Travelling with children -by car

We have listed a number of helpful tips for a successful car-family-holiday which are easy to follow with a little forward planning.
Will you be taking your family on a car holiday this Summer?

Photo by wiissa’s photostream

Prepare and involve
Talk about the journey about two weeks before with young children. Tell them what’s going to happen during the journey what they’ll see etc. When the children are older they can plan the journey with you. They can help packing their own things.

Get comfortable
Make sure you’ve created a comfortable environment for the children before you leave with cushions, blanket and favourite cuddly toy. Get sunshade panels for the windows.

What can you do to pass the time and “Are we nearly there?”
Involve the children in the journey, show them the Sat Nav system or give them a small map. Inform younger children on how many miles there is left until next stop and in total, rather than minutes and hours. You never know what’s going to happen so never give an exact time of when you’ll arrive. Another alternative for young children to understand better is to compare the time the journey will take with other journeys you’ve taken with them.
Be the guide, tell the children about what you see out of the window. Talk about the place you’ll be visiting. Sing songs. Play I Spy. Little’s Pet shop for the younger children and Nintendo DS and iPad for the older children.
Learn a lot of word association games to play with the children in the car. Car quizzes, “I spy” and singing songs are favourites. You can also find lots of websites that list games suitable for playing in the car.

Food and snacks?
The key is to keep their blood sugar levels even. Have a proper meal before you leave for a longer car journey and stop for regular meals on your way. Don’t give the children sweets or sugary snacks and drinks. Give them water instead. Examples of good, practical snacks in the car are carrots and apples.

Peace and harmony
Make sure that the children have what they need close at hand. Choose audio books that everyone in the family wants to listen to. If arguments arise then a distraction is the best solution. Suggest a car quiz or stop at a service station for a break. And make sure there is no arguing over route selection, driving style etc in the front seat as well!

Must haves in the car at all times on holiday
Tissues, plastic bags for rubbish, wet-wipes, water and some extra clothes close at hand. And don’t forget to bring their favourite toy, a colouring or activity book with pens and a supply of surprises (like a magazine) that you can portion out when needed during the journey.

Don’t give the children too much water, you’ll end up with too many toilet stops. Also bring books but be aware! Curvy roads and reading isn’t always the best combination.

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