When planning a medium to long distance car journey with young children, it is likely that the alarm bells start ringing for mum and dad. These types of journeys are stressful enough for adults, so it is only normal for children to have a low tolerance level as well.
However, with a bit of patience, a bit of organization and following a few simple pieces of advice, this whole process can be less of a hassle and much less traumatic than we might expect.
5 simple pieces of advice for traveling in a car with young children
Before we begin, we must point out that tolerance will be a key requirement. Even though we have a few ideas up our sleeve that will eventually work, they will not always go to plan at the first attempt. As we all know, boys and girls of a young age can be very unpredictable.
Put on their favorite songs
As the saying suggests, music will tame the beast. Children are not necessarily beasts but in a surrounding so hostile, it is possible for their worst sides to be provoked.
As a result, we suggest that you have their favorite songs playing during a large part of your journey. Most of their favorite songs will be children’s songs with similar rhythms but you are looking for them to feel comfortable making the journey a lot more peaceful.
For adults, children’s music and those melodies played continually may require large amounts of patience but if your children respond positively, it will be worth it.
This is not an ideal solution for many families, but in today’s world, technology can provide a great solution for a long journey.
For this, you can choose between different devices so that children can watch their favorite movies or cartoons. Cell phones, tablets or small video devices can be incorporated into car seats making them an easy and simple solution.
If you find the right content for them to watch, your journey can end up being a lot more stress-free. Children will be distracted during large periods allowing adults to take in the countryside or even allowing you to have a conversation.
Stop every hour and a half
Without a doubt, taking breaks is key. Breaks are not only important for adults, but also for children. We recommend that you avoid anything over an hour and a half behind the wheel between stops.
Once you reach this amount of time on the road, don’t think twice, stop at the next rest area. Stretch your legs, go to the restroom, talk about your journey so far, have a walk around, or just have something to eat or drink.
You will lose very little time and you will all be able to relax and get ready for the next stage of your journey in a more positive way.
Comfort is essential for your journey
Another key element for a long journey being successful is the comfort. Before starting the journey, check the areas around the seats to make sure that everything is fitted correctly.
Regardless of if your children are still using special car seats, make sure that the seatbelts, the headrests, the armrests, the headrests etc, are all in the right positions and adjusted correctly.
There is nothing worse for a child than being uncomfortable. In fact, being uncomfortable can result in very negative behavior throughout the trip. Checking these elements before setting off will only take 5 minutes, but they are vitally important.
Try and get them to sleep
Getting them to sleep for a part of the journey will obviously help to keep things peaceful. Most people will say that children sleeping for a large section of the journey will go a long way towards a peaceful and relaxing car journey.
The problem is that it is not always that easy. Before traveling, try to avoid any naps, or a really long nights sleep. It may sound contradictory, but try getting them to the car already tired. This way, once you set off, the soft sounds and vibrations of the car, mixed with the right temperature, will send them to sleep in no time.
Hopefully, by the time they open their eyes, you will have completed a large part of your journey and if you are really lucky, you will already be reaching your destination. This would normally be the ideal way for you all to reach your destination calm and relaxed.