Is there anything worse than being miles from your destination with your kids in the back squealing, falling out with each other and endlessly whining “are we there yet?”.
It’s the battle all parents have to face, but with the right preparation you can limit the damage and enjoy stress-free and pleasant journeys.
Buy a baby-friendly car
Start off right with a car suitable for your family’s needs. Safety is always high on the priority list for parents, so check out the air bags and braking system.
Kids always come with plenty of baggage: whether it’s buggies, changing bags or toys. Make life easier for yourself and find a car with plenty of space to fit in the buggy and spare clothes. Storage in the passenger area of the car can also be used to your benefit by placing toys and activities within your child’s reach.
Little extras like tinted rear windows (or adding in sun blinds) will make the journey more comfortable for your kids.
If your current car doesn’t fit the bill or you need a car abroad, check out sites with child friendly car options, such as Intelligent Car Leasing who provide UK car leasing and contract hire to personal customers.
Organize car activities before you start the car
Preparation is key. Arm yourself ahead of time with as many distractions and activities as you can. Ask your kids to pick out some of their favorite music to play on the journey. Kids can fill out activity printables on the lap trays, or on a clipboard.
Simple coloring pads and wax crayons will help keep younger children entertained, whilst older kids may want to take a DVD player and headphones, or a small games console.
Classic travel games such as “I Spy” or looking for a particular color car are also great to use up a bit of extra time.
Handle potty needs ahead of time
Another simple one that makes life much easier. Make sure your kids have all been to the bathroom before you even start the journey. No one wants to have to turn back only a few miles down the road!
If you’ve got a particularly long journey, check your route before you begin to find a couple of restrooms along the way.
Take activity breaks
Another one well-suited for longer journeys. Turn it into a mini road trip and find some great places to stop off as you go. It could be a museum, wildlife reserve, some sightseeing or even something as simple as a picnic overlooking a nice view.
Your kids will appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and let off some steam, and if you’re lucky, that may be enough for younger kids to nap during the next leg of the journey!
Use the “silence game” if the noise level gets too high
And the last resort – who can stay silent the longest? Exploit your children’s competitive side for your own benefit, and enjoy the blissful sound of silence…
For more child-related ideas and tips, visit ethanjared.com