We’re all going on a summer holiday, sun and laughter and screaming in the back of the car and Ollie just hit Sarah in the face with a lollipop and we’re going to have to pull over because Jack needs to pee…
If all of this is sounding horribly familiar, it sounds like you need our guide to keeping your brood in blissful silence on your next summer road trip.
The Best Laid Plans
There’s nothing worse than an indefinite journey. If kids don’t know how long the long haul is, they’re going to be much more likely to complain en route. Before you set off, make sure they know exactly how they’re going to be in the car for, when you’ll be stopping (bar emergency toilet breaks!) and what games you’re going to play on the way so that they know exactly what to expect.
The Music Makers
Music is key for passing the time in the car but when you’ve got a family of four or five the playlist isn’t always going to be to everyone’s tastes. To nip any arguments in the bud, give everyone the option to be in control of the music for an hour at a time and let everyone know that no complaints are allowed during that time!
Just… be prepared for A LOT of Bieber.
The Toy Box
The key to road trip bliss is understanding that kids just can’t be expected to sit in silence for long periods of time. If you want to keep them calm, toys and games are crucial. Pack a comprehensive box of toys, handheld consoles, and tablets preloaded with their favourite films and TV shows to keep little minds entertained (and, most importantly, quiet!). It’s also a good idea to have a few games prepared but remember not to pick anything too noisy so that whoever’s driving doesn’t get distracted.
What’s more fun than an in-car picnic? Nothing, that’s what! Everyone loves snacking on a road trip so make sure to stock up on sandwiches, crisps, drinks, fruit and whatever else your family loves to eat. We’d recommend you go for snacks that aren’t too messy (for obvious reasons).
We’d also recommend you avoid overly sugary treats… for screaming reasons.
The First Aid Kit
Unfortunately motion sickness is inevitable for many families so it’s good to be prepared. Sick bags and water should be close to hand and you should plan enough time for stops in someone feels really ill.
The Pit Stop
Talking of making stops, occasional breaks from the car can do wonders for road trip morale. Whether you stop for a picnic, to kick a ball about or just to stretch your legs, regular stops can really break up a long journey and help little ones let out some of that pent up energy.
Of course, whatever you do and however well you plan, there’s always the chance of boredom and tantrums. As a last resort make sure you have some tasty or fun bribes to reward good behaviour and that the kids know what’s on offer if they behave themselves!
Et voila! Peace, quiet and the open road…