Travelling around the world is an amazing experience that all families should experience together at some point. Whether you’re heading somewhere on vacation, or you’re looking to travel to a few destinations, it’s good for both parents and kids alike because of how much you can learn about the areas, and also yourselves. Sometimes, the idea of taking a long journey with the kids can be a daunting one. In your mind all you can think about is endless tantrums of boredom which leads to, yep, you’ve guessed it, endless headaches. However, this doesn’t have to be the case (believe it or not), so take a look at these tips on how to travel in style and ease this coming summer.
Be prepared for the worst – travel sickness
There’s nothing worse than hearing a little cry from the back seat, and then discovering that one of your little darlings is suffering from a nasty bout of travel sickness. Sometimes, it can happen completely unexpectedly (even for children who don’t usually suffer from it) so you need to be prepared for such an occasion. Be sure to pack plenty of clean-up essentials such as wipes, hand gel, bags, and even towels to help soak up the sick and prevent the car from smelling. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, be sure to take car seat covers off and give your car a good scrub anywhere that was affected by vomit. Good luck!
Spruce up your car a little
If you’re travelling somewhere special like a family event, and you’re going to see family that you don’t see very often, then it’s understandable that you’ll want every part of your lives to appear perfect. Why not give your car a little TLC with a good clean, pumping up the tyres, and also making sure it’s not dirty inside? If you really wanted to go all out, you could buy yourself some matching clip-on alloys for your car, and even go for a private reg plate to complete the look. Any and all of these things will have your car looking as good as new in no time.
Take plenty of entertainment
We’re sure you’re already thinking of taking entertainment for the car, but as you know, kids get bored easily. Take a look at these ideas on entertainment to take with you on your journey:
- Gameboys – old school, but your children will love discovering older games just as much as you did.
- Colouring – this can be extremely therapeutic and can keep children entertained for hours!
- iPad/tablet – all kids love the idea of playing on Mummy and Daddy’s iPad, so pack it full of kid-friendly games and let them loose!
- Mp3 player for those songs that you simply can’t bear to listen to anymore.
- Other handheld consoles like the DS are great for keeping children entertained and also practising fine motor skills and memory.
- Books – nothing beats a good book and will do wonders for your child’s reading.
- Portable DVD player – do these still even exist? If you can get your hands on one, your children will love being able to watch a film together.
- Teddies can be soothing for a very much needed (and wanted) nap.
- Dolls can promote imaginative play and keep your children busy while you’re travelling.
Make sure that any electronic devices have plenty of charge in them so that you’re not hearing the all-too-familiar “Muuuuum” any time soon. Also, it might be a good idea to pack some headphones for the kids each so that they’re not disturbing each other with what they’re doing and also preventing any arguments.
Create a killer playlist that everyone will love
One of the best parts of a road trip is the music. The ability to turn the music that you enjoy up and have a good old sing along. Obviously, the children probably won’t like all of the same music as you and your partner do, so why not sit down together before your journey and make a killer playlist packed full of songs that everyone will enjoy? If you’re stuck on ideas for the kids, check out this list of kids songs for road trips so that you can grab some inspiration!
Set out checkpoints
Another great way of keeping the kids entertained and also lessen the number of times you hear the question “are we there yet?” is by creating checkpoints on a piece of paper and encouraging the children to look out for them. Once they have seen them, they can tick them off and have a small treat as a reward. It will also help them see for themselves how close (or not) you are to your destination. Turn the bore of travelling a long distance into a bit of fun for your children and more importantly, spare yourself a headache.
Pack plenty of essentials for your journey
Be sure not to forget to pack essentials for your journey that will make the whole process just that little bit easier. Check out these ideas:
- Pillows and blankets for both children and passengers so that you can catch some winks. Perfect for those night time travels!
- Plenty of bottles of water. You never know if you’re going to get stranded somewhere remote, so pack enough to last a day.
- Food. You can pre-pack sandwiches and cold meals such as pasta so that if you’re travelling during a meal time, you’re covered. Snacks are also a good idea for keeping energy levels topped up and also keeping the kids happy.
- Toilet roll – because you just never know!
- Sat nav and phone chargers that can plug into your cigarette lighter in your car. There’s no worse feeling than being stranded in the middle of nowhere and not being able to pinpoint yourself on a map!
- Sunglasses – because who doesn’t love popping on a pair when driving? Plus, they protect your eyes from the gleaming sun.
Take breaks if needed
Finally, don’t forget to schedule some breaks away from the car if you’re travelling a particularly long distance. It will allow you all to get some fresh air, use the toilet, grab some food, and also spend some time away from the confinements of your car. Remember that if the driver is feeling tired, it’s always best to stop so that you avoid any accidents.
Take these ideas into consideration and travel in style (and ease) with your kids this summer.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.