It can be stressful embarking on a long journey. Along with planning your route and packing everything that you will need, there is also the chance that you are going to get caught up in traffic at some point.
If you are travelling in the UK at peak holiday season, then that chance becomes a near certainty on our roads. Add into the mix that you are travelling with children and the stress factor doubles!
We want to help to ensure that your journey goes as smoothly as possible so here is our ‘how to prepare for a long journey with kids’ guide.
Ensure that your car is roadworthy
Whilst it is unlikely that you are choosing to knowingly drive around town in your family car with any problems, it is always worth double checking that your car is in good condition before embarking on a long journey.
Get those tyres pumped up, check your water and oil levels and you could even look into tuning guides if you are looking to improve your car’s performance yourself. Alternatively, aim to time getting your car serviced shortly before your trip.
Pack the car in advance
If your children are at school or asleep, then go and pack that car now. It is so much easier to do this without your children around.
You will find that you have time to pack it properly without your kids buzzing in and out and you are less likely to forget anything. If the children are involved, you might also find that you are packing things that you really had not planned to take, as they just pop their ninth cuddly toy into the car.
Build in rest stops
Take a look at your route and see whether there are any interesting rest stops along the way, aside from service stations.
You might find that halfway into your journey there is a huge park for the children to burn off some energy and stretch their legs for half an hour. This will give them something to look forward to and give you somewhere for refreshments and toilet stops.
Give your kids the full picture
Before your journey, chat with your children about where you are going and what it will be like. You want them to be excited about the destination so that they do not complain too much about being stuck in the car for a while.
At the same time, you need to be realistic with them about the fact that it might take some time. Of course, this still won’t avoid the ‘are we there yet?’ questions every ten minutes, but you have done as much as you can to mitigate against it!
Plan some entertainment
It is worth planning some entertainment for the journey. You might get a family friendly audiobook or favourite music to all sing along to. You could also play word games such as I-Spy and Twenty Questions to keep everyone occupied.
Screens can be handy for long journeys with younger children, so they could choose to watch a film or play games. However, do avoid these if your child is prone to car sickness as they are likely to make the problem worse.
If possible, plan your journey around nap times or when your children might be sleepy. You could get an early start or drive into the night to help with this.
** This is a collaborative post