tidy by reminding them to take their toys, books and litter out with them each time. And create age appropriate incentives for them to do so until it becomes a habit. For instance, I introduced “Slushie Fridays” where, as a reward for keeping it spic and span my boys are rewarded with a Slushie every Friday after school if it passed The Official Inspection. Suffice to say the car has remained pristine, and the kids have suffered from “Brain Freeze” every Friday since.
All weather terrain
Spare sunnies, hats, an umbrella, and a big scarf will have you sorted if the weather changes suddenly when you’re out and about.
And in summer I include a beach bag replenished with bathers for everyone, sunscreen, and a few sarongs or beach towels for impromptu dips.
The MG GS SUV comes with anti-lock breaks and corner brake control, keeping you safe in slippery conditions
There’s nothing cuter than the way a kid’s face lights up at the thought of ice cream. And nothing worse that wanting to treat them, only to discover that Mr Whippy only takes cash and you’ve got none on hand, or you’re simply skint that week due to an unexpected bill.
A simple way around this is to empty your purse of coins into a plastic zip lock bag that you keep in your car console each time you hop in.
The MG GS SUV starts from just $22,990, and for peace of mind when it comes to ongoing car costs includes a 6-year unlimited KM warranty
For more info on the stylish MG GS SUV head to https://mgmotor.com.au/ and book a test drive.
What do you stash in your car for fun on the go?