Long car journeys and children

keeping kids entertained and checking the car for long journeys

Over the summer we headed off on a few adventures, and at least once a year head to Cornwall to stay with Paul’s Auntie.

The children can be hit and miss on long journeys so careful planning on our part is needed to get ready – after all there is nothing worse than sitting in the car with the kids fighting and shouting they are bored or hungry, or even being stuck in a traffic jam with no snacks and not enough petrol.

I have always found that the longer the journey the more stressed us parents get – whether as a passenger or as a driver!  Concentrating on the road needs to be our number one priority however children obviously don’t understand that and still require our attention.

On the lead up to a long journey I like to plan ahead and firstly prepare the car – wash it if there is time and make sure the car seats are fitted properly, fill with petrol, check the oil, top up the water in the washers, check the tyre tread and the tyre pressure, and also make sure I have the correct tyres on for the season i.e summer or winter tyres or an easier option are would be all season tyres. You can find the correct ones for your car at TyrePlus. It may seem a little over the top to some people but the safety of my children come first above everything else. I would NEVER forgive myself if I were to have an accident (especially one at speed on the motorway) knowing I was too rushed to do the proper checks on my car first – after all you wouldn’t go out and leave your front door and windows wide open.

For the sake of 10 minutes I then at least know I am transporting my children as safely as possible, of course I also have the CarGenie fitted into my car which tells us if there is a fault with the car – only the other day I received a message on my phone saying my car was in an accident and asking if I needed assistance – Paul was driving home from work so I called him in a panic but it turns out he had to do an emergency stop but there was no accident and was rather surprised to hear I knew that had happened.

Of course, if the kids safety weren’t enough the fact that it is a legal requirement is another reason it should be top of everyone’s to do list. The law states the minimum legal tyre tread depth for cars in the UK and Europe is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. Worn tyres can come with a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your licence – 4 wore tyres could cost you £10,000 and your licence – that’s certainly not something I would like to risk having had a clean licence since I started driving at the age of 18.

Once the car is ready I make sure I pack ready for the kids so they won’t get bored on the journey.

Here are my favourite things to pack for the kids on long car journeys

  • Colouring books and crayons (felt pens in the car are a bit NO NO and pencils have a tendency to break easily)
  • A favourite teddy
  • Toy cars
  • Toy phone – Harry loves to pretend to talk on his toy phone
  • The kids tablets, these have a few of their favourite shows downloaded onto them, their own music and a few games – we also take their earphones too
  • Charging cables for all devices
  • Drinks in leak proof drinks bottles
  • Snacks (none messy ones – so no chocolate), sandwiches, breadsticks, cut up fruit etc.
  • Audio books – we are currently loving the David Walliams collection in the car – these range from 3 cd’s to 5 and last the entire journey (on the way to Butlins recently the children didn’t even play with their toys but listened to an entire audio book)
  • Travel potty – neither have used a potty for years but should we get stuck in traffic it makes life a little easier
  • Wet wipes
  • A few new toys wrapped up as presents – or old ones which haven’t been played with for a while
  • Sickness bands – Emmy gets travel sick (as do I), so on long journeys I ensure she wears them from the off
These are my essentials which see us through any car journey longer than an hour.
How do you plan for a long car journey with children?
**Collaborative post**

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