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Surviving Long Car Journeys

by Jessica Amey

We do a fair bit of driving in our day to day lives, although for Matt that is about to reduce as he’s finally found a workshop down near us, it only took 18 months!

I have to take the kids to a few groups and forest school which is about 45 minutes away so on the forest school days I do nearly four hours of driving (Tiger and I come home in-between) which is quite a lot. Luckily the kids have always been used to spending lots of time in the car and apart from the occasional moan are generally quite happy.

On top of the everyday driving we also go on a few long drives throughout the year, the last one was in August and it was about four hours away so I did have to plan a bit more carefully for it. We can’t let the kids watch screens in the car as it always makes Cherry car sick so that form of entertainment is completely off limits.

There were a few things we did though to help them deal with such a long time in the car.

  • Hooked up Spotify, we connected my phone to the stereo so the kids could take it in turns to listen to songs they like.
  • Took lots of snacks. I took some sweets and a few of the things that we don’t usually have that often to break out every hour.
  • A few surprises. I also took a few blind bags of their favourite collectable toys, this was basically a better option to when we end up buying them expensive magazines at service stations that end up being ripped up.
  • Played games. I Spy is of course a favourite and the kids also like to play a game where they take it in turns to spot signs, it ends up with them shouting ‘sign, sign, sign, sign’ repeatedly but that’s preferable to them moaning, or even worse fighting!  We also played a game where you had to look for a certain colour car, I picked yellow to make it last a bit longer 😉

As well as keeping the kids entertained it’s also a good idea to give the car a good check before setting off on long drives. I have to admit that because Matt is a mechanic / car expert I leave all that stuff to him but I believe you have to check the oil and tyres.. I really should get a bit better with car stuff as I don’t want the kids to grow up thinking it’s a ‘man’s’ job but it’s so easy to leave it to him. When he’s not there it can be an issue though, I was driving through a supermarket car park once when someone came up and told me my back tyre was completely flat. I had no idea!! I wouldn’t know how to change one either, something else I should probably learn.

I do know how to check the pressure and use air pumps due to a slow puncture I had once that required me to keep stopping and putting more air in, as well as checking the pressure you also need to check the condition and tread of your tyres. It’s illegal to drive a car with tyres that have less than 1.6mm of tread remaining anywhere around the circumference, there should be indicators on your tyres so you can easily spot this. Also look out for any cuts, cracks or bulges and check that the car is handling well.

We’ve just replaced all the tyres on my car actually. If your tyres needs changing then tyreplus.co.uk can help you find the cheapest prices online. They have over 700 fitting locations and can also provide a mobile fitting service. You can either put in your vehicle registration or wheel size and then choose from winter / summer wheels. I’m actually going to tell Matt about it as he just took mine to a garage but then you don’t know if you’re getting the cheapest price or not.

Thanks to Tyreplus for working with us on this post.

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