How to Survive Long Journeys with Kids
By Amy Greenacre
Do you dread going on long car journeys with the kids? Have you ever felt like turning back home only minutes into the drive? Well do not fear.
Long trips with the little ones can be (to put it nicely) interesting, however, here are 10 things you can do to make travel time a little bit more bearable.
1. Bring a Collection of CDs
Before you set off, make sure you load the car with a selection of your children's favourite CDs. Singing along to an array of nursery rhymes and fun tunes is a great way to ease boredom and keep the kids entertained. Ok, so you may have Ba Ba Black Sheep or Humpty Dumpty in your head throughout the rest of your trip, but that has to be better than tears and tantrums.
2. Personal Devices
If you have children of different ages who literally hate any of the same music, why not let them bring along their iPods, personal CD players, or games devices for entertainment? This will save inevitable arguments and will mean you can listen to whatever you want along the way. If you are worried the technology will ruin family time, you can always agree that the devices are only for the duration of the car journey and give them back for the way home.
3. Travel Games
There are a whole range of fun and silly games you can play in the car that require very little thought and preparation. For instance, why not create a list of things your children should see en route and get them to tick them off along the way? Tell them the first person to see everything gets a prize and hopefully they will be so busy looking for red vans and blue motorbikes they won't notice the time passing by.
If you have young children, then it would be a really good idea to buy a few puppets for the journey. If you get stuck in a long traffic jam then whip out your cheerful friends and put on a show over the front seats. The kids will only get miserable if they are bored, so think up your best story, put on your best voices and get performing — you might want to practice beforehand, just in case.
5. Goody Bags
The week before your trip gather up a selection of magazines, colouring books, felt tip pens, puzzles and toys and create a little goody bag for each of your kids. Place them in the car the night before your adventure and in the morning see the surprise on their faces as they climb on board. Start their road trip in style and give them something to enjoy along the way.
6. Pack Snacks
It may sound simple, but packing a whole selection of snacks really is a great idea. Take things that won't turn to mush, dry out, or melt in the car such as sandwiches and fruit and enjoy a little picnic en route. Feed your children something small every 30 minutes and they will be so busy nibbling they won't notice the time flying past. Having plenty of grub will ease everyone's hunger and will hopefully keep people in a friendly mood.
7. Comfortable Clothes
If you are heading off on a long journey, make sure you dress your kids in comfortable clothes. Belts, buckles and buttons digging into their skin will only make them irritable and a fidgety child is not what you want on the road. Anything soft and cosy is ideal and you can always get them changed into something more stylish when you reach your destination.
8. Duvet and Pillows
Bringing a duvet and a few pillows along for the journey is a great way to help your kids feel snuggly and settled in the back of the car. Although they may not actually sleep (one can only dream), they should feel more relaxed and content with a few home comforts around them. Cars are not the most comfy places, so anything you can do to help is a bonus.
9. Take a Break
Drivers are encouraged to take regular breaks when driving long distances, so make sure you stay alert by pulling over now and again. With kids you may need regular loo breaks anyway, but these are a great chance to let everyone stretch their legs, top up on snacks and come back into the car feeling refreshed for the next leg.
10. Travel at Night
If you really do have a long way to travel with little ones, it is often best to travel at night. The roads are a lot quieter and usually you can get from A to B without worrying about excessive traffic or horrible traffic jams. A great tip is to dress your youngsters in their pyjamas before you set off. That way, they will feel comfortable and if they do nod off, you can simply lift them out of the back seat straight into their beds.
So there you have it, ten ways to make a long journey just that little bit easier when travelling with children. Pack a few home comforts, stock up on goodies and enjoy a great break away.
Make the most of quality time with your kids with a stay at chessington world of adventures hotel - enjoy the zoo and the theme park too.
**Disclaimer: this post was not written by Over Thirty Mommy, it is a guest post written by Amy Greenacre**