How to survive a long car journey without a tantrum

Travelling with young children can be a daunting thought, especially when it’s in the car. Squabbling siblings and constant requests for toilet stops can be enough to drive parents mad or even put them off the trip all together.

There’s no need to dread travelling however, as last minute UK holiday rental provider, Snaptrip, has put together some top tips to help avoid toddler tantrums when on the road this summer.

1.       Keep them entertained

Make sure to pack plenty of toys to avoid young kids getting bored and having a meltdown, or opt for games such as eye spy, car bingo and the licence plate game which are great ways to pass time and keep children occupied. CDs and audio books will also provide great entertainment and help them relax. Be wary that looking down at books or tablets for long periods is more likely to give children motion sickness so try to restrict their usage when possible.

2.       “Are we there yet?”

When kids are constantly asking how far is left to go, twist the truth and reassure them that you are almost there. Kids have little sense of time and are less likely to throw a tantrum if they think it’s a short journey. One way of doing this is to break the drive up with regular stops and portray it as multiple smaller trips. Remember to stop often, but not too often, and not for too long - just enough time for a toilet break and to stretch your legs. Otherwise you run the risk of extending your journey unnecessarily.

3.       Travel in the evening

By driving in the evening, you are coinciding with your child’s bedtime meaning they are much more likely to sleep through the journey. This is also a good way to cut back on stops as you will inevitably make less toilet breaks if children are asleep, meaning you can press on with the journey. A good tip is to dress children in their pyjamas before setting off so they are comfortable and more likely to fall asleep. They will also associate this with bedtime and wind down naturally, meaning they are less likely to have a tantrum.

4.       Make sure there’s enough space

Pack strategically to ensure the car isn’t over crowded as kids will feel uncomfortable and claustrophobic if they don’t have enough space. Make sure everything you need is to hand to cut back on stops. Snacks, drinks, anti-sickness medicine and a change of clothes are all must-haves. For kids that get car sick, try to take the sick bags off planes next time you’re flying to stash in the car.

5.       Tire them out

By incorporating physical activity into the trip, children will be tired and more likely to sleep through the drive. Time the journey to include some playtime beforehand or research your route to see if you pass any National Parks or English Heritage sites for some fresh air and a stroll. Not only will this allow kids to let off steam, but fresh air will help clear the head of whoever is driving.

And what about when you finally arrive at your destination? The Snaptrip team has come up with a family bucket list to help keep kids entertained during your staycation this summer. How many will you tick off between now and September?