Travelling with a little one can be a bit of a nightmare. Spills shouts, tears , endless questions, sick, toilet breaks and boredom, Here are my top car travel tips with under 5’s to make journeys that bit more pleasant:
Wear them out first
Go out for a play on the park or a big long walk and dose of fresh air before travelling so your child has let their energy out and is ready for a rest, otherwise they will be jumping about in their seats and find it difficult to settle and relax. If you wear them out enough they may just fall asleep!
Fill them up
Make sure they have eaten well before they travel you don’t want food flying about the car, you don’t want any one chocking and at all costs you want to avoid travel sickness. Eating too much on the go can certainly add to that!
Do take some healthy snacks though as you don’t want to have to stop just to buy some (it’s also a cheaper and often healthier option to take your own)
The old boys scout motto comes into its own when applied to long journeys and kids. Do change their nappy or insist they have a wee before you go. Make sure they haven’t just had a drink. Stopping after 5 minutes to change them or find a toilet is no fun and if they don’t make it on time…oh dear. Smelly car alert!
Do take a spare change of clothes in case of sickness, toilet accidents, food spills etc. Sticky and stinky clothes make any child miserable
Make sure your child is the right temperature and wearing loose fitting comfortable clothes this way they will be as comfortable and relaxed as possible
Keep them entertained
Do take along some entertainment, little books to look at, stickers, dolls, little figures, electronic hand held games. Make sure these are working and charged before you go. Also make sure there is volume control!
Do take some music or audio Cd’s your child will enjoy listening too. On our last trip we all listened to a Famous Five story and 3 generations all loved it!
Do have some games up your sleeve like I spy, I went to market or with a little baby an endless round of boo and toe tickles!
Perhaps for very long car journeys consider buying those portable little DVD players. These are wonderfully distracting and you will get some peace
No matter how much they like it, if you child keeps dropping their rattle/toy car on the floor confiscate it. It is not worth the tears and the endless stops.
Don’t show any road rage even if you feel it , agitation always spread and I think road rage makes you more likely to have an accident (and a crying child)
If everyone is fed up and needs to stop then stop. Pushing on regardless can make it a miserable journey.
Prepare the car
Ensure your family car is all filled up with petrol so if they do drop off to sleep you don’t have to stop unnecessarily.
Do also check you oil and water before you go…its the simple things that can ruin a trip
I would also always advise packing a spare blanket, torches and food. If the car was to breakdown you want to be prepared (there it is again!)
Photo credit : JIntervas
What would you add to this list of car travel tips with under 5’s ?