My top tips for surviving long car journeys with kids

First things first, car safety! I’m collaborating with Kwik Fit with their #CarSafetyChecklist campaign and bringing you my top tips for surviving long car journeys with the kids! So giving your car a once-over before heading anywhere is just…smart! Do you have enough water? Oil? Petrol/Diesel? Any unwanted flashing lights etc. If not, and everything is how it should be – your good to go! You can check out the handy Kwik Fit “Know before you go” ebook to keep you right. 

Over the years I have experienced my fair share of long car journeys with my family and if I’m completely honest with you, I dread them! The thought of having to keep my children cooped up {& in close proximity} in a car for x-amount of time makes me nervous, and dare I say it – stressed! And that’s before we’ve even started our journey. 

Child in a car seat

We find when our children are comfortable and safe in the car, overall, can make them happier. One of them would want to bring a neck pillow, the other a blanket – anything they want to bring {within reason} to make a long car journey easier on them {thus easier on us} we give it a green light. 

You know yourself, kids can either be the best of friends or the worst of enemies and as life would have it, they’d be the later on the day you need to drive for 5+ hours. Typical. However, over time I have learned what works & what doesn’t and now whenever we travel – this could even be a short 30mins bus ride into the city – I always prepare a busy bag for the kids

Busy bags are so easy to put together and what’s even better, you can make them for all ages. My three younger children are 12yrs, 9yrs & 4yrs and I will always make them up a bag each to carry, filled with everything & anything I think they would need to keep them happy & content during a long car journey. 

Busy bag - perfect when travelling with kids

We don’t rule out any digital gadgets, like Nintendo DSi’s or Kindles because they can be lifesavers! We also bring along headphones – from experience these reduce the “Muuuum, can you get such & such to turn his tablet down?” or “MUUUUUUUM! I can’t hear my game over her music!” – you see my point! 

We found a whole range of free travel printables online because my Annabelle would happily draw & colour in from dawn until dusk. We also found a free travel scavenger hunt printable too which we have always found to be great fun for long car journeys. Can you find a traffic cone? Can you spot a sheep? A lollypop man/woman? and so on! Lots of fun and really keeps the kids engaged and happy. 

We pack snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. The last thing we {or anyone} would ever want is a ‘hangry’ child when your miles from an Applegreen or a Little Chef! 

Do you have any tips when travelling with kids? I’d love to hear about them! 

*This post is in collaboration with Kwik Fit

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9 Comments

  1. 06/01/2018 / 9:50 AM

    One tip springs to my mind which I see quite a lot is, The driver turning around while driving to check on the children. Do not do this. Pull over and check. In one instant the world can be a very different place.

  2. kayleighrosee
    06/01/2018 / 10:59 AM

    So cute! Nice idea, not read about this before x

  3. 06/01/2018 / 2:08 PM

    I’m going to North Wales with my partner and the end of this month and I have to keep nagging him to sort his car out – he desperately needs new tyres!

  4. 07/01/2018 / 11:45 AM

    I dread long car journeys too and I think it’s worse if your kids suffer from car sickness because giving them activities which involve watching or reading stuff tend to make it worse. We stick to i-spy!

  5. 07/01/2018 / 12:39 PM

    I used to love long journeys as a kid as it was hours of being able to play my video game without being bugged to do something else

  6. Some great tips here. My kids are well used to long car journeys from our time living abroad so they don’t seem to mind being in the car. The toddler however… Love the sound of busy bags!

  7. 07/01/2018 / 8:17 PM

    Busy bags definitely decide like a great idea! Headphones are key when in such a small combined space for long period times 🙂

  8. 08/01/2018 / 10:20 AM

    Nice tips. I have travelled extensively local and abroad with my 2 boys so i can say for sure these are great tips. I remember our 4 hours trip from London to Leeds last summer, we stopped twice for service to grab some McDonald kids meal and use the loo, the anticipation about stopping for kfc made them behave literally throughout the journey, I also packed a busy bag with little toys and snacks plus I have to agree I don’t rule out ipad and headsets whilst travelling as it usually makes all our lives easier!!!

  9. 09/01/2018 / 10:23 AM

    Long journeys can be so difficult, or can go wonderfully. I’ve experienced both sides to it. Sometimes I have packed all kinds of things that I thought I needed, and not needed any of it. But I feel it is important to always be prepared. I do have a huge tip from experience. Our little boy had horrendous travel sickness when he was young. It lasted for a couple of years, but fortunately he has grown out of it. It meant we couldn’t feed him before travel, or during travel. Not even a drink. And we soon learnt that we needed copious amounts of changes of clothes, wipes, spray cleaners and lots of bags for rubbish. Also worth investing in a carseat liner or two if you can get one. That or line the seat with muslin towels.

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