Being with your entire family in such a small space for an extended period of time can be really fun – but it can also be stressful. If you’re planning a road trip in the car with your kids over Easter or the summer holidays, then you need to be prepared to keep your children entertained, comfortable and happy.
Before You Go
Remember to think carefully about what your children will wear to travel in – it needs to be really comfortable.
Pack the back strategically – put the stuff that you might need on your journey within easy reach. A spare change of clothes for accidents or getting cold or wet, and sunscreen should be easily accessible.
- First aid kit
- Wet wipes
- Bottles of water
- Plastic bag for rubbish
- Blankets for sleeping children
If you’re taking food and plan on eating it in the car, don’t eat anything that’s likely to make a lot of mess!
Some people plan their trip around their kids sleeping habits, leaving really early so they sleep during the day, or travelling at their kids’ bedtime. This works if you yourself aren’t too tired to drive – as the driver it is your responsibility to keep you and your family safe.
Give your children a travel bag so they can take their own toys. You can keep them entertained by buying them a new toy, which they have to wait until you’re in the car and on the way to play with – this usually keeps them entertained while you’re driving.
Play games on the way to keep their minds engaged. Audio books and their favourite music are a great way to keep them quiet too!
Colouring books and crayons are good if your children aren’t prone to car sickness.
A map can help stop the “are we nearly there yet?” questions from older children – draw a line for your journey and keep them looking out for signs and landmarks.
In The Car
Don’t feed them sweets – instead choose healthy snacks to prevent hyperactivity! However, bring them something that they like as a bargaining tool.
Planning stops into your trip is essential, even if you’re only travelling for four or five hours. For small children as well as older ones, bathroom breaks and a chance to stretch their legs will save your sanity as well as theirs. If you have young children, stop every two or three hours.