CHECK LIST 1. Make sure everyone has gone to the loo, insist!
treat the entire family as if they are incontinent. There is nothing more annoying when someone wants the loo after about 10 minutes of leaving the house. At each stop frog march everyone to the loo again (they'll love you for it in the end!)
Make sure your car is well packed, keeping as much luggage as possible out of the childrens way so they have a comfortable ride. Let them have as much space as physically possible, if they are likely to sleep on the journey consider buying a travel pillow from the car-travel-games shop we sell some fantastic pillows with a cat or dog on that have been specially designed for children. '...Mum Charlie's taking up all the space and I'm all squashed...' If your children are still using car seats lucky you! you have the joy of travelling without still to come!. if the children have lots of small toys that might end up disappearing forever think about buying a travel tray with pockets that will kill 2 birds with one stone (keep all the little bits in one piece and give a flat surface to play on. For babies up to about 18 months we also stock a WAVY WATER mat that fits exactly instide the travel tray and gives your baby something to play with during the journey ... its made from a soft pouch filled with a plastic sleeve that you fill with water and it allows your baby the fun of playing with water with none of the mess!!! ...take a look
Provide each child with a small bag full of their own toys. It is fun if there is something new in there but not always necessary. By the end of the journey the car will be littered with things but on the way it is good to try and keep somethings in the bag.
If children do not have enough to keep them happy they are easily bored and that is when the bickering starts.
Have some food ready to eat during the journey. Be careful what the food is. Chocolate melts in hot weather, crisps make you thirsty and small sweets get spilt all around the car.
bread sticks, sandwiches with favourite fillings, grapes (seedless ones), bananas...although they need to be eaten quite quickly as they always seem to end up black!, apples and plums (make sure you have a rubbish bag for the remains), boiled sweets, toffees, jelly sweets and mints.
Be careful with the amount of drinks offered as this will increase the need for loo breaks. Individual sports bottles are good because they don't spill easily
Make sure you have plenty of wipes, bags for the rubbish and any other toileteries you may need close to hand, you might need them enroute and you don't want to have to unpack the whole car mid journey! The first aid kit on the site is very handy and can be hidden in the glove box
Breakyour journey up. If you know of a beauty spot on route have an hour there to stretch legs and have something to look forward to. A play ground or picnic area can be a fun diversion. The car-travel-games shop sells enamel mugs with fun animal designs which are perfect for the en-route picnic
Do not be in a hurry as that is when you are more liable to stress and less tolerant.
Have some entertainment in the car. Not every one has TVs available for the passengers but most cars have tape decks or CD's and libraries lend out audiotapes with excellent childrenÕs stories on them. The car-travel-games shop sells a good selection of CD's ranging from the baby Bright 2 CD specially developed to stimulate babies, lullabies to soothe and songs with actions for the under 6's. Game boys and personal CD and cassette players can be very useful and give the adults a break as long as they
...'turn down the sound on the gameboy!'
8 Play games!!
9 Sing! 10 green bottles, My eyes are dim..., 10 men went to mow, rounds... Most children love to sing especially if everyone joins in! If you have a CD you can sing along to that otherwise have a list of tunes your children like.
Although babies and very small children seem to fall asleep as soon as the engines start older children seem to insist on staying awake regardless of how tired they are so try not to travel when they are tired as they will stay awake all the way and be horrible. older children are more likely to drop off if they are warm and cosy ... consider buying a Slanket and a sound asleep pillow so if they are not asleep at least they are relaxing with music or tapes you cant hear!!!
11 Try to enjoy it! The more stressed and grumpy you are the worse the children will be (believe me...this is a case of do what I say and not what I do!!) children pick up on your mood and are capable of behaving twice as badly as you feel.
Try to enjoy your children...chat to them; discuss the journey and interesting landmarks that are coming up, look at the map with them, see how far it is until you cross into the next county, and most of all have fun. Ask an older child to map read.
BE PREPARED, BE ORGANISED, BE CALM.
Have a good journey and enjoy it!
WHAT IF I BREAKDOWN?
Well, if you breakdown without breakdown cover you could end up paying very high recovery costs, and losing valuable holiday time. Make sure you avoid being stung, and purchase car breakdown cover for your trip. PetrolPrices.com have compared all the leading breakdown cover providers and policies to help you find the best deal.
TOYS TO BRING ALONG
Several Duplo-sized blocks to put together and take apart
Small play people and cars
Crayons and a small notebook the shop sells 3 different metal pencil cases
with a rubber, 2 pencils and a sharpener that doubles up as a magnetic game
Colouring and activity books
If you buy anything on this site we give you a FREE 44 page activity book and UK beach book in downloadable form (Or you can buy them for £1.50!).
You can also find some online coloring sheets to print on the following sites