Spring is here, sun is shining, weather is getting warmer so we are beginning to enjoy the beach (not swimming yet though) and the most important thing, we have our dearest Dutch friends visiting over! They were planning a family trip and we begged them to come and stay a while with us. Kids miss each other and we adults do too. They packed the car and traveled half Europe to come to our beloved island.
Unfortunately, the majority of children are just not equipped with the patience and understanding that it takes to endure a long car ride. It’s not their fault: they are new to the world, and they want to spend all of their time getting to explore all of the wondrous adventures on offer. While that’s understandable, when you’re a parent with a 12-hour or more car journey ahead of you and some very impatient kids in tow, that knowledge isn’t particularly helpful. What you might find helpful, however, are these five tips on keeping your kids happy on long car journeys.
Here there are some tips that we can offer as we are like-minded families.
The more time you can leave yourself to get everything done, the better, because rushing round is only going to increase your anxiety levels and that of your family. Try to pack some things into the car the night before, and have a plan of where you are going to put everything else, as that will remove some of the pressure the next day when you have to leave.
The more things that you can plan, the smoother your journey is likely to go. Don’t leave anything to the last minute or think that you can leave things to chance because when you have kids in tow, winging it just isn’t an option. Make sure to book your international car rental well ahead of time so that you know you definitely have a confirmed booking for a car that suits you. Look at what rest stops are available, and check availability in any dining establishments you’d like to eat at along your way.
Keep them comfortable
Children aren’t used to not having all of their creature comforts nearby, so the cozier you can make the car for them, the better. Bring little things along which will make them more comfortable, whether it be their favorite teddy or blanket, or some pillows to make that back of the car more of a rest space for everyone.
Explain the trip in detail
Children are often concerned by the unknown, and when kids are uncertain they tend to be unhappy; so, the more that you can tell them about the trip, the better. Going over the general plan for the trip will make your children feel included, and will also help them to keep track of the journey and know when you are reaching important milestones. This is important as it will stop unnecessary questions or anxiety; for example, your children are less likely to keep asking for a toilet stop if they know one is coming up in 10 minutes.
Make it fun
One of the things which make children the unhappiest is boredom, so try to find ways to make the trip as exciting as possible for them. Think of games which they can play during the trip, whether they are family games or individual tasks which will keep the children quiet and contemplative during the times when you need a rest.
I hope these tips work for you as well!