Traveling with your kids usually goes one of two ways. It can be smooth and relatively stress-free, or all hell can break loose. Long car journeys are especially hard. There isn’t much room and the person driving the vehicle has to remain focused. Too much fighting or distraction can be dangerous for everyone. Sometimes there are ways to ensure a less bumpy ride on your travels and day trips. I’ve created a handy guide below that includes my top five tips for entertaining your kids on any long car journey.
1) Stay organized
It is important to get organized before you leave on your travels. Think about the things that your kids will need. Remember, they will be in the back of the car, so they will need to be able to reach things themselves. A good rucksack with easy access or a travel organizer would be a great option to place next to your child. Ensure that the contents are things that are safe for them to use alone. Drinks cups and beakers should be tightly closed to prevent any spillages. Rather than putting food into your child’s rucksack, think about keeping hold of this yourself. You can take small breaks and stop for food rather than risking any potential choking hazards on your journey.
2) Bring entertainment
Sites such as petrescueguru.com have lots of handy guides and walkthroughs on your kids favorite games. Bring their tablets and handheld gaming devices on long trips. This is probably the one time that you can justify letting your kids play computer games. Distractions for the children are a great thing when long travel is involved. Portable DVD players are also a great thing to have. You can attach them to the back of your seat so that your child can see, or simply have a device small enough for them to place on their lap. A good, sturdy screen protector and case is probably a good idea in case it gets dropped! Try bringing along a CD of your children’s favorite music. Disney soundtracks or pop music might be a way to keep them entertained and to get the whole family singing.
3) Pull in at rest stops
Make use of rest stops and stores. You can pull in at various places and take a break. This will let everyone in the family stretch their legs and get some fresh air. Toilet breaks are especially necessary with small children. Think about where your next stops are going to be and plan to include them in your journey. Some stops will have a picnic area and play parks for the kids. This can often be a great way for them to let off some steam before getting back into a hot and stuffy car!
4) Be comfortable
Your children should be comfortable when they travel for long periods of time in the car. Wear removable layers that can be switched up depending on how hot or cold they get. This will prevent the need for constant stops or switching the air con on and off to try and please everyone.
5) Create a stress-free environment
Making your journey stress-free is important. Decide before you leave, to be lighthearted and patient. As a parent, our attitudes can easily rub off on the children and affect their moods. Keeping things fun and exciting will lighten the mood and put everyone in a good frame of mind for the adventure that awaits!