Other than consuming a lot of coffee, I’ve had to come up with ways of getting through a long car journey with a 5 and 2 year old. Well, the 5 year old is easy to entertain. The 2 year old however, he’s the trouble maker.
First thing we did was get a new car. I mean, we needed a new car, and got ourselves a pretty decent upgrade. Nothing too crazy high tech, but something affordable with a few perks to make our journeys a little more comfortable.
As we’ve been going on a lot more staycations since our redundancies, we wanted a car that had plenty of space to pack everything we needed for a holiday in the UK. Our SUV has enough boot space for the travel cot, stroller and suitcases. And anything else we can squeeze in.
The boys have plenty of space in the back with a useful drinks holder that pulls down in the middle seat. To try and keep toys/snacks/gadgets as accessible as possible we’ve given Lamb a seat organiser in front of his seat so he can grab things throughout the journey. His little brother still faces backwards so he doesn’t have this luxury just yet. But he soon lets us know when he wants something!
Something as simple as bluetooth in our new car allows us to connect our phones to play music and audio books through the speakers to keep the boys happy. You’d be surprised how much an audio copy of a Peppa Pig can entrain a 2 year old!
The boys do love a bit of Netflix, so we bought them a Kindle Fire Kids to keep them happy. It is an absolute essential item for us to keep the boys entertained in the car.
As well, as gadgets to keep the kids occupied, I also load the car up with magazines, books and stickers! A little sticker book that Bear can hold easily will keep him happy for a good half an hour. I don’t care where he put the stickers, a long as we can get a bit further down the motorway!
On our way back from Wales last week I gave Lamb a Melissa & Doug sticker book and he created an alien and robot scene all over his window. Did the the thought of removing the stickers from the window make me a little nervous? Sure. But did it keep him quiet? Yes!
Of course no one would go on a long car journey with kids without filing a bag of edible goodies. I try to have a mix of healthy foods and treats. I start by offering the healthy stuff, but ultimately know I may end up continuously offering sugary snacks to avoid yet another stop at the services to let them run around.
In preparation for a long journey I cut up grapes and cubes of cheese (two things both the boys will eat lots of) and pop them into little snack pots. Apples usually keep them quiet for a little while too. I avoid oranges and bananas because of the mess.
I also pack crisps, sandwiches, and things like cheese straws. Then of course biscuits and chocolate make an appearance eventually…
Over the last 2 years we’ve been on several long distance car journeys with the boys. My family live 200 miles away so we visit them a few times a year. As well as any staycations we go on with my in-laws. We are slowly finding the journeys are getting easier as Bear (in particular) gets older, but also we are learning what to improve each journey we take.
The time we set off, the day we travel, even planning stops to avoid getting too achy and bored in the car.
Aviva (who we buy our car insurance through) have a new app which monitors your driving and could ultimately lower your car insurance cost. The app also comes with an integrated dash cam which could also help as evidence if you were to have an accident. If only I had this when that stupid woman crashed into me when I was pregnant with Bear!
We actually just renewed our insurance with Aviva last week and they were really good value. But if we could save a little more by downloading the Aviva Drive App even better!
* Sponsored by Aviva.