Travelling long distances in the car or going on a road trip with children is not everyone’s idea of fun. Maxx has been to Scotland and back twice now which is a 6 hour car journey each way. Keeping him entertained in the car is essential so everyone can have an enjoyable holiday.
If you have travelled long distances in a car with children the idea of travelling for more than a few hours by car will probably fill you with dread. But there are things you can do to make travelling with children less stressful and with the right amount of planning children can enjoy a long road trip.
Preparation is key
There’s nothing worse than driving an hour along the motorway to realise you’ve left the food at home and now have a hungry child in the car, an unscheduled stop will add time and money on to your holiday which is never good. If you have a lot of items to take it’s a good idea to write a check list and check things off as you put them in the car.
If you have a lot to pack remember to leave the essential items at the top so you don’t have to unpack the car in the car park to find a packet of crisps or a favourite teddy.
I’ve often wondered how it’s possible to get tired from a car journey, after all you are sitting down not running a marathon but car journeys can be exhausting for everyone. Making one or two stops is a good idea when travelling with young children to let them stretch their legs and burn off some energy, it also gives the driver a break too.
Money saving tips
It’s a good idea to set a budget before leaving so the cost of your trip doesn’t spiral. Set a budget for petrol, food etc and try to stick to the budget. Buying something for £5 here and £10 there soon adds up and there’s nothing worse then getting a huge bill at the end of the month that you weren’t expecting. It’s worth having some money set aside for emergencies too as life can be unpredictable.
Look out for children eat free or buy one get one free meals at restaurants. If you have the ability to book online you might be able to find a discount code or deal so it’s always worth looking. Many attractions run promotions where you can buy one ticket and receive another free and children under 4 are usually free at many attractions so it’s worth keeping your eyes open for vouchers for attractions and checking if children are free online before hand.
Keeping the kids entertained
Depending on your children’s age they may be able to entertain themselves by reading books or magazines, drawing or listening to music. Younger children like interaction so try playing some fun games, how about I Spy, this has to be one of the best know car games and is sure to keep children entertained, at least for a short period of time. You could also draw up a chart with pictures of different items you want to try and spot on your trip then get the children to cross them off the list as they spot them. If you’re stuck for ideas this useful entertaining print and play games booklet makes sure the kids have fun on a road trip.
We usually do a few different things as Maxx tends to get bored of one thing quite quickly and wants to move on to the next thing. We play I spy, count the different coloured cars, mark off what animals etc we see, play games on my iphone, draw & colour and he tends to fall asleep in the car quite easily too.
Using the above tips our road trips have *touchwood* been pleasant so far and Maxx has always been well behaved, he is only 4 so there’s still time for that to change but hopefully as long as we are prepared and have things to keep him occupied he will always enjoy road trips.