July 23, 2018
You’ve chosen Northumberland for your family holiday (great choice!), you’ve long since booked your cottage hideaway, the packing’s done and it’s time to set off – but with several hours of car journey between you and your relaxing getaway, you might be feeling a little tense, but want to avoid the tablet or games console for as long as possible.
Fear not, here a few ways to put off the tablet for as long as possible, so you can arrive relaxed and calm without one ‘are we there yet’ ringing in your ears…
Traditional games – a good place to start when everyone is feeling enthusiastic and excited! A round or two of “I-Spy” can be tailored to your child’s age, clues by colour rather than letter for the younger ones, and can be as elaborate as you like! Spot the next “red car”/ green road sign/ Blue Audi, keeps kids looking out the window, or ahead of time make a Journey Bingo card each, mixing landmarks you’ll spot along the way with more common sights. Keep a games score board for the whole journey as motivation for the competitive child (or Dad)…
Audiobooks – there is literally an audiobook out there for everyone, whatever your children’s age. Audiobooks are great for that time on the journey where the initial excitement has passed and perhaps it’s time for everyone to have a little peace and quiet. Younger children will love the 10 CD Julia Donaldson collection featuring all her modern favourites like The Gruffalo, What The Ladybird Heard and A Squash and a Squeeze; bring along the accompanying books for kids to flick through. For older children and adults try the Harry Potter series, brilliantly read by Steven Fry – although you might be tempted to take the longer route!
Songs – enter into the spirit of your holidays by doing what we Brits only do once a year on a holiday road trip – a good old family sing song! Sing whatever songs mean something to the members of your family, or teach them the songs you used to sing in the car as a child. If you’re feeling really adventurous, why not attempt singing in a round?! If the family voices leave something to be desired, why not prepare a family mix tape/ CD/ playlist? Each family member chooses a track to add and so each gets to hear the songs of their choice and those of their nearest and dearest. It’ll broaden everyone’s musical horizons too!
Travel at night – Of course another option is to simply get your kids to sleep in the car. As highlighted in this Guardian article, by travelling at night, you can ensure a stress-free journey as the kids simply take a snooze in the back of the car. Remember to pack travel pillows and blankets, and you can have some adult conversation in the front while the little ones rest!