Long car journeys with little ones can be hard at the best of times, but when you add in festive traffic jams and wintery weather conditions it is definitely worth planning ahead.
We travel a lot as a family as both sides of our family live at different ends of the country, meaning we are becoming pro’s at long car journeys. I don’t always enjoy it though, especially when one of the girls decides they don’t want to be there.
Here are my top tips for making journeys a little bit easier over the festive season.
Plan your route
Always plan your route before you go and check the travel before you leave. We often have to replan our journeys due to the M25, so it’s worth knowing a vague direction/road before you go as often relying on sat nav can lead you right back into a road full of traffic. Also check the weather conditions, we have already had snow, so make sure you don’t hit bad weather with little ones in the car.
Plan your stops
This is so important for us with two little ones. We either travel during a nap time, in the evening when we know they’ll fall asleep or we space out the journey.
We often leave early in the morning to avoid traffic, drive for a few hours and then stop somewhere so the girls can stretch their legs. We have a National Trust membership and this often provides a great stop off point, the girls can have a walk and they always have good food for all.
Take warm clothes
When driving in the winter, we have started taking warmer clothes with us. This isn’t something I used to do but after having a car accident a few months ago and having to stand outside freezing whilst I called various people I wished I had more in the car. It made me think that if we ever broke down we should make sure we had warm clothes for us and the girls.
Take car supplies
If you are travelling a long distance make sure you have a driving kit in your car that includes de-icer, a scraper and a torch, just in case!
Don’t leave in rush hour
My biggest, biggest hate is sitting in traffic, I hate it even more when there are two children crying. My two love to sleep in the car, but they’ll only do this over a certain speed. So where possible we always, always leave before or after the rush hour and if the news suggests a certain day over the festive period will be busy we try to avoid travelling on that day.
Take toys and entertainment for little ones
I always try and pack a bag of toys and entertainment for the girls. We also download their favourite programmes onto an iPad. Next on my shopping list is an iPad holder so the girls don’t have to hold them (as they are always accidentally turning them off)! I love the look of these ones I spotted in JoJo Maman Bebe.
Check your car before you leave
I am so guilty of not doing this one as cars today are so advanced and always have a warning light for everything I sometimes don’t even think to check the essentials, but we should always check tyre pressure (especially if you’ve added a heavy roof box for example), petrol, oil, water and screen wash. It’s little things, but screen wash always runs out quicker in the winter and you’ll need it more than ever with the roads being gritted. Making sure you’ve done the basics can help avoid road traffic accidents that could have easily had been avoided.
What are your tips for travelling long distances with little ones?
*This is a collaborative post*