We have had our fair share of long road trips with the kids, ever since we bought our first family car affectionately known as little red when the boys were tiny. Car journeys are a necessity to get to all the fun attractions we love to visit and the UK holidays we like to take. But boy can they be hard at times! The secret is to be prepared.
Children WILL get bored, have the occasional meltdown, probably be hungry and most likely vomit (a lot!). You need to prepare for all eventualities. Don’t expect to pack lightly. Spare clothes, baby wipes, snacks and entertainment, chuck it all in and hope for the best.
There are a lot of variables travelling with kids so make sure you tick off what you can control. Have car insurance in place, make sure your breakdown cover is still valid and the car is full of fuel! It feels better knowing you have got those things sorted. Your sanity will no doubt me pushed to the limit (you should have seen me after an 8-hour car journey to Skegness!), so you want everything you can control to go smoothly and to plan. The last thing you want is to breakdown and drag out a journey even more.
Pack Sea-Bands these have made a difference to our journeys! My two were awful with travel sickness. When we first got little red we literally got as far as the end of the road before it started!
Dealing with boredom we used to play simple games when they were younger like guess the colour of the next car and as they have grown older our games have become more challenging.
Play Car Bingo
One of my favourites which doesn’t take much preparation is printing of some car bingo sheets. Then when you are on your travels you can see who completes their sheet first spotting different signs and various types of vehicles.
License Plate Game
We use the letters of the license plate to make up a sandwich filler, the more outrageous the better! We have had some crazy combinations and its hilarious hearing what the kids come up with.
Animal, Vegetable or Mineral
A favourite from when I was a child I now nostalgically play it with my children. Something things up an animal, vegetable or mineral and everyone else takes turns asking questions to try and guess what it could be. It’s quite educational too and can take a good while to play now the boys seem to know so many different animals!
Also, it can be handy packing some technology for when they get bored of your games. If the kids start squabbling I sometimes hand over my mobile phone, so they can enjoy some screen time and I get some peace! Although not all children can cope with screens whilst travelling it can make some feel very poorly. My preference is listening to short stories if your child has the concentration for it. My two started off with fairy tales but now we have progressed to Tom Gates and David Williams audio books.
Hopefully these tips will make your car journeys more bearable!
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