Driven to tears? How to enjoy long family car journeys

Family outings made easierWho hasn’t heard “Are we nearly there yet???” and vowed to never again attempt a long car journey? Sainsbury Finance understand that while car journeys can be stressful they are also often avoidable. They have put together this guest post to help you enjoy those long family car journeys. 

Driven to tears? How to enjoy long family car journeys

If you’re going on a long journey as an entire family unit, it’s normally something a bit special. Family outings can be difficult to fit in around hectic work and childcare schedules so when you do get the chance hit the road, you want as smooth a ride as possible.

When family outings go well you make wonderful memories. When they go badly you wish you’d stayed at home. So it’s important to do everything you can to ensure the fun and laughter quotient is high while the tears and tantrums are kept to a minimum. You don’t want to start the trip with a tense or monotonous car journey.

So how can you make sure that your family remains a happy unit in transit? Here are a few things to remember.

Setting off
Children are sensitive to the atmosphere around them, and they follow your lead. If their view from the back seat is two parents on frosty terms with one another, they’ll be restless and edgy. So try to be as relaxed as you can be.

Have a hearty breakfast and make sure you’re well prepared for the journey. Once everyone is ready (not forgetting that last trip to the toilet) and sitting comfortably in the car, you could start off with a funny story or a reminiscence of a previous family day out (preferably a good one!) – anything to set the tone and get the whole car smiling.

On the road
Keeping children cheerful en route is always a challenge, so make sure you’re well armed with a selection of snacks, bribes and family games. ‘I Spy’ will lose its appeal after a while, so mix it up a bit. ‘A-Z’ is a great game because parents can join in.

Name a pop star for every letter in the alphabet. Your kids will know a whole list of recording artists you’ve never heard of, and it will give you and your partner time to reminisce over Chaka Khan, Deftones (The) and Eagles (The). Your children will pretend they don’t like hearing your renditions of 90s one-hit wonders, but seeing mum and dad having fun will keep them on good form. If they’re too young for this, try it with nursery rhymes or their favourite characters.

Take a break
You’ll benefit from regular breaks, and so will the kids. It will give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and refresh themselves. It’s recommended you take a break from driving at least once every two hours. Make sure you stop in a suitable place, though – you can even plan your breaks when you’re mapping your route before you set off.

If it’s a nice day you could even take a picnic or some outdoor play equipment, such as a bat and ball or a frisbee.

Peace of mind
It’s important you’re prepared for every eventuality, and although a bump or a breakdown will cast a shadow on your outing, if you don’t have adequate cover or a suitable car insurance policy then it will be a whole lot worse. So don’t leave anything to chance!

Happy days
These few pointers all lead to one goal – arriving at your destination with a happy family. A fun, relaxed car journey will massively increase your chances of a memorable outing.

The next challenge is getting the kids to bed in the evening without a single tear shed – then you’ll know you’re really doing a good job!

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