As families embark for a long voyage on the road, countless numbers go through an all-too familiar feeling of frustration. Despite flawless efforts to arrange leaving times, mapping the easiest route to take and marking out places to stop and get refreshments, one lingering problem just doesn’t seem to go away and it can become every parent’s worst nightmare.
Yep, driving with the children! A long, static journey without the distraction of toys, televisions or friends has never been a child’s idea of fun and more often than not, it’s the parent that suffers most. But, despite what past experience tells us, it doesn’t always have to be this way!
Here are five easy steps to follow in order to keep your kids content, and you relaxed.
1) Bring enough supplies!
Above all else, ensure that you have enough basic supplies in the vehicle to stop your children complaining with hunger or thirst every ten minutes. It sounds simple enough, but fast-forward to the morning of departure, when you’ve got two-dozen other things to contend with, forgetting a bottle of milk is more than possible. Bored children will always turn to food in time of desperation, and if they’re not normally allowed snacks in the car – this will seem like an extra special treat!
2) All join in!
One of the most effective ways to keep children happy while on the road is to get some interaction going and open up a few fun games! This is a great way to focus your child’s attention and if done correctly, can often prove educational too. Be it with eye-spy games, alphabet songs or memory exercises (who can forget the fun that the Shopping List game brings…), this should get the whole family involved, feeling happy and smiling. After all, why should the children have all the fun?
3) Don’t forget the simple things!
If you’re travelling with infants, the previous tip may not be so helpful. For young children, don’t forget how much satisfaction they can get out of the most simple, and often cheapest (always a bonus!), items. Babies and toddlers are sometimes easier to amuse, and all it may take is a couple of building blocks or their favourite cuddly toy to keep them happy. If there’s a toy that’s easy to bring on their journey, do it. Soaking up laughter as oppose to tears is the aim here.
4) Be prepared to have a sing-a-long
If you car has a CD player, take advantage of it. While you may not care too much for the High School Musical soundtrack or a collection of audio fairy tales, it should keep the children happy and get them in the right mood! If you wish to strike a happy medium, perhaps bring the audiobook of Harry Potter? If nothing else does, that’s usually enough to cast a spell on the whole family.
5) Make the trip comfortable
If the journey is long enough and your children have had plenty of fun and burnt some energy off in the process, they’ll eventually need a rest. Ram the back of the car with pillows, duvets, cushions and anything else that’s soft and cuddly. It’ll make a potentially bumpy ride a lot smoother.
Above all else, have a safe journey and enjoy whatever awaits you at your destination!
Guest post written by Barrie from iCarhireinsurance.com – providing car hire insurance that protects you against car rental excess charges.