This summer we had no plans for escaping the rock and I certainly didn’t think I would be planning a road trip. Yet, here we are. The plan had been to find a budget-friendly holiday for the October half-term as this would coincide with my birthday (a milestone one). However, we started looking a couple of weeks ago and realised that it was going to work out too expensive due to the cost of flights from Jersey to the UK. Then we had a bit of a brainwave. Why not go on a road trip in France this summer. As we are only half-an-hour away from France by ferry, it made sense. Yet, after much planning and map consulting it appeared that again we had left it too late to find decent accommodation which didn’t require a second mortgage.
A Bit Of Magic?
Then we started investigating Disneyland Paris. We had been looking into taking the girls to Peppa Pig World, as we were originally due to go in May but had to cancel due to chickenpox and a foot operation. We found that we could get a really good deal for Disneyland Paris if we were prepared to drive ourselves. I say “we”, Mr C will be doing all of the driving. We booked everything direct and we managed to get ourselves 25% off the price of booking, free half-board and some other brilliant goodies that added up to a really good deal.
We Are Sailing
We will be sailing with Condor Ferries and I am just praying that they don’t cancel the ferry that day. Then we will have a four hour drive to Paris. For many, 4 hours is nothing, but for us this is massive. The children aren’t used to being in a car for that long. We live in a very small island and if we are ever in the car longer than 30 minutes the moaning starts. Therefore, I have been planning for this road trip with military precision. If our sanity is to survive we need to be organised. Here are our top tips for surviving a road trip with children.
10 Tips For Surviving That Long Car Journey With Your Children
Hello Nanny iPad
Now is not the time to be worrying about screen time. That screen will be your saviour. Before you leave you will want to make sure that the iPad is fully charged. Load the iPad/Kindle with lots of books, games and movies.
Take A Portable Battery
You don’t want that iPad/Kindle/tablet dying when you still have another 2 hours left of your car journey. Take a portable battery and use it to charge your iPad/Kindle/phone when needed.
Headphones For The Children
No one, I repeat no one, wants to have to endure listening to your child’s iPad for the entire car journey. Make sure they have a pair of headphones and that will save your ears from being tortured.
Give Each Child A Rucksack
Give each child a rucksack and let them fill it with their favourite items for the journey. You may just to want to check that they haven’t packed anything that is loud or annoying.
A Sticker Book
You can’t go wrong with a sticker book. It will keep your child busy and quiet.
Snacks And Treats
Make sure you have plenty of snacks and treats that you can throw at the children at various points of the trip.
Never Tell The Children How Long You Have Left In The Car
Never tell them how many miles you have left in the car or they will start asking/whining “are we nearly there yet?” for the rest of the journey (argh). Instead you should be nondescript when they ask the question and distract them with a snack.
Take Baby Wipes
They can be used to mop up spills and for wiping grubby hands.
You can’t go wrong with a new book. Purchase your child a new book and only give it to them on the car journey.
Music helps the world go round and it keeps the car journey moving forward. Make sure you have plenty of music that everyone likes listening to.
Plan Toilet Stops
You will need to make sure that you stop for toilet breaks. Before you leave, consult your map and plan where you will be taking refreshment stops.
Make sure everyone is dressed in comfy clothes. You never know, the children may be so comfortable that they fall asleep. Winning.
Everyone will need to stay hydrated. Bring water in bottles that won’t leak.
Have A Rubbish Bag
You don’t want to end up at your destination with a car that resembles a tip. Take a bag for everyone’s rubbish.
Reward The Children
We are forcing the children to sit still and in a confined space, that deserves some kind of reward. Take a small present and give it to them as a well done when you are three-quarters of the way through your journey.
Good Luck everyone. May your car journey be painless!