The summer holiday’s are here and many families go to their favorite holiday destination in France, Spain or Italy in July and August. Whether or not with a tent or caravan, one thing is certain: the car is always fully packed. And how do you make sure the kids are having fun on the backseat during that long ride?
Ever since Flint is 3 months old, we travel through Europe by car. Last June to Sardinia: over 1800 kms, a 12 hour drive to Genua, 11 hour boat trip and another 2 hours driving to our final destination. Quite a trip and you always wonder how it will go with kids. But these tips made our trip a bit easier. To be prepared is half the work…
Tip 1: Entertainment on the back seat
The day before we leave, Flint can pack his own ‘holiday bag’. All the toys that fit into this bag, he can take with him. For him, that means all his cars and planes, a race track, quartet and some other games. All his toy animals go into this bag too. We put the holiday bag next to his car seat, so he can easily get it.
The (charged) IPad is full of movies, and it’s turned on at the end of the afternoon, when he’s getting tired of driving. Don’t forget the headphones!
Tip 2: Regular stops
Every 3 hours we make a stop. Stretch, get gas, go to the toilet, get something to eat or an icecream. These stops only last about 15 minutes, but you get back into the car re-loaded.
Tip 3: Presents
Okay, presents are indispensable during a long car ride. I usually buy small presents, like a toy car or some Lego or Playmobile he can put together. After giving, unwrapping and assembling, 10 minutes will have past and after that another 20 minutes are filled with playing with the new toy. Yes! ;)
We gave Flint on our trip to Sardinia Mini Loco. Fun, instructive and he was busy for quite a while!
Tip 4: Treats
Some treats are part of the trip as well ofcourse. We always have a crate with bottles of water, some juice, fruit, chips and candy. This too is pastime, because by the time you’ve given and eaten it, 5 minutes will have past!
Tip 5: Spend the night in a hotel
We never drive 1200 kms at once, that’s simply too long. And we don’t like to drive through the night, because you’re exhausted by the time you arrive at your holiday destination. Spending the night in a hotel (after about 700/800 kms) is ideal for us and it’s always a feast!
Tip 6: Vomit bags ready!
Basic mistake number 1 is to think you’ll be okay and your kids won’t throw up. It went wrong twice with us; once when we went skiing and again on our holiday at Sardinia. Flint doesn’t really get carsick, but all those mountain roads with all those corners combined with Mini Loco doesn’t work, I can say. We were better prepared than the time we went skiing though. That time, Flint threw up over all his toys, the back seat, his car seat and his clothes… This time he was better able to say he was nauseous, but still his clothes were covered. In other words: vomit bags ready so you can reduce the damage. Put an old towel, big bottles of water and a clean set of clothes and underwear somewhere on top as well, in case it goes wrong. Do you know chlorine works great when the seatbelt is dirty too? Really, chlorine. HG has a good cleaner for the back seat too. You get we always have this in the car now.
But most of all: don’t forget to enjoy the ride! The drive is part of the holiday and when you’re on the road so long, it’s a waste if you don’t enjoy it. Happy holidays!