When we went on holiday at Easter we estimated the journey there would take two and a half hours. Jon and I created some playlists so we’d have something to listen to, made sure our ‘car picnic’ was on board and that was as far as our preparations went – rookie mistake!
Ez slept the first half of the journey as I thought he would. Annie on the other hand was wide awake and wanted us to know how excited she was. Every 3 minutes she asked how much longer it would be until we arrived. It was cute for the first 12 miles but after that it drove me batty!
It was my fault, it had been ages since we’d been on a lengthy car trip, back in the day both kids would nod off and it’d be us grown ups, our music and the road, but no more! Nowadays Ez Bear is far less generous with his car naps and the days of Annie dozing off are long gone unless we’ve worn her out beforehand.
Since then I’ve come up with my top 10 tips for surviving car journeys with kiddos.
1- Invest in a lap tray so kiddos can draw, play with small toys or make LEGO creations while you’re driving along.
2 – Break up long journeys with a couple of stops. Not just motorway services, but places where everyone can stretch their legs, run off some of that pent up energy and get some fresh air, maybe take a football or frisbee for just this purpose. Wear them out as much as you can before you get into the car to maximise your chances of them falling asleep.
3 – Let them take photos during the drive, our daughter loves documenting the journey and then showing us the things that caught her eye.
4 – Remember to take along plenty of food!
5 – If your children are still young enough for naps try and time the drive around their normal sleep times.
6 – Bust out an old school car game, ‘Eye Spy’, ‘I Went to Market…’ or ’20 Questions’ can really burn through the miles.
7 – Audio books or kid’s music can be life savers. Our two immediately mellow out if we stick on the soundtrack to their favourite films. Consider investing in childrens headphones though if you think that listening to ‘Let it Go’ 15 times in a row may result in homicidal rage amongst the adult passengers!
8 – Wedge a storage box between car seats filled with books, pads and pens, toys and magnetic board games so you don’t have to keep twisting round to pass the children things.
9 – Before the trip, fill envelopes with different activities, snacks or game ideas and only let them open one envelope every 30 minutes.
10 – Bribery! If all else fails, reward good behaviour with a delicious ice-cream at the next stretch-your-legs-stop or destination.
For more tips and tricks visit the Parkdean site to see a video of tips to make your holiday journey as relaxing as possible.
What are your top tips for making long car journeys less painful with children? Let’s pool our knowledge and improve life for everyone!
This post was written in association with Parkdean