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Top tips for long journeys with the kids

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Sunday, 01 May 2016 GMT

Author: Staveley Head

There used to be a time you could jump into the car and take to the road. Not any more – with children a long car journey can be stressful and messy!

So if you’re taking the kids to the coast for the summer here are some top tips for those long car journeys.

It can take hours to prepare for a long drive especially if you want a smooth trip. From the route you take to the games you play you have to ensure you have all the essential equipment.

The Route

Your route needs to be intensely studied – the last thing you want is to get lost. If there’s no time to plan make sure you prepare the sat nav or have a good old fashioned map handy.

What time do you plan on leaving? Setting off in the evening will mean the kids are tired, ready for bed and will hopefully sleep for most of the journey.

When planning your route include those vital rest points, such as inevtiable toilet breaks and dreaded sick stops. Regular breaks also give the children time to let off steam and stretch their legs.

Driving Abroad


When travelling overseas be sure to check car seat standards and regulations. Not all countries have the same safety standards and you don’t want to be caught out.

If you are hiring a car, ask the hire company if they also provide car seats just in case you have to bring one of your own.

And if you’re taking the caravan or motorhome don’t forget to check your insurance just to be sure that you’re covered abroad.

H2: Packing the Essentials

Travelling with children can get messy so you’ll need to pack the following:

  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Sippy/sports cup
  • Spare clothes
  • Travel potty
  • Sick/plastic bag
  • Spare plastic bag for messy clothes/sick bags

Fun & Games

Playing I Spy for 6 hours can be boring and tiring, especially when you’ve exhausted your spying opportunities. Pack plenty of travel board games, books, DVD s and audio books. This way you can have family time but still enjoy some peace and quiet.

Fancy playing car games? Then here’s a list of some games the kids will love:

I Spy

Step 1 – Player 1 sees something and takes the first letter of the thing they see and says “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with _”.

Step 2 – All other players guess what Player 1 has spotted.

Step 3 – The player who guesses correctly spies next.

Yellow Car

Step 1 – Spot a yellow car.

Step 2 – The first person to shout “yellow car” gets a point.

Step 3 – At the end of the journey whoever has the most points wins.

Eddie Stobart

Step 1 – Spot an Eddie Stobart truck.

Step 2 – The first person to shout “Eddie Stobart” gets a point.

Step 3 – At the end of the journey whoever has the most points wins.

Who Am I?

There are two versions of this game. One requires a pen and paper and one does not.

Version 1

Step 1 – Choose a player to go first.

Step 2 – All other players choose a person or animal and write it on a piece of paper.

Step 3 – The first player holds the piece of paper on their head (not looking at it) and asks questions, e.g. am I a women, do I have black hair…

Step 4 – All other players answer until the chosen player guesses the correct answer.

Version 2

Step 1 – Choose a player to go first, this player then thinks of a person or animal.

Step 2 – All other players ask questions until someone guesses who the player is.

Naming Quiz

Step 1 – Choose a topic, e.g. girls names beginning with A.

Step 2 – Set timer to anything from 10 seconds to 5 minutes.

Step 3 – One player must name as many girls names as possible within the time set.

Step 4 – One by one each player takes a turn (with a different subject). The person with the most correct answers in the given amount of time wins.

If you haven’t planned your 2016 summer trip yet and need some inspiration, our campsite finder is a great place to start. Or if you have some more useful tips for a long journey tell us about them on Facebook and Twitter.


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