Tips for long car journeys with toddlers

We have asked our guests for their top tips when travelling with toddlers.

The Holidays are almost here.  Time for a well deserved break with your family. If you
are spending your long car journey toddlerfamily holidays in the UK then you don’t need to worry about delayed planes or jet lags but often have to face a long journey in the car.

Traffic jams and motorways aren’t really enjoyable at the best of times but if you are travelling with a moody toddler hours can seem like days and trying to explain to an under 4 year old why they have to sit still for such a long time can sometimes be difficult.

With so many families from all across the UK and Europe visiting us we thought we’d ask the experts (our guests) for their top tips for travelling long distances with toddlers.

Read their top (survival) tips here:

Tip 1: Use pull-ups
Even if your toddler has just successfully completed his potty training put him in a pull-up,  just for peace of mind and in case you get stuck in a traffic jam.

Tip 2: Choose the right time
Start your journey at the beginning of your toddler’s nap time and make it last as long as you can or even better, travel at night.

Tip 3: Take Breaks
If your toddler is awake, take plenty of breaks to let her run around and burn off excess energy. Many motorway stops or pubs near the motorway have playgrounds or play areas for children.

Tip 4: Allow extra time
If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, make sure to allow some extra time for short toilet breaks that might be prolonged by watching a dog, exploring the sweets shelf in the shop, finding ‘treasures’ on the floor or a quick tantrum.

Tip 5: Keep them busy
Most of the parents we’ve asked thought that a small car DVD player or a tablet with pre-loaded games and movies worked wonders  to keep toddlers entertained for hours. Perhaps not something you would allow on a daily basis but remember, these are survival tips!

Alternatively or in addition bring a bag of small toys, colouring books, stickers, hand puppets and books (all available in pound shops to not stretch the budget too much) and hand out a new item every hour. Toddlers also love listening to their favourite music or nursery rhymes and you can sing along together.

Tip 6: Bring drinks and snacks
Pack finger foods like a box of fresh fruits that are easy to eat i.e. apple wedges, strawberries or grapes. Other great toddler friendly snacks are raisins, carrot sticks, mini pancakes or string cheese plus water or juice, ideally in a kids’ travel mug. Avoid giving them anything that contains vast amounts of sugars if you don’t want to travel with a toddler on a sugar rush.

Tip 7: Be prepared
Make sure you bring a change of clothes for your toddler and fresh shirts for both parents (you never know). Also pack bibs to prevent several changes of clothing, antibacterial wipes and a few plastic bags for messy items like dirty bibs, food left overs or nappies.

Before you go:
If you are going to stay at a family hotel or resort, pre-book your room or apartment to avoid disappointment upon arrival. Also check if you need to bring a pushchair, travel cot and kiddie-carrier or if these items can be hired at the hotel.

With these tips in mind the long car journey to your family holiday destination should be less stressful and you might even get some time to sit back and relax and enjoy the view.