Travelling with children can be daunting. Aside from crossing your fingers that they’ll sleep for the majority of your journey you have to plan. We’ve experienced a 9-hour flight with a 2-year-old and had it not been for the strategic planning beforehand I don’t know how we would have survived. The same goes for car journeys. Last week we took a 5 hour car journey to mine head for a little staycation, this is our 3rd year doing the same journey. But our first year as a family of four. So how did we tackle a 5-hour journey with a 3.5-year-old and an 8-month-old?
As much as I’d like to put my feet up for 5 hours cruising down the motorway in an Audi TT or flashy sports car with the top down and music blaring, travelling with children is quite the opposite. We probably wouldn’t have been headed for a week in Minehead at all if we didn’t have children.
Here are 5 things we do to make long car journeys with children under 5 a success
1. – If possible, travel in a large family car. If you dream of driving around in a flash Audi TT coupe – like myself – then you’re going to have to leave the kids at home! A big car is essential if you’re going to fit baggage, travel cots, prams and toys in.
2. – Keep bags and wipes to hand, in case of travel sickness! I keep nappy bags and wipes in the glove compartment at all times as well as spare clothes in the changing bag which can be easily accessed.
3. If you can, don’t set off too early. We embarked on our recent journey at lunchtime, this meant Taylor had been awake and playing for hours. This resulted in a 2.5-hour car nap. He no longer has naps at home but is guaranteed to sleep in the car!
4. Make frequent stops where possible. Preferably at a service station with the golden a 3-year-old with a happy meal is a happy 3-year-old! When travelling with a baby stop ever 2-3 hours, it’s advised to give babies break from the car seat for safety reasons. Stop at services for a clean, feed, and a cuddle.
5. If your little ones use a tablet, either download content before your journey or tether it to your phone so they can still watch their favourite YouTube Kids open surprise eggs from the comfort of their car seat, or if they’re old enough, play traditional car games!
Overall our recent journey went well, Harriet had a big bowl of porridge before we set off and slept for 3 hours, I had to wake her to be changed and fed! Taylor had a happy meal at the services and we played countless games off Rock, Paper, Scissors and Eye-Spy. Which was cute as it’s the first time he’s understood these games. He did, however, vomit all over himself on the journey home, you can’t win them all!
Do you have any special tactics for when travelling with little ones? I’d love to hear them, pop a comment below or via our social channels!