As much as we love our cars, it often turns out that our children just don’t feel the same way.
While they may appreciate the beauty of a freshly polished sedan as they are covering it with sticky hands, kids just aren’t into long car journeys. Unfortunately, that can make travelling long distances over the Christmas holidays unpleasant for both parents and kids alike. The good news is that as parents we are very resourceful and our vehicles have plenty of room to hold some tricks up our sleeves.
Here’s our top 5 tips to make sure your Christmas road trips are enjoyable for everyone:
- Invest in great audio books
Everyone loves to listen to stories. This Xmas season, let Dad enjoy his time behind the wheel by popping on an audio story into the stereo or iPod and enjoy listening to the silence from the backseat.
- Mini whiteboards and pens
Paper is great, but once you’ve drawn on it you need another piece. Bring along a miniature hand held whiteboard, a duster and a couple of whiteboard markers for each child. They can draw pictures, write stories, play hangman or even noughts and crosses on their boards. When the game is over, they can just wipe it off and start again.
- Spark your child’s creative side
Either share between or give each child a digital camera. During the car journey, have them capture photos of interesting things they see outside their windows. You could also have a list of objects they need to spot and photograph too.
- Go shopping
Over the few weeks before you leave, start collecting the kid related junk mail which appears in your letterbox. On the day of your trip, give each child a collection of junk mail together with a pair of scissors, a glue stick and a scrapbook. Have them cut out the pictures of the items they would like and glue those into their scrapbooks. It’s even one way to get them to create a Christmas wish list, if you didn’t have one already.
- Pack snacks
While it’s best to stop regularly to let your children get out of the car, stretch their legs and visit the bathroom, sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. To avoid those angry little hungry tummies, make sure you are prepared with lots of car snacks. Individually wrapped or boxed snacks work well such as mini boxes of cereal, muesli bars or bags of chippies.
Most importantly, remember to drive refreshed and alert. Pull over if the driver is feeling tired and avoid travelling more than two to three hours without a stop. It’s more important that you arrive at your destination safely than never to arrive at all. Happy Christmas motoring everyone!