The secret to successful long car journeys with your little ones

 

Visiting family, taking a day trip or going on holiday - long journeys with the kids can be stressful if you’re not prepared. These hints and tips will ensure the whole family are entertained on long journeys.

 

Travel safe

Firstly, when you’re bringing children of any age on a long journey, it’s vital that they are travelling safely. Make sure they have the correct booster seat, which is now determined by the child’s height or weight, rather than their age. This is unless you are travelling with babies. A baby must be strapped into a rear-facing seat until they are 15 months old. With the different rules, regulations and guidelines, make sure you use a car seat calculator to ensure you’re choosing the safest car seat for your child.

 

Always pack entertainment

The secret to long car journeys is to try and keep your little ones entertained throughout. Bring their favourite toy, books, games or drawing kits with you. It’s probably best to leave games with small parts behind as they could cause floods of tears if a piece was to drop out of sight. Magnetic storyboards or sticker books are a great alternative to messy play. You could also pack with you an iPad or portable DVD player, which are particularly great if you have older kids. Download cartoons, movies or audiobooks for them to watch as apart of their scheduled screen time and listen to throughout your journey.

 

Create playlists

Don’t argue over the car playlist or the radio channel, create your own soundtrack by adding your favourite songs to a personalised playlist using streaming services such as Spotify or Apple music. With a wealth of music available to you, you can customise it to ensure the whole car is happy.

 

Keep everything tidy

You know your children best, so if you think they’re going to make a mess, make sure you prepare for it. Bring a change of clothes if necessary. Wet wipes are lifesavers when it comes to sticky drink spills or messy chocolate chops. It can be a good idea to bring a small disposable bag with you to bin rubbish as you go and ensure things don’t get out of hand.

 

Take regular breaks

If you’re taking a long drive, it’s recommended you take regular breaks. Stretch your legs, have a toilet stop, refuel and maybe a bite to eat if you’ve forgotten your packed lunch. Taking regular breaks will ensure you’re well-rested for the remaining length of your journey. It’ll also improve your concentration levels.

 

Bring snacks and lots of them

 

Can you remember the days where a good packed lunch was the most exciting part of a school trip? To save from hunger-induced meltdown and to keep everyone nourished in the car, bring along a cooler of snacks and drinks. Water will stay cold in the cooler, while your snacks will be safely stored in one place. Sandwiches, carrots and cucumber sticks, crisps, fruit, crisps or popcorn are ideal. Make sure you have a spectrum of delicious offerings but, don’t forget the treats too; it is, after all a holiday.

 

@parent

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