Long car journeys with children – perfectly prepared
Relaxed holidays right from the start with the 7 must-haves.
For families, holidays often begin with an hour-long car journey. Especially for children, such journeys are exhausting and boring. No sooner have they started the car than the querulous question comes from the back seat: “Are we there yet?” Verti Versicherung AG shows how families can start their holidays P-E-R-F-E-K-T (perfectly) prepared with their offspring – provided they integrate the 7 “must-haves” Planung (planning), Essen (food), Reise-Kit (travel kit), Fahrtstopps (travel stops), Elektronik (electronics), Kopfhörer (headphones) and Teddy (teddy).
- P for “Planung” (“Planning”)
The most important thing on a long car trip with child(ren) is good planning. If you want to prevent your child(ren) from getting bored, uncomfortable or even sick on the long car journey, you should consider the best route and the ideal stops and snacks in advance and pack safely and with foresight – so don’t stow the picnic bag at the bottom of the boot!
- E for “Essen und Trinken” (“Food and drink”)
If everyone has eaten and drunk enough before the start of the journey, the start is immediately more relaxed. Nevertheless, it is advisable to have food that is easy to eat and handle, i.e. finger food that is not sticky, crumbly or dripping – this saves trouble in the car. Good snacks include cheese cubes, blueberries, carrot sticks, cucumber pieces or sandwiches cut into smaller portions.
- R for “Reise-Überraschung” (“Travel Surprise”)
Unwrapping presents is always good for children, even if they are neither big nor expensive: A surprise bag filled with Pixi books, small toys or sweets that you might not let your children have so often is therefore a great distraction on long journeys. Vouchers, for example to choose a song or get an ice cream at the next petrol station, also keep the mood high.
If you want to expand the basic idea a bit more, pack several small bags instead of one and hand them out depending on the progress of the journey. With the help of the bags, even small children can estimate the remaining travel time: “Two more bags” is easier for them to grasp than “200 km to go” or “three hours to go”.
- F for “Fahrtstopps” (“Travel stops”)
Breaks are important – even more so with children. If you are going on holiday with children, you should not drive more than 500 kilometres a day. With enough breaks – ideally every two hours for at least 20 minutes – that’s about eight hours of travelling per day on a motorway route. During the breaks, the children should be able to move around a lot – therefore, rest stops with nice playgrounds or play corners are ideal. If these are not available on the route, it is often a good idea to leave the motorway and stop in a small town, for example, instead of at a crowded WC rest area on the motorway.
If you are travelling to a destination further away, you should plan an overnight stopover. Sometimes it is worth taking a diversion. Are there any friends or family members who might be living along the way?
- E for “Elektronik” (“Electronics”)
It doesn’t have to be a tablet – especially for children who easily get sick while driving, music playlists with children’s songs and radio plays are the better choice anyway. Most music streaming providers now offer music and radio plays for children that can be downloaded in advance from the Wi-Fi network. This way, no data volume is consumed and the sound quality is maintained even in wireless holes.
No matter which device is used – make sure that no loose objects can fly around in the car. If the tablet, DVD player or mobile phone are not in use during the journey, they must be stowed safely. Otherwise, they can become projectiles in an accident and cause serious injuries.
- K for “Kopfhörer” (“Headphones”)
“The most beautiful nursery rhymes” on continuous loop or their favourite film – what children love used to cost parents their last nerve. Today, headphones are THE secret weapon for relaxed car journeys. Wireless Bluetooth headphones are particularly practical, as there are no tangled cords or broken cables, nor is there any danger of strangulation for small children.
- T for “Teddy”
No matter what great entertainment parents offer on the journey – the most relaxing drive is usually when the children are asleep. To ensure that this works out well, you should plan the time of the journey appropriately (if necessary, you can take advantage of the midday nap or drive late in the evening), make the back seat a cosy place with cushions and blankets and, of course, make sure that your favourite cuddly toy is with you.
Because most children need their beloved teddy to fall asleep well. And this is true not only in the car, but also in a strange bed on holiday. And after all, the holiday should be perfect, too…