How to avoid being driven round the bend on long car journeys.
The school summer holidays are looming large and for us it can only mean one thing – hitting the road.
Having been raised in the North, but now living in the South, my family are all at a distance. It means a good few hours in the car if we want to go and see them.
Before Olivia and William were born my husband and I would happily travel the length of the country for weekends with my family.
We thought of nothing of packing the car on a Friday evening and driving for hours in the pitch black, confident that we would arrive at our destination safely and without incident.
But now we have children, our thinking has changed. These weekends now take major planning – what clothes to pack, what time to leave, where to eat and how to keep the children entertained.
The weekends always feel so rushed too, leaving us with a sense of guilt that Olivia and William haven’t had a lot of quality time with my side of the family.
It’s why school holidays are perfect for catching up with family. We can take our time and not have to rush about to see everyone. It’s much more relaxing and enjoyable.
But with any long car journey, we have a list of travel essentials that we keep to. It helps to keep our children entertained and preserves mine and my husband’s sanity.
For the children:
- A portable DVD player and a selection of about 5 films
- Sticker books
- Magnetic doodle sketchers
- A couple of books
- A variety of snacks
- A supply of drinks
- A potty (in case of extreme emergencies)
- A blanket
For the adults:
- Wet wipes in case of food or drink spillages
- A spare change of clothes for the children (because you never know)
- A collection of CDs full of feel-good songs
- A newspaper (so that I can read all the sports news to my husband)
- A Sat Nav system so we don’t get lost
- Fully charged mobile phones
- Some money in case of road tolls or service station pit-stops
- An up-to-date roadside assistance policy, like AA Breakdown Cover
What are your travel essentials for long car journeys with children?
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