Travel tips for long family car journeys
If you’re going on a long car journey with children, some advance planning can really help. Here are my tips to help your journey go as smoothly as possible.
Before the journey
- Plan the route, including where to stop off, because you’ll all need to stretch your legs, refuel, and find a bathroom every so often. Involve the kids in the planning so that they know where you’re going and how long it should take.
- Charge up your phones and other gadgets.
- Make sure that everyone’s been to the loo or has a clean nappy.
- Get everyone to have a meal so that you don’t start off hungry and thirsty.
- Load films onto a tablet or take a DVD player with films for the kids to watch on the trip.
- If you’re travelling with very young children, try to set off when they’re likely to sleep.
What to pack
- An insulated cool bag with bottles of water and non-sticky snacks and sandwiches.
- If it’s hot, take frozen drinks which will defrost slowly as you travel.
- If it’s cold, pack a thermos of tea or coffee to drink when you stop.
- Leads for charging your gadgets in the car.
- Headphones for anyone who wants to listen to something on their own.
- Wear comfortable clothes, and take extra layers in case it gets chilly.
- Fleecy blankets and travel pillows will help children to get comfortable and sleep in the car.
- A bunch of plastic bags – they’re invaluable for rubbish, dirty clothes, leftover food, and for anyone who’s car sick.
- For younger children, have a potty in the car, just in case.
On the journey
- Share the driving if it’s too much for one person.
- Play games such as car bingo, I Spy and spotting cars of a certain colour. Or make up your own games and stories – let your imagination run free!
- Listen to music or stories – take turns in choosing what to listen to if you can’t all agree.
- When you stop, allow time for the kids to run around and burn off some energy.
Over to you
Do you have any tips to add to the list?