We are off to the South of France later this month and it’s going to involve a fair old bit of travelling with kids as we are going to be getting the ferry all the way to Spain before driving up over the border.
We decided to do it this way as at least when we are on the ferry we can entertain the kids whereas the idea of driving all the way down through France with them both was nightmare inducing.
Our weekends usually involve a fair old bit of driving, especially if Mr C is taking part in a car show. A recent trip that was supposed to take 2.5 hrs ended up taking 4.5 hrs due to a road closure, by the time we had done the same distance on the way back we’d ended up spending nearly nine hours in the car that day!
It actually went surprisingly well, considering that most days Cherry will ask me if we ‘are nearly there yet’ before we’ve even reached the end of our road.
So my top tips for travelling with kids would be:
Try and plan the journey for when you think both kids will sleep. For us this means leaving stupidly early in the morning, Tiger will always fall asleep and although Cherry doesn’t she will usually be too tired to moan, for a while anyway 😉
Take breaks: Breaking up the journey with a few breaks means that when you are asked how much longer you can answer with the time to the next stop instead of the final location. Even just getting out to go to the toilet can help, it doesn’t have to be a really long stop.
Beware of travel sickness: Cherry very rarely gets sick in the car but there have been a few occasions where she has and we now know the triggers. If she eats cheese before a car journey then she will be sick and if she focuses too hard on something then she will be sick. This happened recently when she spent too long staring at the box of her new DocMcstuffins set, it had blocked off her view out of the window and it wasn’t long before she did her ‘I’m about to be sick cry’. This means that books and even the iPad are out of the question when we are travelling which makes it a bit harder to keep her entertained.
Listen to music: I never let Cherry listen to nursery rhymes in the car as I knew they would do my head in so she was always happy to listen to the radio / my choice of music. Well at she was until she discovered Frozen! Last winter we had to spend nearly every car journey listening to Let It Go on repeat but as every parent knows it’s easier to do that then to listen to the moans of your child.
Play games: Guess the colour of the car, I Spy, anything to try and keep your child entertained. When I was younger we used to go ski-ing in the winter and my crazy parents used to drive there. I think the furthest was to Austria which took days! Especially as there had been an avalanche which had blocked off one of the mountain roads. I have memories of moaning about being hungry, screaming because my sister was puking in my t-shirt, crying because I was being made to listen to ‘grown-up’ music and generally being bored. I do remember playing fun games with my sister in the car though. At night-time we used to put our t-shirts over our heads and pretend we were driving through the cars, very fun at the time!
Stay calm: I’m pretty sure that no matter what you do there comes a time on most long car journeys when the kids can’t be distracted and will just moan continuously. As the driver all you can really do is try and stay calm and ride it out. Sometimes turning up the radio really loud can help 😉
Parkdean Holidays have spoken to lots of parents about travelling with kids and made this video which I could really relate to!
How many times do you hear Are We Nearly There Yet? on car journeys?!
What are your top tips for travelling with kids?
Post in association with Parkdean Holidays.