Heading off on holiday should be an exciting and happy time but for many it involves a long drive before you get there. And all too
often, before you are even 10 miles from home, the dreaded question comes from the back seat.
‘Are we there yet?’
With some careful planning and packing, it is possible to make a long road trip with kids an enjoyable and entertaining journey and something they will hopefully look back on with fondness. Be sure to take these tips for a road trip with children with you!
The key to a good trip is planning. Firstly, work out how long it’s going to take to get there – there are various route planning tools on the internet that will work out an estimated journey time. Consider if it’s feasible to do the trip in one day or if you need to break the journey overnight. If you are doing it in one day, think about where to stop for some fresh air and a comfort break. Finally, pack an emergency bag with spare clothes, wipes and plastic bags just in case anyone succumbs to the dreaded car sickness!
The enemy of every long car trip is boredom and what you take for entertainment will depend on the age of your passengers. Babies and very young children will normally need little more than mum and dad and perhaps a few audio books or nursery rhymes.
As they get older, more effort is needed to keep them amused. Select a few toys and books from home to bring along – but nothing too precious in case it gets lost! It’s a good idea to have a couple of new toys to produce en-route – small items, (possibly something they have been coveting for a while). A new comic or colouring book can also help pass the time while there are lots of games you can play as a family inside the car – backseat bingo and I Spy to name just a couple. A quick search on the internet will provide more ideas on car journey games.
You can also go down the technology route and get an in-car DVD player. If you are on a particularly long journey, this will definitely help pass the time quicker and keep the children entertained.
Hungry children are often grumpy children, so a nice idea is to make up lots of little snack bags to hand out at regular intervals. Make a game out of guessing what is going to be in the next bag. Drinks should be little and often, but not too often – you want to keep everyone hydrated but not needing to stop for the loo every half hour! If you are travelling in summer, a cool box or bag is a useful item to keep everything cool.
Simply following these simple suggestions can make the journey more pleasant and easy for everyone. And don’t forget to do it all on the trip back too. Happy travelling!
Katie Ferguson grew up in Birmingham, UK and has now relocated to Edinburgh to settle with her husband and two young kids. She enjoys writing about parenting and the great outdoors. Katie writes articles for tesco.com