If travelling with kids sounds like your worst nightmare, it needn’t. You don’t have to leave the little darlings at nan’s, a little forward planning can turn the whole thing into part of the adventure.
Travelling by car can be one of the easiest ways to travel if you plan in advance – you’ve space to pack as much as you want for the journey, you can stop when you want and you’re pretty much in control of your own journey.
Outwit the Sat Nav!
Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it does have a tendency to fail us just at the wrong time. If you’ve ever found your sat nav directing you across country paths you’ll recognise only too well their misplaced sense of humour. Not very funny when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, without a mobile signal and Tom Tom ordering you to go rural.
Plan your route in advance – check it out in Google Maps before you go, and if you can, print out directions so you’ll recognise if the sat nav is going off piste. If you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, have a look at the destination in street view so you’ll recognise it when you arrive. If the kids are old enough, give them the directions and a map so they can track the route too, if they can see where they are on the map it’ll lessen the “are-we-nearly-there-yet” cries.
If it’s a long journey ahead, stack up with essentials for the journey :
- Snacks and nibbles
- Wet wipes
- A DVD player can be useful in the back or alternatively CDs with lots of songs to sing along to.
- Books are probably best avoided though as trying to focus on something in too detail can cause travel sickness although colouring books and pens and pencils can provide entertainment for hours.
- Plastic bag for rubbish…or travel sickness.
- A pillow for little nodding heads.
Pick Your Time
Some roads can be like car parks if you catch them at the wrong time – 5pm seems to be a signal to the traffic world to stop dead. If you can, choose times when the roads are likely to be quiet – a very early start allows you to get on the roads before the masses and then perhaps break your journey with an attraction en route.
Don’t overdo the driving as you’ll end up tired, stressed and probably grumpy. Build in a few stops at service stations along the way to stretch your legs and have a good break to clear your head. It also makes the journey a little more exciting for the kids too, a visit to the service station stop can be worth at least a couple of hours’ quiet travelling time J
Travel in Convoy
If you know others travelling from the same location, try travelling in convoy – it makes navigation much easier when you’re following. Alternatively meeting at a destination half way for lunch is a good way to refuel for the journey, and little ones are more likely to sleep with a full tummy.
Enjoy the Company
Anyone with older children will know how difficult it is to get them to actually chat – they’re often far too busy to spend time with mum or dad. Two hours in a car can work wonders for the art of conversation, particularly when there’s no escape!
And that’s it! Now fill up with fuel and enjoy your holiday!