Dad, when are we there? Which parent does not know this question, which is asked on long trips not just once or twice, but sometimes every five minutes. However, there are some tricks that help, so that the tour is not torture.
Every child has its peculiarities, which must be taken into account when driving. However, you can manage to make even long tours bearable for your children. It is important that you take into account the needs of the children and provide enough entertainment. Some preparation for a tour is necessary.
The age of the child and how it affects
Oddly enough, babies are often the most comfortable riders. The movements of the car usually have a calming effect on babies and therefore they sleep a lot. Toddlers make it much harder for their parents. They have a great urge to move and do not yet understand why they need to be strapped into their seat for a long time. It helps here if two adults are sitting in the car and one of them is primarily taking care of the child or the children – and possibly sitting next to the child and playing with him.
Older children understand the meaning of the car ride. Above all, in addition to providing basic needs, parents must ensure that they do not get bored too much.
The basics – what you have to take with you
In Germany, every child under the age of 12 and less than 150 cm has to drive in a child seat. When buying, the child’s safety is of course the top priority. But make sure that your child sits comfortably and the child seat can ideally tilt into a lying position. Your child sleeps on longer journeys easier and so spares your nerves.
Especially when driving south, they should provide shade on the side windows. These are simply attached with suction cups. They usually do not cost much and are available in many child-friendly designs. Even a small blanket is always a good idea for night driving or the cold season.
Take enough diapers and clothes to change – and deposit them both easily accessible in the car – possibly behind the back seat. Even for children who have recently become “dry”, it is advised to wear a diaper once again (who knows how long a jam may last). In general, the children should wear comfortable clothes in which they can romp around during breaks and sleep well in the car.
Ready to grip in the car you should have the following things:
Sufficient food (breads, apples, bananas, biscuits, sweets)
Cuddly toys or cuddly blanket (where necessary)
Garbage bags (for waste and excess)
Entertainment for the children
A full entertainment program so it does not get boring
If your children are well supplied with food and drink and sit comfortably, then a potential boredom is your biggest challenge. If you prepare yourself here in advance, then you can make your ride entertaining and your own nerves.
The best advice beforehand – buy something in advance for the ride, which will surprise and engage your children.
Some tips for children’s entertainment, depending on age and interests:
Something to read (comics knowledge books) – if the children tolerate reading while driving
Coloring books and pens
Magnetic games (so that the pieces do not fall down)
CDs with the favorite songs of the children or a radio play (to protect the parents also to listen to headphones)
DVDs for older children (headphones are also recommended here)
For the storage of games, as well as food and drinks, we recommend a car bag, which can be attached to the back of one of the front seats.
Otherwise, it usually helps if the parents deal with the children. Singing together lifts your spirits and makes you entertain, quizzes (I see something you do not see, I pack my suitcase, guessing license plates, quizzes) shorten the time.
Sufficient breaks for toilets and exercise
Make regular breaks – at least every two and a half hours – in which the whole family goes to the bathroom (motto: once too much, rather than soon after departure). Take a little picnic during the breaks, but above all, make sure that your children are moving. If necessary, bring a ball, a Frisbee, a skipping rope or a twist with you and bring it out, if the space and the traffic at the playground allow it. But also squats, balance exercises at the curb or catch around the car are okay. Ideally, plan a break at a rest area with an adjoining playground, where the children can let off steam. Be it a McDonald’s or a kid-friendly rest area. Addresses of child-friendly rest areas can also be found.
Little tips can be given regarding the time to go. In addition to your journey, this depends to a good extent on your children and their peculiarities. Do you sleep well in the car? Do you continue to sleep when you arrive and you take the kids out of the car or do you wake up wide awake and turn the night into day?
In general, you should take time when traveling with children. If you do not set your schedule too tight and take regular breaks, the journey will be far less stressful and the whole family will arrive at the destination halfway relaxed.