Queens View

Looking for some tips on how to survive your next car trip with kids? Then look no further! I love road trips with my boys. Okay, they aren’t all usually plane sailing and we still bicker like any other family.

I have done many road trips from a road trip with a toddler in tow to a road trip with a baby.  Road trips can be a great way to experience a country. I find as long as you are prepared for every eventuality then it is easy to survive a road trip with kids.

However, I still prefer driving to flying. So here are my tips for surviving a road trip with kids.

Pros and Cons For A Family Road Trip With Kids

How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids

View of Loch Lubnaig

Tell The Kids About The Road Trip

If you are planning car travel with kids, then I find if you build the journey up, and tell them all about it, then they will get excited. Inform them how long the journey will be and if you plan on stopping overnight then it can help stop them constantly asking the dreaded question. However, you know your kids best and if they are the type not to take this well, then don’t tell them until the morning you are leaving.

Stock The Car On A Family Road Trip

Preparation is key when doing a family road trip. Make sure you have food at hand. Depending on the age of your children you can have the food in the back with them or you can be in charge of handing the food out. I opt for the latter as my boys would just eat everything in one go!

Zoe from Lycra Widow says a bag specifically for the car containing snacks/toys/wipes/nappies etc comes in handy

Sticker Books and Colouring Books

Things To Do On A Road Trip

Making sure you have plenty of things to do on a road trip will be your saviour. I find books, DVDs, tablets, audiobooks, games…the list can go on are the best road trip activities for toddlers and children alike.

Keeping them entertained in the car is key. However, it is also good at some point to not let them have anything and get them to look out the window. Playing traditional games like count the cars or play a game on who can find the first Eddie Stobart lorry can be entertaining as well.

Donna from  The Sleep Theifs Mummy says It’s purgatory, but we have in-car tv’s that make it much less painful – we also ply the kids with food constantly.

Emma from Our fairytale Adventure We made sure to break the trip up, with stops every 2 – 3 hours and I put together a lot of activity packs. We bought a few zipline bags and filled them with Duplo and crafts. We also bought a few travel toys like a magnetic scribbler and a buckles toy, which were just amazing!

Jemma has some great screen free ways to keep your children entertained in the car

Make Stops On A Family Road Trip

For the best road trip with kids, I find making regular stops, especially if your journey is long is key. Toilet breaks, food breaks and just stoping for stretching your legs can really help. It means the kids can get out of the car and can run off any energy they may have.

Having a change of environment will give them other things to focus on instead of how long they have left in the car.

Extra Reading – Advice For Driving With Young Children

Lower Expectations For The Road Trip

Don’t think everything will go to plan. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you plan something will just happen. From being stuck in traffic to one of you getting car sick. Some things just can’t be helped.

You are in a confined space for long periods of time and your kids may bicker constantly and get on your nerves. The number one pain for me is the kids asking for a pee 5 minutes after we have left. So make sure you lower your expectations and not expect everything to go perfectly, then I find you won’t stress so much.

Packing Car

 

Car Checks

If you are going on a long road trip then you should make sure your car is in full working order. You don’t want to have a breakdown so make sure you have a breakdown policy for going abroad (and UK policy) in case you do. Double-check the country regulations for the countries you are visiting in case you need certain things for your car like hi-vis jackets, warning triangle etc.

Top Tips For Driving In France

And are biggest tip…have a spare back up kit in case you get stuck in traffic. After 8 hours stuck on the motorway with no food or drinks left for the kids, I was at the end of my tether. Lesson learned, and I now travel with a spare box with extra food and drinks, clothes, wipes, nappies, waterproof jackets etc. As you never know when you will need them.

And If All Else Fails…

And if all else fails then Lauretta from Home and Horizon says bribe them with sweets, money etc.

Have you done any long road trips with toddlers or older children in tow? What are your tips for surviving a road trip with your kids?

How To Survive A Family Road Trip With Kids - Tips On Surviving A Road Trip With Kids

I’m linking up with #fearlessfamtrav.

First Published March 2017

About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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10 Comments

  1. What a useful guide! Qatar is such a small country our lo is not use to long road trips so this will be invaluable in the future

    Thanks for linking to #fearlessfamtrav

  2. Nice to see you enjoy a car trip! We tend to dread car trips as every single one of my kids gets car sick. Now we fill them up with Gravol before going anywhere and pack a change of clothes. We also put art smocks on the youngest ones just in case. These are affectionately refered to by my wife and I as “barf ponchos”. #fearlessfamtrav

    1. Oh no that’s not good. Love the name your wife calls the ponchos! 😀 I would imagine if our boys were car sick all the time that we would dread them too.

  3. The only long road trip we have done so far was when our daughter was 6 months old, so she slept most of the time – this year she will be 18 months old on the same trip, so I may well be needing some of these tips! #fearlessfamtrav

    1. Yes road trips with a baby are a little easier when they sleep so much. Take some of her fave toys/books etc and stop often. Hope your trip goes smoothly 🙂

  4. What great tips!! Wipes- how can anyone forget wipes 🙂 and the back up bag is a great idea for when they run out of nibbles and are bored with their bag of toys! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #fearlessfamtrav

    1. Yes wipes can come in very handy! We have learnt our lesson with the back up bag. 8 hours stuck on a motorway is not a fun experience!

  5. We did a lot of long distance car travel when we lived in Oz and will be back again next month. I think I actually prefer flying! Great tips though #fearlessfamtrav

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