The key to surviving long car trips with kids

If you're used to hearing 'are we there yet' these can help

I suppose we are lucky in Ireland that any corner of this beautiful Island can be reached by car and in a few short hours however, try telling that to a parent with a carful of screaming kids! Long car trips are never going to run smoothly when there are youngsters involved and even if your kids are older they will still find a way to argue with their siblings or with their own toe nails! Getting through a long car trip may not be easy but there are a few things you can do to help you all enjoy the car trip or as much as you can…
Make rules and stick to them- Before you set off be honest with the kids and tell them you do not want to have any messing and hope to get to your destination without falling out. Make a few rules like no shouting, no fighting and no farting in the car! 
Bribery- It is frowned upon but nothing instils a good sense of friendliness between siblings if they have a few euro waved in front of them. It is nearly worth the few bob you may have to fork out. 
Technology- It is a car journey so if needs be, let your child play with their tablets or phones while driving. There is plenty of time for reducing their technology usage once you are all sitting comfortable at your destination later. Now, it is vital you get there still talking to one another. 
Games- For younger kids, they love a few silly games like ‘I Spy’ or ‘Spot the Newest Car’ etc. For small tots, you can play ‘I Spy’ by using colours if they aren’t able to spell/read yet. You can always play ‘Hangman’ though the person driving won’t be able to see they can help if relayed the information. It may kill an hour and it is fun!
Colouring- If your kids love art and colouring get them a travel pack each and they should entertain themselves for a while. To avoid the usual complaints of not being able to colour properly while the car is moving, get them a clipboard each too. Give them each a few colours and don’t over complicate it. Another trick is to withhold the new clipboard, colours and papers till driving so they are fully engaged for a little while anyway! 
Sleep it off- If your kids can take a nap while driving let them off! It will help you and the others instead of listening to a kiddie complaining of being tired. The more that sleep the better. 
Give everyone their own ear phones- For music or watching videos this is perfect and at least each child can watch or listen to what they want. A lot of arguments stem from a child being bored of listening to their siblings ‘dumb show’ so avoid that and give them headphones. You will be grateful. 
Once there, get them out of the car and treat them if they behaved well and they may behave on the way home; Or not?! 
Written by Emma Hayes. staff writer at Family Friendly HQ

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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