Create a road trip scrapbook to add to as you go.
These trips and holidays help to create lasting memories, so why not get the kids to make albums or scrapbooks to record the journeys.
Gather souvenirs from places you visit- a card from a restaurant, fliers from attractions, shells, crayon rubbings, interesting stones etc. Budding artists can draw pictures along the way and take a photo to add to the collection (selfie, anyone)?
Bring a freezer bag with safety scissors, a glue stick or tape and some crayons and coloured paper. Euro shops are great for picking up these sorts of things without breaking the bank.
Have a secret stash of car only toys– a shoebox can double as storage and a play area on the lid. You could even draw a little road on it for backseat drivers or a castle for your princesses. Having a soccer ball in the
boot is always a good idea to help burn off some of that pent-up energy.
Prizes for games
A trip to the euro shop can be an excellent idea before you go, wrap up a few inexpensive toys or stationery to use as rewards or prizes for games, eye spy, spot a white horse, a pink car etc. Challenge the kids to keep quiet for 5 whole minutes to win a prize.
Mom or Dad’s phone
If, like ours, your little ones usually want your phone rather than the countless toys surrounding them, have a new game or app downloaded and ready to go, set them a time limit with the phone and enjoy the peace and
Audiobooks can be a great way to introduce a bit of learning or just simple entertainment in the car. Everyone can listen together or individually if you can get away with it!
A whiteboard can be one of the best and simplest things. Kids can draw on them, play noughts and crosses, hangman, write each other notes etc. Don’t forget to give them a tissue to wipe it with.
Car Counting or even tractor spotting – Pick a colour or a type and the first to see 10 of them wins. If you’re in a city they could search for restaurants, men with beards, umbrellas, the list goes on and on!
Name Game – Think of any celebrity, sports star etc, let’s say Katy Perry, it can be anyone. You say “Katy Perry” the next person must quickly say a celebrity’s name that starts with the first letter of the last name of the
previous star, like maybe Paul Mescal.
Scavenger Hunt – No family road trip is complete without a scavenger hunt. You’ll be surprised at how excited your kids suddenly are to see a billboard or a water tower. Think of about 10 or 15 things they need to spot.
Restaurant entertainment bag- Put crayons, pencils, and colouring books or paper and some plastic animals, cars, or blocks in a large freezer bag that you can take into restaurants with you to make wait time go faster.
Involve the kids in decision making – of course you’ve chosen the destination, but the children might like to decide on other important things like what snacks to bring, what should we listen to in the car etc.
Stretch the legs! If possible, stop for a few minutes every 2 hours, this will keep the driver alert and (hopefully) head off any travel sickness and irritability. It’s a good chance to grab a coffee and a bathroom break too. Really try to allow time for this, it can be a lifesaver.
Pack plenty of healthy snacks for the journey, even adults get cranky when they are hungry. Water in individual bottles, low sugar juices or even smoothies, milky drinks are in our experience best avoided in case of spillage. Foodwise, fruit would be top of our list, also cheese portions, crisps, homemade cookies and the good old sandwich (even get the kids involved the day before preparing these), don’t forget a bag to gather up the rubbish.
Think ahead in case somebody gets car sick or headaches- pack remedies for common sicknesses, a plastic bag or two in case of nausea, baby wipes and a bottle of Calpol or whatever you use for your family.
Finally, please check that your car (especially tyres) is roadworthy and safe, or better yet, call in and let us check for you.