The kids have been back at school a few weeks now and your mind might have been wandering towards half term. If you are going away for the week you may be thinking about how you are going to keep your small ones entertained during the journey. Whilst you’re doing that you might also want to think about how you are going to make sure that the journey is as safe as possible. The last thing you need on a long car journey with kids is avoidable problems cropping up, hampering your holiday.
Is your car ready?
Have you checked the tyres? Do they have enough tread? While you’re scrambling around by the tyres, check their pressure too. Bear in mind that a loaded car will require a different tyre pressure so make sure it’s right before you leave.
What about the car battery? It’s wise to check it before you go on a long drive. If you’re not sure how Kwik Fit offers battery testing and if you need to get a new one take a look at kwik-fit.com where there is a wide range available.
Is there anything more annoying than getting stuck behind someone when the roads are wet and dirty and having no screen wash to clean the windscreen? This has happened to me on more occasions than I care to admit. Make sure it’s topped up before you leave. You also need to make sure that your wipers are in good condition.
Give the engine a once over. Make sure that you check the water/coolant (antifreeze in cold weather) – don’t forget that dipstick either. Make sure you have enough oil.
And finally, have you got breakdown cover in place? If not, it might be worth considering.
Are the kids ready?
So your car is ready, but are the kids? More to the point, are you?
I look back fondly on the days pre-child that I used to love a good road trip. The music would be turned up loud and we would stop whenever we wanted and needed. The days of the easy long car journey are over, and we have to plan so much more these days.
It’s so important to be prepared. I looked to some fellow blogging parents for their top tips to survive a long car journey with kids.
Soph-Obsessed – Create a playlist of songs upbeat ones that will help keep you focused! Make sure that you plan regular stops along the way in advance and just stretch your legs and get some fresh air even if you think you are fine!
Household Money Saving – Tablets every time. Download a couple of movies and some games, and it keeps my little ones quiet for most of the trip.
Twinderelmo – Lots of mess-free snacks to keep everyone happy!
Welsh Mum Of One – In-car DVD players or iPads mounted on the back of the seats. The one time where I 100% approve of screen-time! Get a multi-adapter so you can charge multiple devices at once if you’ve got more than one child. You do not want to deal with the meltdown of only having one with a charge!
New Mummy Blog – Let them choose some toys just before leaving – then they’ll actually want to play with them/read them, and let them choose a magazine when you stop – new toys will keep them occupied and magazines/stickers are a winner.
The Sleep Thief’s Mummy – We throw food at them every half hour or so and limit drinks to the odd swig here or there to avoid too many pit stops. Eye spy is great but in car tv’s are a GOD SEND.
Mrs Mulled Wine – Trip to the library before the trip to stock up on ‘new’ books – let them choose – A mix of reading/puzzle books works well. Love this idea as it’s FREE and educational.
Flying With Baby – Don’t overpack- leave plenty of room for wriggly legs. Plan the stops before you go. Make use of services with play areas or perhaps a nice pub with play area. Don’t bring out the iPads or snacks too soon. If it’s a long way to go, you want to save these for as long as possible.
The Money Whisperer– I have been known to threaten divorce on long car journeys where we have gone wrong because we have relied on the satnav! Always have a look at the map before you start out and know your vague directions! No one wants to go wrong at the tail end of hours in the car!
So now you’re ready. iPads and in-car DVD players are a huge hit! I especially like the tip about not getting them out too soon! It does make you wonder how we managed years ago though. Thank goodness for modern technology!
Do you have an impending long car journey that you’re concerned about? Perhaps you have some tips of your own. Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
written in collaboration with Kwik Fit
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