We have done so many long car journeys with the kids. We tend to go down to devon twice a year for a holiday and we’ve visited my sister in law numerous times down in Plymouth too so long car journeys are no new thing for us. From where we live to Devon/Plymouth is around 6 hours which we can seem to manage (although when we get there me and Jack resemble some sort of character out of the living dead) with just one stop about 4 hours into the journey before the kiddies begin to get restless (we all start screaming at eachother). At first it was really daunting thinking about how to keep two children under 3 amused during the journey, constantly thinking we would need to make a million stops totalling 10 hours and two parents who have completely lost their sh*t by this time. However we always get there pretty smoothly and with both children still alive and well!
These are some tips of mine that might keep you sane if you have a long trip coming up!
This is the single best thing known to man on a long journey. It has some sort of magical power that I cant explain, but it will keep our kids glued for a good 3 hours! I always pack about 4 Films and an episode DVD of paw patrol or something they’re both into at the time. It’s truly a life saver but can come with a side affect of bleeding ears and questionable sanity during the 4th round of Paw Patrol! However if you do feel it slipping away then I highly recommend buying them some cute headphones!
This is a god given must in the land of silence! I always make sure both boys have got their blankies which are religious bed time musts, and make sure they’ve both got them to snuggle into in the event that they actually decide to sleep (lol), but I think it just helps to keep them chilled out for the journey having it to cuddle into whilst watching their films. I always dress the boys in either a baby grow (for Jacob) and for Fin then a pair of trackie bottoms and a comfy tee. I know when we get out at the services they will look like children who haven’t been washed for a month, and could possibly make child services a bit twitchy, so I always take a change of clothes as by this point we are nearly there so they would need changing soon anyway!
I always pack the boys their lunch boxes to take into the car. If its daytime that we’ve chosen to leave, which is always around 8am after I give the boys some breakfast, then I will pack lots of little snacks like raisins, organix carrot sticks, crisps, fruit, frubes, Heinz Biscotti snacks, things like that, and I’ll pack a sandwich each too for them to no doubt point blank refuse and hurl it straight at my head. I’ll keep these in the front with me, or just in the footwell of the backseats so I can easily get to them and pass whatever I need to. This has (despite said sandwich hurling) definitely meant we can keep going in the car for longer before we need to stop.
Multipacks of Fruitshoots/Other
I know these aren’t everyones cup of tea for giving their kids as they aren’t the best but its so much easier to pass them a bottle of this when they need a drink (mum fail), and by getting a multipack I always know we’ll never run out if they choose to drink like a fish! Again, I’ll keep these in the footwell so I can get to them easily too!
Now I know this is a given really for when you have kids (however if you’re like me you’ll always forget the sodding things and end up in the baby change room wetting paper towels and watch as they crumble, along with your sanity whilst other parents stand outside the door cursing) but if I do remember I will always take a pack in the front with me so I can get to them easily and wipe any – an ungodly amount of mess from the kiddies when I need to. I keep packs in the changing bag too but its much handier to get some out and put them in the glove compartment so I don’t have to fumble through bags on the motorway!
Bag of Toys
We will always pack 2 bags, one for the boot for whenever we get there (so we can consequently turn the place into a sty upon arrival) and one with some little bits I know will keep the kids occupied for a bit, probably around 0.00002 seconds, however it gives them a change from staring at the DVD player for a while and stops our ears from bleeding for a bit too. These can also be handy for when we do stop to distract the Ferrell toddlers who want to run absolute riot in a service station! I think its because they’ve obviously been cooped up for ages but they go bloody nuts when finally set free, like a pack of wild dogs!
I’d love to know if you have any tips for long car journeys with kids? Let me know below!