The cost of travel can soar when you’re with the family; flights, airport parking fees, car hire… costs quickly add up and many have chosen to stay in this country to try to ensure costs are more manageable. One of the most popular choices is to embark on a fun-filled family road trip. This cuts out many of the big expenses of going on a holiday. 

For some though, the thought of spending a few hours a day cooped up in the car with restless kids can seem like a daunting prospect. Trips in the car need not be a 3-hour session of introspection on why you ever decided to start a family in the first place though. Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself enjoying a calm, stress-free and pleasurable journey.


Music can be the vital ingredient that makes those less engaging legs of a journey bearable. However, it’s no secret that there’s often a generation gap in music tastes. The younger generation often have an acquired taste in music, full of inappropriate language, a constant ‘doof, doof’ beat and twerking references that would drive any sane adult bonkers. 

Avoid the arguments by working out what’s going to work for everyone. It may be that compromises will have to be made and you may even have to ‘forget’ some of the kids CD’s are left at home. A playlist that has something for everyone will make the hours spent on the road that much more pleasant. 


Hungry kids can be grumpy kids. Don’t forget to pack a picnic for the road, this will minimise the times you have to stop and have control over what the kids eat. Avoid subsisting entirely on sweets, soda drinks and anything that is high in sugar. We recommend offering a selection of sandwiches, pasta dishes, fruit, mini sausages, carrot sticks and ONE treat that will keep everyone happy but also calm. 

Choose bottles with lids purposely designed for drinking on the move to prevent spillage. Trying to prevent a juice stain on clothing or the car seats five hours into the journey could turn the general mood a bit sour. 


A family holiday by car will eventually involve a long journey and it’s not reasonable, not to mention nigh-on impossible, to expect younger members of the family to sit quietly in the backseats, no matter how angelic they are. Luckily, there are years of collective parenting advice to draw on: 
Classic Car Games 

Chances are this is how you spent your technologically-deprived road trips in your youth. Sometimes the best entertainments are the classics. I-spy, the Grocery Game and 20 questions can be the difference between endless ‘Are we there yet?’ groans from the backseat and an enjoyable journey with the family. Keep an eye out for ‘Punch Buggy’ (a.k.a. Slug Bug) – an older sibling punching a younger one won’t help anything. 
In-Car TV/DVD 

A God-send to parents and children alike. It may not be how you dream of a family holiday but sometimes being able to flick a DVD on, give the kids a pair of headphones and enjoy some peace and quiet is exactly what is called for. 
Smart Phones &Tablets 

If your kids are especially lucky, you may have paid for a smart phone for them - this is where that monthly contract payment will seem so much more worthwhile. If you’ve decided your kids aren’t ready for a smart phone just yet, consider downloading a few games on your phone and let them play for a little while. Just remember to bring an in-car charger. 


It is essential to plan ahead for pit stops and toilet breaks before the journey. This way there is a clear indication of how long everyone will have between bathroom breaks. It can also psychologically prepare the group to use the opportunities they are given to avoid any highway discomforts. 

For especially long trips, make time for a mid-journey walk, whether it is through a local town or countryside trail. This gives everyone the opportunity to soak up some fresh air, stretch their legs and burn some energy before an afternoon, backseat nap. 

Road trips are never likely to be incident-free – young children cooped up in small space for hours on end will get restless and grumpy. Having a plan and various go-to tricks will make these journeys less of an ordeal and more of a bonding experience for all the family.

If you are looking for a new family car take a look at this article for the safest family cars on the market. 

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  1. Snacks! Definitely the most important things when going ANYWHERE with kids! x

  2. Snacks, books and juice is a must have on our road trip!
    oh and music! xxx


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