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Car journeys from hellBack

Does the thought of climbing into the car with kids and a level of luggage fit for an army fill you with dread this Christmas? We have all been on car journeys from hell, but its knowing how to handle them which helps you to remain sane.

Travelling with kids changes everything. Gone are the days when you could sit back and catch some sleep, or have a long awaited deep and meaningful discussion with your partner. With kids you can forget it. Wherever you are going, you’ll be counting down the minutes until you get there.

When asking oneself what can actually go wrong during a car journey with children, the truthful answer is just about anything and everything, and there is very little you can do to avoid it. However, the Trusted Dealers have come up with their own set of tips which might make your journey that little bit more bearable.

Ply them with food

A surefire way to keep children amused it to ply them with food and drinks. Kids tend to request food out of boredom, so you’ll do well to get stocked up with plenty of snacks. Avoid some of the messier snacks such as pizza, yogurts, crisps and chocolate, and opt for some simple healthy alternatives such as raisins, pieces of cut up fruit and vegetables or cereal bars. Remember that foods such as sweets or fizzy drinks will not only create mess, but will also boost your child’s sugar levels – this is not a good idea when confined within a small space.

Help – I need the loo!

This is the most common sentence that all parents dread. You’ve been travelling about 10 miles down the road and your child suddenly announces they need a wee. There is not very much you can do in this situation other than always make sure your kids have gone to the toilet before you leave the house at least twice! If you have boys, there is the option to bring an empty bottle for them to wee in if you’re desperate. One way of finding out if they really need to go or are just bored is to bribe them with more food if they promise to hold it in for a while. Good luck.

Keep them amused

The key to a successful journey is to have things up your sleeve ready and prepared to keep your kids amused. We’ve covered the snacks, now let’s move onto the games. One of the best games to while away a few hours, or minutes depending on your little one’s attention span, is to make a list of objects, scenic features and animals, divide the list between your children, and encourage them tick each one when they spot it. If, this fails, just plug them into a DVD or a handheld games console – you’ve tried your best.

Are we there yet..?

This is the famous line that every parents dreads, it starts from practically the minute they get in the car, and will be asked by at least one child every few minutes. This can quite literally send you mad if you’re heading further afield, so you need to learn how to handle it without losing your rag. One solution which I recently read about involves listing the main landmarks along your planned route, along with how many miles are left of the journey and what time you’d expect to reach each landmark (Google maps is a great source for this). Give your children a copy and ask them to record the actual time you reach each landmark in comparison to the estimated time. It will give them something to focus on as well as educating them on subjects such as distance, time and locality – you can be the model parents.

If you’ve experienced the ultimate journey from hell at Christmas time, why not share your experiences with us below.

Posted by Leana Kell on 19/12/2012