From the rolling hills of the French countryside to the historic canals of Bruges, Europe is home to a wealth of adventures to inspire young minds. Forget delayed departures, in-flight tantrums and baggage restrictions; a road trip gives you the freedom to go wherever you like, whenever you like and make as many stops as you want along the way. To help make your holiday as relaxed as possible, here are our favourite tips for a stress-free journey with your family.
All Hands on Deck
Not knowing what to expect can often leave kids feeling daunted by long journeys. Planning the route together as a family can be a fantastic way of helping your little ones to look forward to the trip. As well as providing ideas to the kind of activities the kids want to do, this will also save the inevitable ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ questions when you’re on the road.
Some of the greatest memories children will hold when looking back on drives is spending some quality time playing family games. Bring a selection of music for singalongs, start a classic car game like I Spy or Guess the Song where you play 10 seconds of a song and see who can recognise it first. If you’re feeling creative you can even have fun inventing a new car game; it will all help to pass the time and keep everyone entertained.
Road Trip Picnics
Forget dodgy petrol station sandwiches, with a road trip the best idea to satisfy rumbling bellies is to pack a cool box full of food and snacks for each journey. Whether you’re passing through the scenic villages of Belgium of driving across the lush French countryside there are endless places you can stop and have a spontaneous picnic.
Brushing up on your knowledge of the places you pass through will give kids an education they will never forget. Do your homework and teach your children about the history of the places they visit, this will give them a much a greater appreciation for each destination.
The boredom of a long car journeys inevitably ends up with the kids fighting each other for leg space, a few little kicks and a cautionary shout of ‘Don’t make me come back there’. A simple solution to this age-old problem is to keep the little ones busy from the get go. Pack a backpack for each child, filling it with all their favourite games, colouring books or toys to ensure they have plenty to occupy their hands and minds the entire journey.
Don’t Over Plan
One of the most simple mistakes you can make when driving is creating a strict routine and following it exactly. Be flexible and adaptive, linger in the pool, leave a little later, enjoy that extra coffee – after all it’s your holiday. Slowing down and enjoying the drive will make everyone more relaxed.