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Long Distance Car Trips With Children

Updated on March 1, 2012

Traveling With A Baby Is Easy They Just Sleep

As a parent, one of the most challenging tasks you will face, will be taking your children on a car trip. It does not matter if it is a one hour trip or a one day trip, any car trip presents its own set of challenges regardless of the ages of the children you are travelling with. The foremost piece of advice i can give is treat your trip as a boy scout adventure and "BE PREPARED". From my own experience there is nothing worse than getting one hour down the road and one of your children complains of car sickness. No worries you say as you reach for the bucket, what who forget to put the bucket in. With that thought going through your head you are pulling up on the side of a busy freeway using umpteen number of inadeqate baby wipes to clean up your three year olds breakfast of him and the seat in front of him, and the floor of the car and in places you cant even imagen a projectile vomit going. So the first peice of advice is be prepared for the first hour vomit.


  • Bucket
  • Change of clothes(or three)
  • Face Washers
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Plastic Bags

Just expanding on the last point of that checklist, you can never have enough plastic bags when you go on a long car trip. They can be used to put dirty clothes in, vomit in (if you forgot the bucket), put rubbish in. The possibilities are endless. Now moving on from the car sickness scenario and going to something at the opposite end of the scale, FOOD. You can never not have enough enough food when it comes to traveling with children. Food will do two things; one it will keep them amused for short periods of time and two it will cut down your over all trip time by not having to stop every half an hour for food or drinks. The best things to pack are packets of dry biscuits, easy to manage fruit, like bananas or grapes, and some sandwiches. The most important thing of all is water. If you can try and take a little esky so you can pack all the food and drink into it and you will be able to keep it cool. This will also save you a lot of money during your trip because stopping for food and drink on the roadside is always a costly exercise.

Games Kids Play

There are loads of car games that children can play that don't involve some kind of circuit board or rechargeable batteries. From old favourites like eye spy to playing games with the colors of oncoming cars. If you really cant motivate you children to play old school games let them watch portable dvds or play there games consoles. Whatever you do, do not forget chargers and batteries because there is nothing worse than having the children nice and settled in the car with them playing there ipod or ds and the thing konks out. They will end up annoying the other children or worse, you.

Timing is everything

A great way to keep the trip as quick as you can can for the children is go when they are still sleeping. Do this this by having the car packed and ready to go the night before and getting up the next morning and leaving at a time when the children would still be in bed. Just make sure that you also get an early night so you are not fatigued when driving. When on the road try and plan your stops where there is something interesting for the children to see or do. There are lots of roadside stops in Australia the might have a playground or something interesting to look at. Older children could look up a road map and maybe suggest places to stop, then they could track the progress of the trip. Hopefully there are some helpful tips for you to survive a long distance car trip with your children and to get there without being driven insane


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    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Great advice for traveling with kids, Thanks for a great hub.