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There is nothing more exciting than a family trip, but there is also nothing more stressful. The thought of hearing “are we there yet?” every half-hour can be enough to drive any parent crazy. But don’t despair, as car journeys with children can actually be a pleasant experience. Read on to discover how.
- Dealing with arguments – Let’s get the big one off the list first! If you have several young children, arguments can seem somewhat of an inevitability. It is important that the adult who is not driving deals with the involved parties. If there is only going to be one adult in the car, or the argument doesn’t seem to be cooling down and it is distracting the driver, make sure you pull over to a safe spot until it is rectified. Don’t lose your cool.
- Make sure your children are comfortable – You wouldn’t want to spend a long car journey being uncomfortable, would you? Neither do your children. Make sure they are comfortable. If the car seat you use at the moment is a bit shabby and only suitable for short journeys, look for the best all in one car seat for the long journey. You should also make sure your children have a few comfort items, for example, a blanket and their favorite teddy bear.
- Let me entertain you – You need to have various entertainment options prepared to keep your children busy. There are a number of family travel games you can enjoy. Try and think of something different from I Spy. What about a name that tune or car bingo? Another way to make the journey fly by is by allowing your children to watch a film. You can buy portable DVD players, which can be a lifesaver while you are on the road.
- Make frequent stops – Those little legs need to move! Make sure you plan numerous stops along the way. If you plan these in advance, you will be able to stop at places that play parks. This is a good idea because it will tire your children out and they may even sleep for the rest of the journey.
- Pack healthy snacks – The last thing you want is an overactive child who kicks the back of your seat for hours on end. This is why you need to choose your snacks with care. Pack healthier snacks like grapes, cheese cubes, crackers, and cereals. Make sure you bring a rubbish bag with you for all the trash; otherwise, your car will end up rather messy.
- Backpacks – Another good idea is to let your children take an activity pack each. If your children are too young, you can pack it for them. It is surprising what kids can do with some blank paper and simple colour crayons.
- Choose music carefully – Audio is another form of car entertainment, and everyone enjoys a sing-a-long. It is a good idea to choose something that appeals to the entire family. The last thing you want is for the driver to end up with a headache because you have been listening to the same kid’s song on repeat for the last hour. Equally, you don’t want your kids to complain about being bored because they hate the music you are playing. Try and find the middle ground with catchy tunes that everyone will enjoy.
- Wipes, wipes, and more wipes – You can never have too many wipes for your car journey and vacation. They are very useful for cleaning up messy lunchboxes or wiping sticky hands before and after snacks. It is likely that one pack will not be enough!
- Don’t forget other essentials – Wipes are not the only essentials that you are going to need. You will also need a first aid kit and travel sickness tablets, and anything else that you deem to be a necessity.
- Make sure everyone has enough space – If your family car is not big enough for long journeys, it may be a good idea to rent a vehicle instead. This will ensure that everyone has enough space for the journey. After all, no one wants to feel like they are crammed into a box when they are travelling.
- Plan your route before you go – Last but not least, this is something we touched upon earlier, as it is important to schedule stops into your journey. It is also important to know how long the journey is going to take. Plus, you can look at the usual traffic for different times throughout the day to determine the best time to set off.
Talk to me in the comments, please:
What tips would you add to this list?