“Are we nearly there yet!”
Top tips for surviving long car journeys with kids
We admit it, wherever you’re coming from to stay with us there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to have to spend some time on the road. The journey will be worth it – we promise – and it doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few simple tricks you can keep back seat moans to a minimum and begin your holiday as soon as you start the engine.
Relax screen-time rules
We’re not advocating a full blown NetFlix marathon but iPads come in super handy when it comes to keeping children entertained on long car journeys. Download a couple of their favourite programmes or apps in advance and enjoy the peace and quiet as they forget that they’re on the move. You may also want to pack some headphones and don’t forget to make sure devises are fully charged before leaving home – no one likes seeing that low battery sign!
Snacks, snacks and more snacks
Raisins, fruit, crisps…whatever takes your family’s fancy, pack it and pack it some more. You can never have too many snacks to dish out when boredom sets in and what’s a long-distance car journey without a bag of sweets? You are on holiday after all. A big no-no though is anything strong smelling or too messy and there’s always got to be a designated rubbish bag and wet wipes are an absolute must.
Plan your stops
Break your journey into smaller stretches that don’t seem so daunting by planning your pit stops in advance. Not only will you avoid the less desirable service stations but you could also discover some real gems. If you’re travelling on the M5, Gloucester Services between junction 12 and 11a makes a well-timed comfort break while Darts Farm, just off the M5 near Exeter, is an ideal final stop-off at 90 minutes from our front door. No fast food outlets or coffee chains, just homemade goodness, farm shops and independent producers.
Be game for a laugh
If I Spy isn’t cutting it and you’ve got a car-load of restless kids, you’ll love the talented guys at Treasure Trails as much as we do. They’ve created a free downloadable observation car game for children aged 5 and up and it’s Cornwall themed so perfect for whipping up some destination excitement. And once that’s done, they’ve got a whole load of other games to everyone amused, 15 in fact!
Avoid peak time travel
Traffic jams aren’t much fun at the best of times let alone when you’re eating into your holiday so if possible try to avoid travelling at peak times. Weekends are always going to see our roads at their busiest so it may pay to set off a day earlier or to tag another day onto your holiday at the end. Consider travelling early in the morning or in the evening – this may also work to your advantage when it comes to nap times for the kiddies – and check out the Highways England website before setting off to prepare for road works and closures.
Create a car kit
Comics, colouring books, pencils, stickers; all perfect loot for a child-friendly car kit – just make sure you create one for every child or you could be setting yourself up for back seat squabbles!
Tick homework duties off by using the time buckled up to listen to your kids read or by helping them with their maths assignment. Getting it done right at the beginning of your holiday will not only feel good but leave the rest of your holiday free for fun, fun, fun.
No one wants to listen to ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ the whole way to Cornwall but if it keeps the little ones entertained, who are we to argue. If you’ve got older children enjoy your own rendition of car park karaoke and get the whole family singing along or pop an audio book on to play for a total chill out.
Consider the train
Do you even need to get in the car at all? St Austell train station is on the mainline with regular trains from London, Bristol and beyond. The station is just four miles from us and you’ll always find a taxi ready and waiting to help you make the journey so it’s a viable and attractive alternative to being stuck in a car.
And if all that doesn’t work, just remember, sand, sea and amazing times await – the journey is more than worth it!