Tomorrow we are going to France for a short family holiday. We will actually be driving which neither of us have driven abroad before so it will be a daunting task especially with a toddler! We have a 8 hour journey from home to Dover to catch the Ferry for two hours then another 3 hours when we reach the other side to the resort we are staying at. For a toddler who doesn't like to sit still this will be fun! We have done a few long journeys across the UK in the car with Amelia before so I thought I would share some of my tips and advice for travelling long distances with a toddler.
1. Plan ahead, ensure you have everything you need before setting off for the road trip. This includes, passports, travel insurance, breakdown cover, car kit, sat nav, booking forms and anything else you may require. I like to pack all of this at least a few days before hand to ensure I'm not missing anything.
2. Try and travel some point of the journey during nap time. This will give you some stress free time to drive in peace and also means your toddler will be refreshed for the rest of the journey. You could also travel some of the distance during their bed time if you don't mind travelling at night.
3. Bring plenty of snacks. Snacks are a must for toddlers, pack a cool bag full of finger foods, treats and drinks. Include some of their favourite foods and try and only give dry foods, do you really want yoghurt smeared all of the back seat? It's far cheaper than paying a fortune at the services and your toddler may get fussy along the way when you can't stop.
4. Entertainment - Investing in a car dvd player or bringing along an iPad may be a life saver for both you and toddler. Pack plenty of their favourite films this should give you some peace and quiet for a short while. Another great idea is to wrap some of their favourite toys like presents and allow them to open them one by one along the way it should buy you a bit of quiet time.
5. Take plenty of breaks and rest. Travelling with or without a toddler can be rather stressful. It's a good idea to take plenty of breaks to refresh and get some of your sanity back especially if you're having to concentrate on driving on the other side of the road! When you stop allow your toddler to run around, burn off some energy perhaps take a small ball with you so you can play for half an hour before getting back on the road again.
6. Stay calm and don't stress. The worst thing you can do is stress, your toddler will pick up on it and it will only make them more agitated.
Do you have any other tips for travelling long distances or abroad by car?