Summer is here and it’s possible you may be heading away during the holidays. Many families opt to travel to their holiday destinations in the UK or Europe by car which can be economical and also means you can generally take more luggage. The trick is how to survive holiday car travel without things turning nasty in the backseat.
You may think it’s going to take seven hours to get to Cornwall but take into account for unscheduled loo stops, unexpected car sickness and getting lost despite having an excellent sat nav and Google Maps.
Digital devices such as iPads, Kindles or similar are great for long journeys but do not peak too soon! Car journeys are also a great opportunity to talk to your kids and have some really fun and more in-depth conversations than usual. Equally, listening to music on the radio or on CDs can be a great shared activity. Golden oldies, in particular, can spark conversations of the “Remember when ….” variety. Save the gadgets for when things start getting tricky. You can whip out a fully charged iPad when they have asked ‘are we nearly there yet?’ for the tenth time or started turning on each other in a menacing way. Be sure to bring portable chargers so you can recharge your devices. A headphone-splitter is also a great invention, as this allows two children to plug headphones into the same device.
Bring plenty of snacks
Pack a cool bag or lunchbox full of snacks for each child and adult (you don’t want a ‘hangry’ driver). If you don’t want the kids going loopy from eating too much sugar, try sugar-free lollies. But remember most sugar-free sweets eaten in large quantities can have a laxative effect! Travel early or late. Get on the road early to beat traffic jams or leave after rush hour or even later. Just pop the kids in PJs and eventually they will fall asleep and hopefully sleep through the journey. Of course, you may be tired travelling during the night, but you can drink gin and rest when you get there!
Games are good
Top Trumps, travel games and story dice are all winners when it comes to travelling in the car. Kids also love a drawing pad and felt tips. Make sure they don’t draw or look down for too long though as this can often cause car sickness. Don’t overload the car interior. Try not to shove things into every seat well. If the kids are comfortable they are less likely to moan! Just pack stuff into the boot or invest in a roof box.
It’s all about audiobooks
Many families have given up on reading and watching films in the car because of carsickness, but audio books are always a winner! The whole family can listen to all the Harry Potter books, some
Roald Dahl classics and many other favourites. You can borrow audiobooks from the library or download them onto your phone and sync it with the car’s stereo. We also create holiday playlists with everyone’s favourite music on them too.
Don’t forget the essentials
Baby wipes, tissues, water, travel sickness medicine, snacks (never forget the snacks!), different layers of clothing, a bag for rubbish (this can double up as a sick bag too but hopefully you won’t need it)!
Remember to Have FUN
Last but not least, don’t forget your sense of humour. Things often go wrong when small people are involved. Family time isn’t all hearts and flowers and learning to cope with friction and setbacks are all part of life’s big adventure. The journey to a destination can be just as fun if you decide it’s going to be!
By Claire Winter
This article has been provided by Families® Magazine, a free local magazine for parents and carers of children ages 0 to 12. Families® helps you get the best out of local family life, so find your nearest magazine here and don’t forget to pick up a copy!