I would compare going on a long car journey with children to being locked in a room with a chattering, rabid monkey who has been denied his bananas for far too long. In a word bad.
That said after three children I have developed strategies for car travel with my kids. I have tips to share that will take the edge of the three hundredth “are we nearly there yet?” I have ideas that will ease the pain of your twentieth “I need a wee” stop.
Top Five Tips For Car Travel With Kids:
1. Valium, haha just kidding.
1. Allow extra time for your journey. If a journey would’ve taken three hours pre children it’s going to be more like four with a couple of extra toilet stops. Take the stress out of this by expecting it.
2. Play in the car. Play driving games, spot the red car for younger children, find the alphabet in passing number plates for older ones. Sing songs, make up family verses for “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain”. Take sticker books, magnetic car games etc.
3. Pack plenty of food. Motorway services are expensive and it can often be a struggle to find something the kids will eat. Take your own drinks, snacks and packed meals and you will save a fortune and keep your children fed and happy.
4. If possible stop at a motorway service area with a playground and let the children burn off some steam before you move on. I found this site where motorway services are all reviewed and you can find out what facilities they offer. If that’s not possible then consider building in a stop somewhere else the kids can have a run around. It’ll really make a difference to their mood.
5. Movies/Talking Books. If you own a tablet download a couple of kid’s films. I have a bracket which attaches my iPad to the back of my seat and the children can all see and enjoy a film. I can enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet. If you don’t have this option then consider getting a cd/tape/mp3 talking children’s book as an alternative.
I hope these tips are useful. If you have any others to add, please leave me a comment with your ideas.