Driving with children can be fun. Just keep them entertained!
Follow our tips and you’ll find that the journey flies by.
At a glance
- Have a bag to hand with essentials such as nappies and wipes
- Stop off regularly to give them a chance to run around an burn off some energy
- Keep them busy with books and car games
Play lots of different games
Stave off boredom by having a box of car games on standby. As well as the usual ones like ‘I Spy’, you could try ‘the Rainbow Game’, where kids have to spot something in every colour of the rainbow (indigo and violet aren’t so easy!) Better still is the silence game – the child who can keep quiet for longest wins.
Bring their favourite snacks
All road trips require a good supply of snacks. Look for those that kids can hold easily, and aren’t too greasy or messy. Hoola Hoops and Pom Bears are sure-fire winners, as are cereal bars. Pre chop fruit and take a plastic bag for apple cores, banana skins, etc. See our great ideas for delicious packed lunches for more ideas on food on the go.
Keep them busy
Many parents swear by the iPad for keeping children quiet in the car. If you can't stretch to one (or the kids won't share) try sing-along nursery rhymes and story CDs. For older kids, you could take a goodie bag filled with magazines, toys, colouring books and card games.
Pack the essentials
Have a bag to hand that contains everything you might need to access quickly, like nappies and wipes, a travel potty and change of clothes. A first-aid kit can be useful, too.
Time it right
You’re best off leaving at around noon, as – with any luck – kids will sleep for the first couple of hours. Or put them in their pyjamas and set off at bedtime. That way you’ll miss the traffic, too.
Stop off regularly
Kids will need regular rest stops – at least every 2-3 hours. It’s worth planning these in advance so that you stop at the best places. Some service stations have outdoor playgrounds, or if you really want them to run off some energy, you could always stop at a National Trust property.