Glamping, caravanning and so called Staycations (silly name!) have reinvigorated family roadtrips and car holidays in the last few years. More and more of us are choosing to travel in our own wheels when we’re holidaying abroad or in the UK because it’s so much easier than having to board a plane – or so we like to think.
Whilst you’re all dreaming of a peachy week in Poldark country or maybe camping fun abroad remember that you’ll have to endure a lengthy car journey before the fun can begin. How do you make it easier for everyone concerned? And how do you stop the kids from asking “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we nearly there yet?
Tablets and ipads and companies like the brilliant Yuuworld.com* have made in-car entertainment easier but what about just making sure everyone is comfy? No one likes to be cooped up for long periods of time, particularly babies and children so we have a few easy ways to make sure kids can enjoy the ride, en route to your holiday.
More and more of us are choosing to travel in our own wheels when we’re holidaying abroad or in the UK because it’s so much easier than having to board a plane, or so we like to think.
1. Glare, sun and heat: car sun shades
Even if it isn’t hot or if you have air conditioning, sunlight and glare will still cause discomfort for your child. Blocking that sun isn’t as easy as you think and to be honest, you probably want your child to see the great outdoors. If you’ve used those pop-up car shades or the ones that stick to the glass and have been left frustrated (because they just don’t cover all of the window or get pulled off) then you should consider auto-shade. All car sunshades are NOT the same. Read this review by blogger Yogaberry to see how she got on – please note that we supplied Yogaberry with auto-shade but she was not paid for this review. All opinions are her own.
2. Sleepy kids: stay comfy and Beltupp
Children + long car journeys = sleep! Once your kids are in Group 2-3 car seats (high back boosters), they tend to slump over when they fall asleep, which can make parents nervous and of course the child simply can’t be comfortable in that position. Beltupp is a really simple way to counter that: it’s an additional belt and buckle that will clip on to your existing car seatbelt so that both shoulders are supported and your child is sat in an upright position.
Beltupp mimics the additional support that a 5-point harness gives and is fully tested to car seat regulations ECE R44/04. Watch our Doodle ad and check out our fitting videos to see how easy it is to use.
3. Boredom and keeping kids entertained
Ipads, kindles and DVD players are great but sometimes it’s nice to have some old-fashioned fun too. We recently discovered Yuuworld bags and thought they were worth a mention. Whilst they are not cheap, one of the team recently bought one for her daughter and can vouch for the quality, the ergonomic design and the joy in watching kids completely occupied and interacting with each other just playing a few simple board games (snakes and ladders with magnetic markers are supplied in the bag) and colouring in pictures.
4. Hunger and how to feed kids on the move (and on the cheap)
Packing plenty of snacks certainly helps when you have children in the car. Stopping every so often will be necessary for comfort breaks but having to shell out for food each time will soon add up. Carrot sticks, break sticks, some chopped up fruit, cocktail sausages, mini falafel will help stave off the hunger pangs and is slightly better on the tastebuds than a soggy sandwich (although a couple of those will be necessary too no doubt!). Homemade trail mix is really easy, healthy and great for energy levels – just add your favourites from nuts, dried fruit, chocolate buttons – there are so many options.
Our handy little tip – wipe slices of apple with a touch of lemon juice to stop them from discolouring and being rejected by kids with a loud ugghhhh! You’re welcome 😉
Lots of water is a must and this is the one occasion where we’d suggest the less environmentally and purse friendly option of bottle water. No one wants stale water so don’t force it on your kids. Buy small bottles with sports caps so that you reduce the likelihood of spills – recycle the bottles when you can.
5. Toys for the holiday
Ok so you don’t want to take too much but if you’re hitting the beach or just want some super cheap entertainment then try our brilliant toys from Scrunch and Quut.
Quut makes excellent award-winning sand and beach kit that will last forever – each toy is multi-purpose and has more than one part to it – so you can use it in a multitude of ways and share with siblings and playmates.
Scrunch is the perfect travelling companion! With a bucket that folds and scrunches, it’s just perfect if you need to save space. Other fab Scrunch inventions include the Scrunch net, a fishing net with telescopic retractable handle (is there anything more cheap, cheerful and fun than a bit of crabbing with kids?) and the easy to inflate/deflate Scrunch ball.
As for how you stop the children from asking “Are we there yet?”, I’m afraid we don’t have the answer to that one…any suggestions?