Saturday, December 01, 2012

Surviving Christmas Travel With The Family!

I quite often share tips here on ParentWheels from companies that want to help you get your car ready for travelling with kids but it is refreshing to read some tips from a company who want to help get YOU and your FAMILY ready for travelling.

Image courtesy of digitalart /
Britax sent me a list of really useful tips for prepping the car for winter travel and ideas for fun games to play in the car if you are taking a long road trip to visit family this Christmas. However, I was most taken with their ideas for how to get your family ready for car journeys in the winter...

  • Make sure your car seats are fitted correctly so that your children will be as safe and comfortable as possible. This should include checking that the harness and headrest is at the right height for your child. Visit to see how to fit your BRITAX car seat correctly or your own car seat manufacturer's website.
  • Pack the car the night before, so if you are leaving early in the morning, you just have to pop in the kids, the change bag and a couple of favourite teddy bears and you are good to go!
  • Make sure you have extra drinks for the children and a flask of hot coffee / milk for unexpected delays.
  • Make sure your mobile is fully charged if you need to keep in touch with family or friends whilst on the move.
  • Have an empty plastic bag to store all the rubbish which accumulates during a long car journey – think banana skins, discarded chocolate wrappers, used baby wipes. A bag is also handy if there is an unexpected bout of travel sickness. -- Note from editor... I can vouch for this one million times over!
  • Best in-car munchies? Dried fruit, cheese sticks and the more chewy, less crumbly of the cereal bars.
  • Make sure you have a good collection of DVD’s that suit all the children for when they are allowed screen time!
  • If you have boys, make sure you have a couple of empty bottles if they need an emergency wee!
  • Have plenty of baby wipes for in-car nappy changes, dirty hands and chocolate faces. It is a good idea to get your little ones to wear two thin(ish) tops, so you can whip the dirty one off as soon as you arrive leaving the clean and sparkling one below.
  • Store a few surprises in the front seat for those un-timely fractious moments, such as pens and papers for extra games, some interactive books and a couple of little animal toys.
  • Although obvious, try and plan your driving time around one or two of your babies or children’s sleep times. Sometimes letting the little ones run wild all morning lends itself to a more relaxed afternoon drive. Sometimes travelling at night may be preferable so they all sleep - although you need to make sure you aren’t too tired and settling a little one into a new environment late at night can sometimes be a bit testing.
  • Divide and conquer. Keep as much space as possible between siblings in the back – the closer they are, the feistier they can get. Try a physical boundary like a pillow between them.
  • Pack some blankets and have hats and gloves ready should you need them at a moments notice.
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