If you are taking a journey this Christmas, no matter whether you are going on holiday or you are spending the Christmas period with family, you will need to prepare for the car journey. This is especially the case if you are traveling with children. Everyone knows that a long car journey can turn into a bit of a nightmare when children are on board. You can reduce the chances of this happening by preparing carefully in advance. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some top tips on surviving a long car journey with children this Christmas.
- Always put safety first – There is only one place to begin, and this is with safety. When you are in a rush, it can be very easy to overlook your safety checks before your journey. However, it’s so important to give your car the once over to ensure everything is in working order. You also need to ensure that your children are safely strapped in for the journey. If you are looking for a car seat, you can find plenty of advice online – read it at Parenting Pod for more information. Also, if the weather is bad where you live, or at the destination, you are traveling too, you will need to make sure you carefully check out your journey in advance. It may be that some roads have been flagged up as dangerous because of ice on the road. In which case, you should look for an alternative route. And finally, if your children are crying or getting restless, make sure you pull over until the situation is resolved. The last thing you want is for the driver to get disrupted and a crash to happen.
- Keep your children entertained – Children can be a nightmare during car journeys because they are bored. This is why it is important to take a number of different toys to keep them entertained. You should also think of different games you can play during your journey, and no, this doesn’t mean revert to I Spy With My Little Eye… That game gets tiring very quickly. Another option is to allow your children to open one of their Christmas presents on the journey. They are bound to be super excited for Christmas, and giving them a gift will keep them entertained for hours on end.
- Consider when to travel carefully – You should give a lot of thought to when you are going to travel. There are many different factors that will help you to make your decision. For example, it can be a good idea to drive during the evening, as your children are going to be more likely to sleep during the journey. Equally, you need to consider when the roads are most likely to be quiet. The last thing you want to do is spend hours stuck in traffic with crying children during what is supposed to be a festive break. However, if you do not plan your journey times carefully, this can easily happen.
- Plan ahead – Planning your journey ahead is not only important for the driver, but it is vital for keeping the journey as calm and hassle-free as possible. When planning your journey, you need to make note of the service stations along the way. Your children will need the opportunity to get out of the car and stretch their legs and go to the toilet. If you haven’t planned in advance, you could find yourself on a long stretch of road without any opportunities to stop. You can make sure this doesn’t happen by planning carefully and, therefore, stopping beforehand. It is also a good idea to find out whether any service stations on the way have play areas for children, as this will give your kids the chance to burn off any energy.
- Choose music that everyone can enjoy – It’s not fair to make your children listen to your favorite classical or rock songs. Equally, you won’t want to listen to kids songs or cheesy pop songs all the way (well, maybe you do – everyone has different tastes, after all). But, if like most people, your taste in music and your children’s taste in music do not match, then you need to find a happy medium. Luckily, this is made a lot easier during the festive month, as you can listen to Christmas songs while in the car. This is a great way to keep everyone entertained and it will ensure that your spirits are high throughout the journey.
- Snacks – Last but not least, it is important to make sure you have enough snacks for your children throughout the journey. Moreover, you need to select these snacks with care. If you bring sugary sweets and fizzy drinks, you are only going to have an even bigger problem on your hands when your children get incredibly hyperactive. Instead, pack healthier snacks like grapes, cheese cubes, crackers, and cereals. You can easily carry these snacks in zip-lock plastic bags. You will also want to make sure you bring along a rubbish bag for all of the trash, otherwise, you are going to be spending your Christmas break cleaning out your car. Oh, and don’t forget wipes either! You can never have enough wipes when taking a journey with children. You will be surprised by how many you go through, whether it is cleaning up a leaky juice in their lunch box or cleaning their sticky hands before and after snacks.
So there you have it: some top tips for surviving a long car journey with children this Christmas. If you follow the advice that has been mentioned above, you will increase the chance of everything going smoothly significantly. It is important to pack sensibly, to keep your children entertained, and to always put safety first. If you can do this, you can survive the dreaded car journey!