Are We There Yet? That repetitive chant can seem endless for those parents travelling in the summer months with the children taking long car journeys.The good news is it doesn’t have to start off all doom and gloom and doesn’t have to end this way either, so with your excited holiday head on here are a few tips to get you through that long car journey without having to leave your head on the hard shoulder!
1. Preparation– is key for all successful tasks – write a list of what will be needed based on your Childs age and needs, as what they want might not always be possible to provide.
2. Time– Give yourself the right amount, a week before hand, to secure all things needed, pace yourself during the week leading up to your journey, this will remove all panic and set you off on the right footing.
When we can be disciplined with ourselves it helps reduce rough rides.
3. Plan– All Journeys need to be planned out, where you are going determines the best route, traffic consideration, service stations and time of car journey so you can best decide whether you leave during the night-time or day-time. Don’t forget your car first Aid or even travel potty!
Inevitably you are realistically going to get small squabbles when you are all in one car for a long period of time, so please don’t expect your children to behave like robots, even adults need a little break from each other every now and then it’s only human but as you are all setting off to enjoy time together it’s important to respect healthy boundaries whilst having fun!
4. Car Seats– Sometimes dictate where the kids go, if not put your children in the seats where they want to sit. Have one rotating seat where older children have to take turns and change at service stations for toilets breaks and to be in charge of the baby seat that way if baby needs attending to or drops a bottle, all can help. There’s a reason we pay to sit next to our dearest on planes so match the kids up well.
5. Snacks, Meals and Games– All important as they consist in any other daily routine, so the same goes for now when travelling. Provide healthy snacks for all in a plastic storage tub to go in the car, cold salads and savory pasta for lunch dishes, raw and dry fruits and veggies with fun compote pots and yogurts and personally in your leading week before preparation ask all kids to bring 3 personal items to occupy themselves with like favorite books, Fun apps, perhaps mini Simon says, Connect 4, iPad, iPod and Bluetooth music like Spotify. Old reliable Games like I-Spy, Name that tune, and Family Trivial games can all be played too in the car as a family, however I’m a firm believer in also allowing our children to chance to look out the windows and observe what they see, it provokes thought, day-dreaming and leads to interesting questions that move on to interesting conversations too.
6. Breathing Space– Cooped up in a car will bring anyone to the brink of bad behavior so make sure you Stop,Stretch & Stroll a little, or in a safe area for the little ones let them runaround to bounce off some of that pent up energy. When in the car don’t be afraid of silence as it gives everybody a moment to be in their own headspace within the confides of a car together.
7. Hydration & Temperature – Most people don’t really think of this, but most of us tend to be De-hydrated which can cause us to feel groggy and moody if not attended to. So make sure you have a decent supply of fresh zesty citrus drinks with less sugar and elderflower or herbal drinks that are refreshing and soothing also gage the Car temp so that you are all not over heated or under layered in the car as there’s nothing worse than feeling Car sick!
8. Mindset– Yes there it is I’ve said it, we in the UK tend to look at moments like this with procrastination,how will we cope? Oh I’ve got to get through this, It’s going to be a nightmare.. but actually if we took a moment to realize that what we are doing is building memories with our families maybe we would feel a little more uplifted and connected,hey it’s all part of the journey literally, whether the dog ate the ice-cream little Billy was holding in the car to whether dad surprising got all the band member names of little mix correct, when we can pack a good dose of Happy and a decent measure of Optimism, thoughts lead to great feelings and action!
Now Off You Go and Enjoy The Ride!! – Jo Frost
Copywritten by Jo Frost