We all love holidays, yes? But when it comes to long journeys with children, we need to have a few extra tips and tactics to hand. After all, there’s nothing worse than a car full of miserable, bored, unhappy, irritable and thoroughly fed-up kids! Unsettled children mean impatient and crotchety parents.
Pack toys and snacks for the kids
First and foremost you need to make sure that your child has a comfortable car seat. The more comfortable your little one is, the more relaxed they will be. Who knows, they may even fall asleep and give you an hour or so of peace.
Most mums know about the ‘Magic Bag’ trick. What’s a magic bag, you ask? Well, when you go on long car journeys or even flights or ferries, always carry a bag with distractions for your child. Now this could contain colouring books and crayons or felt pens, depending on the age of your little ones. Perhaps pop a few activity books in the bag, too. Those little magnetic car games are brilliant as there’s no way the children can lose the pieces. Obviously there are exceptions, but you’re pretty safe with magnetic game pieces.
It’s always a good idea to put some tried and tested little toys in the bag – toys that you know your child loves playing with. And then, of course, you must never forget your children’s favourite cuddly toys or comforters too.
In addition, it’s worthwhile packing a few snacks – preferably non-sticky, dry ones and plenty of drinks.
Be prepared for unexpected accidents and sickness
Mum and dad should also have a separate bag to hand with wet wipes, tissues and spare nappies or pull-ups for babies and toddlers. Anti-bacterial hand gel for nappy changes and little ‘accidents’ on the go are a real essential.
And then of course you have to be prepared for the inevitable ‘I feel sick’ moment too. Let’s be fair, most of us parents have heard that one a few times, haven’t we?! Pack a few carrier bags, even more wet wipes and a damp flannel in a sandwich bag or similar as well. A few extra clean tops wouldn’t go amiss either. Keeping a change of clothes to hand is always well worth it when travelling with children. Motion sickness can happen to anyone at anytime, so it’s better to be prepared.
Have some fun game ideas to hand
There are many fun travel games such as ‘I Spy’ and the ‘license plate game’ that children will enjoy playing on those long, boring journeys. Most of us have our own favourite version of them. ‘Spot the yellow cars’ (substitute any colour you want!) and noting down how many you see is another good car game to while away a few more minutes, too.
So whether you are heading on a family holiday to Spain or further afield, just remember that the more prepared you are for the journey, the happier everyone will be.