The age-old refrain of ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’ can really become tiresome on a long journey. Especially because it quite often reaches fever pitch before the car has even pulled out of the drive way! The culprits? Your mini passengers venting their boredom, hunger, sibling squabbles and general malaise. While it can be tempting to deposit these whining, whinging rascals at the very next service station, there are more wholesome ways to ease their discontent and quell your rising frustration.
We’ve compiled a helpful list of how to keep your kids entertained for hours on end, whether you are travelling by car, train, plane or boat this summer holiday season. So, breathe a sigh of relief!
- Always carry snacks
There’s nothing worse than finally making it through bottle-neck city traffic and onto the motorway, only to be plagued by the ‘I’m hungry’ chorus from the backseat. The nearest service station is 42 miles away and, rest assured, the mood of the entire car can plummet dramatically within that time. With a little forward planning, you can easily avoid such histrionics and detours. Make sure to carry snacks with you. This goes for boat, train and plane trips too. Healthy snacks that won’t melt (or spill everywhere) are usually best. Think apple and cheese slices, popcorn and raisins. But you can also include the odd sweet treat. It is a holiday after all.
- Turn the back seats into a micro cinema
In-car DVD players can be bought relatively cheaply (prices start from about £70) and they can have a transformative effect on your child’s humour. Armed with a collection of the very latest Disney films and Peppa Pig episodes, this should buy you at least an hour of uninterrupted peace and quiet.
- Stick on an audio book
Even the most hyperactive child is powerless to resist the soothing, almost soporific tones of Stephen Fry reading. He has lent his wry, characterful, articulate voice to a plethora of audio books, from Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh to Paddington Bear and Oscar Wilde’s short stories. Guaranteed enjoyment for the whole family.
- Take breaks at attractions along the way
Obviously, this particular tip is more difficult to put into action if you’re not travelling by car. Fun, educational, cultural stops are one of the saving graces of motor travel. Before you set off on your journey, have a look at the map and see what’s on route. Maybe it’s a safari park, a mini-train village, a petting zoo, an incredible scenic view or a carnival that’s just pulled into town. If it will wear your children out for the remainder of the journey, it’s definitely worth the added travel time.
- Drum up enthusiasm about the destination
Where are you going? And where will you be staying? Maybe you’re heading for a place steeped in history or a landscape with very unique flora and fauna. Maybe you’ll be camping in a yurt or staying in a little cottage right by the coast. Get your children some activity books about their eventual destination – to keep them amused and also build excitement.