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Car Journeys with Toddlers: Top Tips

Keeping kids happy when they are buckled up can bring real stress, especially over long journeys. Nationwide appreciates that car journeys with toddlers can be hard. That is why we have put together our top tips on how to reduce travelling troubles, and make car journeys with your little angels easier than ever.

Comfort is Key

When travelling there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable, this is true for any toddler too. Ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the journey. Car seats can get warm and stuffy as a journey stretches out. Dress your child in light, thin clothing to limit the chances of them getting crabby during long car journeys.

Tip: Bring a blanket for times when they might get chilly.

Prepare, Plan and Pack

Nothing is more important than preparation when it comes to travelling with toddlers. Take time out a few nights before a big journey. This helps reduce the chances of leaving anything vital behind such as your child’s favourite toy.

Pack a bag full of toys, snacks and drinks to help stop tantrums before they start. Many car journeys are interrupted by grumpy children, so it is crucial to try and keep children as happy as possible, and address problems before they arise.

Parents could even create a box full of new toys for the journey. They don’t have to be expensive. Travelling to the local discount store and picking up some colouring books, dolls and other inexpensive items can become lifesavers when stuck in traffic. Tell your child about the new toys the night before a journey. This will help hype up new toys and help generate excitement around the new adventure.

Tip: If your child is breast fed ensure they are nursed before a journey. If they are young ensure their bottles of milk are at hand for the ride. Older children are more inclined to wait but younger children just won’t take that as an option – when they’re hungry, they’re hungry.

Embrace Technology

Mobile phones, i-Pads and any other kind of portable technology can be a real stress buster during long haul journeys. Pre-load your child’s favourite movie or television show onto a device to help time fly by if everything else fails. Not only does this guarantee some peace and quiet for an hour or so, it also give you chance to recharge your batteries after hours of entertaining.

Offer Distractions

Some children refuse to not be a part of the action whether something interesting is happening or not. This is why it is important to offer them distractions to help time fly by. Stick on your child’s favourite music and have a sing-along as you speed down the motorway – just be prepared to have Elmo, Katy Perry or any other song stuck in your head. It will almost certainly end up on repeat.

In car games are the perfect option for parents who can’t bear the thought of humming Sesame Street songs for hours on end. “I Spy” allows some quality bonding time, and can help boost a child’s creativity as it allows them to seek out new and unusual landmarks.

Take Breaks

A must for journeys that are guaranteed to span more than a few hours, taking breaks gives toddlers and yourself the chance to stretch legs and escape the confines of the car. This is the ideal opportunity for children to get fed, go to the toilet and have a run around before continuing on the journey.

Travel at Night

Sometimes there is no other option than traveling when your child is asleep. This reduces the amount of entertainment time required. In some cases a child will sleep throughout an entire journey – what more could you ask for?

What are your top tips for entertaining your child during car journeys? Share your ideas with us on social media!