As soon as you have children, you might be forgiven to think that your driving days are over. Well, the truth is, they have only just started. What you can do is say goodbye to your dreams of that sports car you always had your eye on – and hello to functional, efficient vehicles. Dull? Maybe – but the kids in the back will keep things more than lively enough. Here’s a few tips for making the experience a lot more fun for them – and for you.
Proper planning is the only way
First of all, it won’t take long to realize how hard going on a short car journey can be when you have young children. You will often spend more time packing up the vehicle than you will driving it. Your best bet is to plan every journey as meticulously as possible and make sure there is enough room for buggies and equipment. Oh, and bring towels – lots and lots of towels. Spills, vomit, chewed food, and many other less palatable things will all make an appearance at some point. You should also plan your longer journeys well, making sure you have plenty of stop off points. And of course, to get there as quickly as possible!
Kids are bundles of energy, and if that energy has nowhere to go, they are going to explode. It won’t be a cute moment, so make sure to divide any long journey into smaller chunks. It only takes a half or so for them to stretch their legs – and many service stations have play areas these days. Sure, stopping is going to add time to your journey, but it will be a far less stressful experience for everyone.
Another issue with longer journeys is that when you have a packed car, it can get a little stuffy. Now, if you were on your own, you could wind down a window or two. But, with kids in the back, you just can’t. Try getting a car diffuser to freshen up the air a little – a nice breezy peppermint should do the trick.
Drive through the night
If you have the option of driving through the evening, take it!. The kids will fall asleep quickly when it is dark outside, and it will be much easier for everyone to deal with. Make sure they have a lot of exercises the day before, of course. The more tired they are when you strap them in, the more comfortable your journey will be.
Books, tablets, games – they can all help to entertain the kids while on a long drive. You can even consider a couple of video screens – although be careful not to zombify them! Plan your entertainment, too. Make it all a big deal and ask them what they want to do. It could be a movie they are bursting to see, or you could even ask them to arrange a concert to perform for you during the drive. The main thing is to make the journey an event. Do that, and you will have won half the battle!
Image Credit: Nicolas Alejandro