A day out with the family can either be a wonderful time had by all or a massive ball of stress, and it hardly depends on if you have a glass half-full or glass-half-empty mentality. If you have kids that are well-behaved, it can be a lovely day, but a long journey is something completely different to going out for food for an hour or so. A big holiday means a road trip, so planning how to keep the kids entertained is as important as the holiday itself.
It is very easy to pack only the essentials, especially if you’re going away for a few days, but it’s best to pack everything, no matter how irrelevant you think it may be. This includes the important little toys to your toddler, and though it may be extra items you might have to squeeze in, it’ll mean the difference between a stressful journey and a more relaxing one. If you are planning any overnight stays en route to your destination, pack some essentials that are easy to grab. For example, an overnight bag that is separate to the main luggage, which has the toiletries handy. It can sap a lot of time if you struggle to get towels back in the main suitcase which can cause undue stress when you’re on a tight schedule. Another thing to have handy is paper towels. Spillages are so common, and you need to clean up as quick as you can.
For the children, it’s safety first, boredom second! Tackle these two, and you’ll have the journey sorted. Of course, kids need to keep their seatbelts on, and you need to make sure that the infant car seat is secured properly. Car seats are becoming much safer than they were a few decades ago, which makes long-haul journeys much easier on the children. The trick to making it a comfortable journey for your children whatever their age is to make sure they are entertained properly. This is a big thing for long journeys, and if you have siblings that don’t like to sit next to each other, giving them their own choice of entertainment will help. Maybe your older child can use a portable DVD player and the younger can have a games console, and they can simply swap halfway through the journey. Snacks are another thing to give kids to “do” but try and bring healthy snacks onboard as too much sugar won’t have a good effect! Toys are also another thing that will help, but a noisy toy will cause ructions between everyone, not to mention being incredibly distracting while you’re trying to drive!
Probably the most important part for everyone, having regular breaks will make a long journey easier on the children, and for the parents, it will help to break the monotony of being in the car. It can be too easy to think “oh, it’s only another 100 miles” but if you feel yourself getting drowsy, pull off at the next services!