So if unlike me, road trips fill you with dread, I'm sharing with you a few of my tips to make sure its a smooth journey.
Start them young
If you have very young children my main tip would be to take longish trips fairly regularly to get them used to being in the car for a long period of time. I remember as a very young child being put into the car almost every weekend for long trips to stay with my grandparents - my parents loved travelling and this definitely rubbed off on me. I've done the same with my two and I'm pretty confident that this is why they're not fussed about the car - they're just used to it!
If your kids are anything like mine, they love their snacks. I think I hear the phrase "Mum, can I have a snack?" about 192 times a day. It's no different in the car. You do have to think carefully about what you're giving them, the amount of mess my two can make often makes me wonder if they've actually eaten anything or whether they've just decorated my car with crumbs. Raisins and fruit bars go down well and make a minimal amount of mess, plus I always use Non-spill cup by Munchkin which are available from Amazon for long car journeys.
Choose the right time
If you have a particularly long drive, then plan it around naptime or bedtime to cause minimal disturbance to their routine. I remember my parents carrying us out of our beds with our blankets to the car (always around 2am) and then setting off for our long drive to Cornwall every summer. I loved waking up in the car, seeing the sun rise and then stopping off at a service station for breakfast in our PJ's - it always indicated holiday!
This is something I don't personally ever have to worry about, my kids are strange little beings and just enjoy listening to music, watching the scenery or catching flies... But on the odd occasion, when we've been stuck in serious traffic jams, the IPad has come to our rescue. Now for many, this may be a big no no, but hear me out. Little toys get dropped, cue crying, which when driving is never a good thing. I love that with the Ipad my kiddies can watch a movie, read books or play games all on one device and of course, you can set up timers too so they don't overuse it.
Whilst making sure the kids are happy, you should make sure you're all set on the safety side of things too. Ensuring the car seats are fitted correctly, taking breaks if you have particularly little ones (babies shouldn't be in their car seats for longer than two hours at a time). Of course making sure you have roadside recovery is massively important - you don't want to be left stranded when you've got kids in tow, if you you're looking for a car insurance quote, it's a good idea to see if your insurance company includes this (which reminds me, I need to do mine!). Should there be an accident it's also a good idea to have an in-car camera fitted, we all know we can miss details when kids are around, having an in-car camera as an extra pair of eyes in case you miss anything when you need to make a claim can really come in handy.
I would love to hear if you have any handy tips of tricks for stress-free road trips, so pleased feel free to leave a comment below. We've got the car journeys down to almost perfection, now it's time to face the plane journeys!
Mummy B xoxox