Be roadworthy and home-ready these summer holidays

School holidays are here, so for those people who are travelling near or far there are some steps to take to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip.

Before leaving home book your car in to be tested and/or serviced by a professional for peace of mind.

Just before you leave adopt a five-point safety check by checking tyres, brakes, suspension, lights and restraints by a professional mechanic or get them to show you how.

Ensure you have extra water, oil and fuel supplies, and most importantly don't forget the spare tyre.

If taking your caravan or camper trailer make sure it is evenly loaded, brake lights and signals are working and you have correctly positioned your mirrors.

Also ensure child safety restraints are up-to-date and fitted correctly.

School holidays are one of the busiest times on the roads and with drivers often becoming impatient, extra caution is needed.

Adopt responsible behaviour behind the wheel by keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and others, pay attention while driving and abide by country road conditions.

Taking breaks every two hours or sharing the drive will help combat driver’s fatigue or alternatively visit for rest stops along your route.

Ways to keep the kids entertained

Holidays often mean a great long weekend of fun at a destination of choice but getting there can be a battle when it comes to travelling with children. Try a couple of these games to drive away the boredom.


One person creates the first line in a story, such as “Once upon a time there lived a dog” then each person in the car must add a line to the story. For older children you can create rules such as making every line rhyme for a more challenging game.

20 Questions

The first question is “animal, vegetable or mineral?” The players must ask questions that have yes and no answers as they try to guess the correct answer. If there is no answer by the 20th question everyone has one chance to guess before it is revealed.

Alphabet Game

The first player names an object available at a supermarket that start with the letter A. The next player repeats that word and then adds another item that starts with B and so on. When a grocery item is forgotten that player is out. You can use other subjects such as sports, countries etc.

I Spy

Well loved, this game is an endless amount of fun for young and old. One player says “I spy with my little eye something that starts with ...” and proceeds to give the first letter of the item that they spy. Clues can be given along the way as the rest of the players try to guess what it is.

12 ways to secure your home while you’re away

•  Use light switch timers to make it look like someone is home during the evening.

• Secure backyard and side gates with a good lock

• Ask a trusted neighbour to watch the property while you are away - don’t forget to reciprocate when they need your help

• Check all nearby streetlights are working if you have them

• Arrange to have your mail picked up from the letterbox

• Never advertise your departure - especially on social media

• Invest in a good alarm system

• Make your driveway look active - ask the neighbours to park their car in the driveway

• Don’t hide a key in an obvious place - if possible give it to a nearby friend or neighbour

• Keep blinds and curtains in their normal position

• Install good outside lighting - a solar spotlight can make all the difference

• Do not leave items such as ladders and steps outside as they could be used to gain access

This story Be roadworthy and home-ready these summer holidays first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.