A family road trip can be a lot of fun, but keeping the kids amused can be a challenge. Here are 10 top tips to make your next family road trip go as smoothly as possible.
1. Take plenty of snacks
A lengthy road trip can feel like an eternity if you’re hungry, and even more so if the little ones are, too. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks for the journey, ideally ones that don’t cause too much mess. Things like sweets that aren’t individually wrapped, pre-chopped fruit, cereal bars etc. And don’t forget to have a spare bag for the rubbish, too.
2. Teach the kids some games
Remember when you were a child going on a car journey and tablets were still just something you swallowed? Why not give your kids some of that nostalgia by playing some games with them that’ll take their eyes off the screen for a bit. You could play eye spy, spot the car (with small prizes), spot the landmark. It’ll definitely help the journey go quicker for you and them. Having said that…
3. Take an electronic device for the kids
Whether it’s a tablet, mobile phone or handheld console, just having something to focus on will keep the kids amused for a while. Just remember to charge the devices before you set off.
4. Plan ahead
This one may seem simple but it’s easy to fall into the trap of just jumping in the car and setting off without a plan first. Check the traffic on your route, look at potential places to stop and work out the approximate time and distance between each place. Obviously, unforeseen incidents can happen, but having a plan should help to make your journey that bit smoother.
5. Be flexible
The only predictable thing about little ones is how unpredictable they are, so make sure you leave plenty of time for unscheduled toilet stops, snack stops etc.
6. Have a spare set of clothes to hand
Accidents can occur when you’re travelling with little ones and should the unfortunate happen, it’s a good idea to have some spare clothes in the car for both you and them. Even if you’re staying overnight anyway, having a carrier bag with a spare set of clothes for the journey to hand can make any potential accidents slightly less dramatic.
7. Make a playlist
Having a few favourites that everyone can sing along to will help to pass the time and also be a fun activity for the whole family to be involved in. You can also get the kids to help with the playlist so they know they’ll enjoy a few of the songs, too, and not just be listening to ‘Mum and Dad’s music’.
8. Bring an activity bag
Similar to the games you can teach the kids, you could also bring a bag for them with some games in to bring them to life more. For example, they could have a book with road signs to look out for, or car models. And again, you could have little prizes for the winners.
9. Give the kids a camera
Bring a disposable (yes they still exist) or give the kids your phone and let them take a few pictures of things they spot on the journey. It’s a great way to make them feel involved and it will keep them occupied without staring at a screen the whole time.
10. Check the car before you leave
Checking your car is the most important thing by far. Check your tyre pressures, oil, fuel, etc before you head off as it will help avoid any potential problems.