Thursday, 11 August 2011

Surviving the longest car ride ever

As many of peeps are already at their holdiay destination with the journey a distant, but painful memory in the past and still the rturn journey to make I thought I woudl impart some of my tips. I think this is the only area where I can feel like a smug mummy having failed in just about other area quite spectatularly. However when it comes to sleeping and long journeys I confess to scoring quite highly. I was prompted to write this article after reading someithing on a similar subject by Professor Tanya Byron. She was all well and good but giving tips like being prepared for a long journey? well you handly need a Prof to tell you that. Anyway my tips which have got me from the North of England to the South of France and further on many occasions are as follows:
  1. This is an ABSOLUTE. You must never ever ever feed your child a combo of haribo and cheese strings on an empty stomach early in the mornign pre breakfast. I am afraid the excitement of the forthfcoming holiday causes a Veusious effect and be ejected at any moment. Usually on a Toll Road with no place to pull over.. You then are likely to have to travel several hundred miles with the worse in car freshner ever. I would also like to point out that I did not provide these items to my child they helped themselves rather sneakily to them. Anyway horror story over...
  2. Invest in a Magna Doodle. With this you can then play games like Monsters whenre you all take it in turns to creat a monster. One by one you pass the doodle round starting with a head shape then passing it to the next so they can add an ear or an eye or oustache. Great fun buit can give you a bit of a cricked neck with all that turning to the rear of the car. You can do it with paper but the Magna Doodle thing seems more fun.
  3. Audio books. Depending on the age of your children these can be an absolute god send or may drive you slightly crazy. Once we got onto Lemony Snicket our holiday journeys were as much as part of the fun as the holidays itself. This can gain you upto 4 hours of peace and quiet in one long stretch. It can also have you all sat at your destination waiting for the audio book to get to a suitable spot to pause as you are so gripped in the tale
  4. Snacks. The healthier the better - see point 1 as for why. Dried fruit, fruit, sandwiches. Plenty of water. The key is not to hand the out the minute you have left your drive way. In fact that can be said for all of my tips. Wait til required and not a moment before.
  5. The number plate game. Take the letters of a number plate and make up 3 words. Eg AFT Air Floating Turnip. The randomness usually causes hilarity. The older they get the ruder it becomes
  6. Travel Bingo. Make up your own list or picture depending on the ages of things you would expect to see en route. This can either be a check list of pictures depending on the ages of your travelling companions. Arm the littlies with clip boards and get them spotting. Prizes always help. You could also have this as travel treasure trail too
  7. Singing  there's nothing like a rendition of Wheels on the bus or Reach for the Stars to get them going
  8. Leave in the middle of the night - Not so good for the parents but can gain you valuable silent travelling time
  9. Top Trumps always worked well for us in the car. We have just passed on our heritage to my sister of nearly 20 odd packs.
  10. Expect to stop for wee and poos and much needed breaks.
  11. Its not a good start to the holiday if tempers are frayed so I always took it in my stride. Now they are older they just tend to sleep ( this is my second success story ) however this is not always so good if you are in need of a navigator.
Enjoy your holidays but if anyone has got any tips on how to discipline a 6'1" 17 year old or a flouncing 15 year old I would be much obliged

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