Tackling a long journey with the kids in the back of the car, isn’t always plain sailing… They get bored, they need entertaining, they argue and they think even a short journey is the longest ever! Whether you’re travelling down South to visit Grandma and Grandpa, or you’re travelling North to a new holiday destination, even the most well-travelled children can find a car journey tedious and difficult. After all, we know how travelling takes its toll on us grown-ups so for little ones it’s even harder! So, what can you do to make the journey a little bit more bearable for everyone?
Here I’ve compiled a list of handy tips and tricks that might come in useful the next time you all set off across the country.
Before you set off on your journey, it might make you a little bit more relaxed if you’re safe in the knowledge that your little passengers are totally safe. Ensure that car seats are fitted correctly and that your child hasn’t outgrown their current one. Another way to keep safe would be to let other drivers know that you’re travelling with children. A custom sign on the back of your car would do the trick, companies like smartsign.com can give you a few bits of inspiration.
Create a magical destination
If the children know where you’re going and what they’ll find when you get there, they can be more enthusiastic about the journey. Find out facts about your destination, make them a booklet they can fill in with things they spot and have a ‘prize’ when they get there for being good. Even if your child has been there before, make an effort to make the journey different each time!
Kids get bored if energy levels drop, so pack snacks they can nibble on along the way; rice cakes, crackers, crisps and mini sandwiches are ideal. However, let the front passenger control these so they don’t eat them all at once. Always save sweet treats until last and make sure drinks are in spill-proof cups.
Whilst you might restrict the use of tablets at home, this is when they are worth their weight in gold. Give each child their favourite film, and of course headphones. If you only have one tablet, you can buy an inexpensive converter for two sets of headphones. Then you don’t have to hear “Let It Go” fifteen times! Here is a post with loads of tips for entertaining kids on long journeys.
Other ways to keep the children happy:
Travel at a time when your children would usually be sleeping or napping.
Take plenty of loo breaks and a portable potty.
Take exercise breaks to allow them to let off steam.
Take a change of clothing
If your child gets car sick, encourage them to look at the horizon and pack a few plastic bags!
Take some colouring books and pens or pencils, sticker books and games.
Take pillows and blankets.
Keep a mini first aid kit in the car.