Summer is just around the corner, and if you have a brilliant summer holiday planned, chances are you’re already really looking forward to the chance to show your child or children lots of new and interesting things and spend some great quality time with them.
If you live quite a long way from the airport, though, or are going on holiday by car instead of flying, then the first part of the holiday will likely be a long car journey – not always a delightful prospect, especially with young ones! Here are some tips for keeping your child happy and comfortable, and helping them to stay in a happy, holiday mood even if the journey to get to the ferry, the resort or car park at the airport is a bit of a drag!
Give Them Something Holiday Themed to Watch
One good idea to keep them remembering why they are in a car for hours and that it will be worth it in the end is to make them a playlist of holiday themed episodes of their favourite TV shows, or to find something else that will put them in the mood. If you are going on a sunny beach holiday, then Frozen is probably not the best choice, after all! Most of the shows kids like have themed episodes, and finding some about beaches, going on a plane, swimming, and other fun things your child should be looking forward to doing on holiday is a cute way to keep them occupied in the car, and also gives them a ‘special’ choice of shows to watch that will make the journey seem more exciting!
Make it Comfortable for Them to Sleep
The more sleep your child gets in the car and on the plane, the easier the journey will be all around, because it will pass quickly for them without them getting bored. They also won’t be in a tired or irritable mood when you arrive at your destination and they have to get used to the hotel or other accommodation you’ll be staying at. While it may seem like a good idea to keep them awake in the car so that they’ll be more likely to sleep on the plane, a lot of people just can’t sleep on planes, and it is possible your child just won’t be able to rest there, with everything being so new and unfamiliar, along with noisy and crowded. As the car is much more familiar, if they are able to sleep there, it can be best to encourage this. Keep a blanket and pillow in the back with them so they can snuggle up and sleep if they feel like it.
Make Regular Stops
If you are travelling by car a long way to get to your destination or the airport or ferry, then making rest stops will be important for you too, but can be even more important for keeping your child happy and comfortable. Get into a relaxed, holiday mood yourself and don’t rush to make time – set out early and allow for lots of breaks along the way so your child can stretch their legs and burn off some of their energy – which they will probably have lots of if they are excited about the trip! Kids tend to actually like motorway service stations as they usually have playgrounds, places to walk around, shops, and fast food, so even if they seem pretty awful to you, let your child have fun in between legs of the journey!
Keep Them Cool
If your car doesn’t have air conditioning, travelling in summer can get pretty hot. Make sure you bring lots of drinks to help you and your child stay cool and hydrated and keep windows open where it is comfortable to for cooler air and ventilation. If it is very hot, help your child cool off at rest stops by running water over their wrists and washing their face with cold water, and perhaps treat yourselves to an ice cream.
Don’t Use Up All the Entertainment You Were Keeping for the Rest of the Holiday!
Make sure you have more than enough books, media on your tablet, and other sources of entertainment for your whole holiday! It can be easy to burn through it faster than you think, especially during the journey part, so collect a lot of stuff that your child can watch, read or play with before the holiday so they aren’t complaining that they’ve watched or read it all before you even board the plane! Remember you may not always have Wi-Fi on the trip, so be sure that if you are keeping them entertained with a tablet or phone, you’ve downloaded things for them to watch and games that don’t require an internet connection. Netflix may not always be an option!
To avoid any unnecessary delays where the kids are bound to get fidgety and irritable, it is important to plan ahead. This can include booking a parking spot at the airport so that you are not aimlessly driving around the car park looking for a space. For a Birmingham departure, for example, Birmingham car par 7 has bookable spaces which you can find at birminghamparking.com.
As you can see, the journey by car to kick off your holiday doesn’t need to be too stressful and can be a pleasant time for getting really excited about the holiday to come!