Some of the Family Travel Pro’s favourite trips have been by car, with the freedom to travel on your times, with as much luggage as you can squeeze in! Preparation can be key to a successful long car journey with children and here are our top suggestions to ensure a smooth trip for all.
Check your vehicle before you set off
Giving your car a quick check before you head off can prevent problems along the way. These simple checks from the AA will help you get your trip off on the right foot. If you haven’t already got breakdown cover, this might be a good time to consider that too.
Plan regular stops
Children can usually only manage a couple of hours on the road without a break or a stop. Try to plan your journey to include somewhere that they can stretch their legs and get a bit of a run around if they’re on their feet. Lots of motorway service stations now even have playgrounds, and you can find those that do here.
If you’re worried about your toddler needing the toilet along the way when you can’t easily find a loo, there are some great travel potties available. We love this one from My Carry Potty.
Are we nearly there yet?
Traditional car games are a great way to keep children entertained on long journeys. Here are our favourite ones!
Audio books are still as popular as ever and there are some great ones available. Check out the Family Travel Pro’s favourites, depending on the age of your children.
Portable DVD players and tablets can work well in the car, but just be careful if your kids are vulnerable to car sickness. Same goes for reading books! Check out the Family Travel Pro’s top technology buys for travel for the best tablets, portable DVD players etc.
Organising the car
Keeping the car organised during a long car journey can be helpful. It will allow your children find everything they want easily and be more self-sufficient. A simple plastic tray to hold toys, games and books can work well if you have the space on the back seats. If not, car organisers that hang on the back of the front seats can be a great way to keep the car tidy.
Perhaps pack a carrier bag or bin bag for rubbish along the way, doing a quick clean up each time you stop.
Food, Drinks and Snacks
Packing a picnic can be a great way to keep costs down on your road trip. If you need to keep things cool, you can get great cool boxes that even plug into the car power outlet. This is the Family Travel Pro’s favourite.
Snack bags for each child are a good idea, with goodies that they can select for themselves. Try to avoid anything too sticky or that could get squished into the car seat. Crumbs we can deal with; mashed banana on the seats, not quite as easy to clean up!