A Guide To The School Run

Mornings can be a stressful time of day – sleeping in, getting ready, rushing around trying to make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Then comes the added stress of sitting traffic, hoping you manage to make it on time. The same applies to the school run, except you are now responsible for more than just yourself. According to a recent survey, 77% of parents describe the school run as more stressful than work or grocery shopping, and 80% confessed to losing their temper with their children on the drive to school.

One in five cars on the road during the morning peak are doing the school run. This is no surprise – in 2014, nearly half (44%) of primary school children travelled to school via a car. However, this could be about to change. Following recent reports about the UK’s attempt to reduce air pollution from fossil fuels, by banning the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040, parents who drive the school run could be fined up to £130 under a new pilot scheme. The scheme aims to improve road safety and crack down on air pollution. One alternative could be something like school bus rental in toronto which helps cut down on lots of individual trips.

With parents admitting the school run routine is stressful and chaos, surely there is a simpler alternative to complete the school run. Here at Motorparks, we strive for a better motoring experience. As September approaches, it’s almost time to start another school year and for the daily school runs to resume. Therefore, this guide will outline how you can do the daily school run with ease.

Keep stress to a minimum

Plan ahead! It might sound obvious, but organisation is key. Planning everything the evening before will save you a lot of time and stress in the morning. Lunches, PE kits and uniforms – set them out, prepare them and pack them on an evening. This will help your morning run smoothly without any blips. If possible, try and leave five minutes early as well to get a head start in the morning traffic.

When you’re in the car, keep spirits high. Don’t let whatever happened before you left the house get under your skin – losing your temper with your children before they go to school will leave things on bad terms for the full day.

The best cars for the school run

To make the school run a comfortable drive, Motorparks recommend a few models which particularly stand out as ‘family cars’ that are perfect for the school run. From the Ford S-Max to the VW Golf estate, packing size into a road-friendly car will ensure you have enough room for the whole family. However, you don’t need a big car for the school run – the new Ford Fiesta is ample size to take the kids to school. Available with five doors and a substantial boot, there’s room for you and the kids plus their PE kits, football boots, lunch boxes and homework bags.

Alternatives

With a new scheme set to be put in place for school run drivers, you could also consider travel alternatives for the school run. 80% of seven and eight year olds walked to and from school alone or with a friend in the early 1970s – however, two decades later, this figure has decreased to 10% of children walking to school, most of whom are now accompanied by their parent or guardian. With 28% of children under the age of 16 now classed as overweight, encouraging your children to walk to school is a good start.

Currently, only 4% of children are cycling to school. This small percentage is a result of parents not allowing their children to cycle on the roads, with traffic danger being a parent’s main concern. However, cycling to school helps children to develop road safety and independence.

The school run doesn’t need to be stressful – the key to a smooth school run is organisation. Prepare as much as possible the evening before so that you aren’t running around on a morning. With careful organisation, you’ll be able to leave on time or early to make the morning traffic more like a walk in the park.

Preparation for Your Family Road Trip

If you’ve never been on a family road trip before, you probably aren’t aware of what’s to come. Taking too much along the journey means having to lug it around, whereas taking too little can become costly and time consuming along the way.

That’s just the packing! What about keeping everyone happy during long distances or where to stop for rests? Those who have been on a family road trip in the past have the benefit of hindsight and know just how important preparation is, to make the most of your road trip when it arrives.

That’s where this short guide from Autoclick comes in handy. Find out everything you need to know about preparing for your upcoming family road trip and you’re bound to have a great time!

  1.  What size car are you going to need?

If your car is just about big enough for you and your family on a school run, the chances are you’re going to need something bigger for your road trip. The same applies for if you’re planning a long trip away from home.

Begin your preparations by thinking about whether or not you will require a rental car and consider the options available. Research what car rental providers are available where you’re heading and look at the range of vehicles they have on offer.

Try to secure your vehicle at least one month before your trip, to make sure you have plenty of options in terms of size, make, model and drive.

Top Tip: You should be able to stack everything you’re taking with you without restricting the driver’s view, so make sure you opt for a car that will allow you to do this. That way, you and your family can enjoy a safe road trip.

  1. Write a list of things to bring

Create a list of absolutely everything you plan to take with you, at least a week before you go. This should give you plenty of time to group everything together, as well as head out to grab anything you might need to buy beforehand.

Add a little tick next to each item once it’s out and piled up with other things that need packing. Then, cross each item off the list once it’s packed into whatever suitcases or bags you’re taking with you. This gives the opportunity to double check you have everything!

  1. Stock up on emergency items

Whether it’s a spare tyre and jack, extra bottles of water, a first aid kit, or even toilet paper for unexpected stop offs. Prepare Now is an emergency survivalist store where you can stock up on all the essential emergency items you need. Make sure you take anything that could be used in case of emergency. By missing out this step, you could find yourself in a difficult situation. Either that, or you could end up paying much more at petrol or service stations in the middle of nowhere, than you would have done at the supermarket back home.

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  1. Take both a sat nav and a map

Although a sat nav is great for getting around and following the right route, a map will come in handy, too! Not only are they crucial in cases where your sat nav packs up, but they are great for planning stops along the route.

With some careful planning, you can mark on your map anywhere you’d like stop for meals or to fill up on fuel, as well as great sightseeing locations on the route. You could also mark off where to stop for a rest from driving, to keep your road trip as safe as possible.

Top Tip: Your organisation could even go one step further, with some colour coding for each reason to stop!

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  1. Don’t forget the entertainment!

This goes without saying, especially if you’re travelling with younger children who tend to get agitated and bored on long distance journeys. It could be audiobooks and music playlists, films and TV shows on the tablet or portable DVD player, or even various different games you can all play together.

Think about what you can enjoy together and save a spot for it in your car to make the road trip stress free and even more enjoyable.

If you’ve been on a family road trip, why not share your tips and tricks with us? You never know, your advice could prepare others for the best road trip possible!

‘Catch the Bus Week’ with Stagecoach Buses

July 4th to the 10th has been designated has this years ‘catch the bus week’. This is a national initiative which wants to encourage people who don’t normally catch the bus to try it out.  There are proven benefits to using the bus for travel and commuting, not least the fact that by using public transport we are easing congestion on our roads and opting for a greener alternative. Plus, with companies offering tickets like the Megarider, which can offer unlimited travel, bus fares are cheaper and better value for money than ever.

The national bus operator Stagecoach, the company who offer the Megarider, and who are involved  in this year’s bus week, have been looking at the facts and figures for how long we spend using buses. Did you know, for instance,that, on average, we spend six hours per week commuting ? They asked the question – what you could do with an extra 6 hours per week?

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In those six hours, Stagecoach have worked out the average commuter could do …

1. 12 Facetimes catch ups with friends and family using the free Wifi onboard.

2. In one year of commuting by bus, you could read about 52 books!

3. Bus commuters could learn French onboard in just half a year!

4. Bus commuters could watch every episode of Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad in a year!

5. You could knit 28 scarves a year!

6. Enough time to read 8,550 newspaper articles

7. A third of bus commuters listen to other people’s conversations!

I love a long bus journey, I tend to catch up with friends by phone or text, jot down notes for blogposts, or just lose myself in a good book. Joe also loves the bus, especially the chance to sit upstairs in the seat in the front window. Bus travel appeals to his general nosy jean, as he will people watch or just look out of the window, asking questions about where he is.

Using the bus is a great way of getting out and about. Stagecoach cover a whole lot of areas and could be a good way of enjoying day trips in the upcoming school holidays. You can check out a map which shows their destinations and find more details of the areas covered here.

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Stagecoach are also running a social media competition, asking people to upload a picture which shows ‘how they spend their time onboard’. The best picture will win £100 amazon vouchers.  You can enter on the Facebook page here.