How To Survive Long Car Trips With Kids

Going on holiday should be a fun time for everyone – a time when we experience new places, meet new people as a family and create lifelong memories. But if you have a long car journey to get to your destination you may find that by the end of it, you wished you’d never bothered. Travelling with children can be a chore and sometimes more hassle than it’s worth, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your well-earned holiday.

Here are some simple tips to follow that can help to make travelling a little smoother:

  • The night before your trip, ensure that your kids get plenty of rest.  Some people think that if their kids stay up late and have less sleep the night before, they’ll sleep in the car the following day.  But this isn’t always the case and you’ll probably find that they are scratchier than usual and over-tired.  This can make for a very long trip, so ensure they rest up the night before.
  • Have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand at all times.  If your children are anything like mine, they have bottomless pits for stomachs so they’re constantly eating.  Rather than stopping at every servo along the way, prepare food the night before you travel.  Small sandwiches, chopped up fruit, biscuits and of course a few treats too, will always go down well.  Remember not to overfeed your children though – too many sweets may result in it all coming back up again.
  • Provide entertainment for your children.  Portable DVD players are a great boredom buster and can be purchased for around $100.  Most can be strapped to the headrests of the front seats and will provide some much needed quiet time.
  • If your children are older you could create a treasure hunt for the journey.  Before you travel create a list of all of the things your children need to spot on the trip.  They could be anything such as a cow, a gold car, a green sign or a white house and get your children to mark them off when they spot them.  When they’ve completed the list they get a prize.
  • If your children are prone to car sickness then consider purchasing anti-nausea wrist bands that have small nodules which gently press into the pressure points in the wrist and relieve that nauseas feeling.
  • Make plenty of stops along the way to avoid toilet mishaps and to give everyone a chance to get some fresh air and stretch the legs.  Having five minutes out of that enclosed space every hour can do wonders for a head that’s had to endure hours of bickering on end.  If you can find a playground for five minutes play time that’s a good idea too.  The only problem is you might have trouble getting them back in the car!
  • Remember to pack your child’s favourite toy or blanket so they feel more comfortable on the journey.  My children have favourite blankets that they take with them which seem to have soothing effects.
  • Don’t forget to breathe.  Long car journeys can be torturous sometimes, despite how much planning you do.  But remember, you’ll get there in the end.

Image via onstarconnections.com

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