Travel // Long distant road tripping with kids…

long distant road tripping with kids

Over the past few years we have taken the kids on various holidays in both the UK and Europe, driving down to France, even down as far as Northern Spain.  Spending long distances and many many hours in the car.  It’s boring, tiring and a total drag as a parent, but what is it like for the kids?  10 x worse.

BP Ultimate has recently looked at what keeps us Brits moving and what makes a car journey run smoothly, as they prepare to hit the road this holiday.   From the Ultimate Spotify Playlist – did you know that Pharrel Williams ‘Happy’ is the nation’s number one car tune?  To, the Brits favourite in-car game being ‘I Spy’.

With this in mind, BP Ultimate have asked me to share a few of our top tips on how we keep entertained during a long road trip:

Long distant road tripping with kids

Long distant road tripping with kids…

Get them to pack their rucksack

Encourage your kids to pack their own bag for the car.  I’m not talking about their clothes, but a small rucksack full of things they might want to have with them.  For example:  Rufus always loves to have one of his soft toy animals with him (usually his Tiger).  Charlie always takes his cap.  Plus they pack their headphones, tablet, Uno, pad and pens, reading book, a bottle of water and a few snacks.

Having them take the responsibility of packing their own bag, allows them to choose what they want to do in the car, and if they have forgotten it once we are on the motorway – then there are less tears as they know they should have packed it.

Food

My tribe is forever hungry.  I always ensure I have enough snacks in the car to keep us going.  Packets of crisps, apples and bananas and of course bottles of water.  The boys always want a packet of sweets, which we do allow, but they are in agreement, it makes us all hyper and then super thirsty.  According to the BP Ultimate research – the Nation’s top in-car snack is mints at 35% with boiled sweets close behind at 32%.  Proving that we Brits prefer a traditional snack whilst driving.

Tunes

The boys have their own Spotify playlist, which they insist we play as soon as we set off anywhere.  It’s a rock medley mix of Royal Blood, David Bowie, Nirvana and Metallica.  Sigh!  After about two hours of it, I’ve usually had enough and opt for some Sylvan Esso, by which point they have put their headphones on and are watching You Tube.  In need of some music inspiration?  Then why not download the BP ‘keep Britain moving’ playlist.

Devices

Sad to say it, but these are your friend!  We recently drove back from Paris, via the Eurotunnel.  A journey which took 8 hours, door to door.  The kids played Minecraft, listened to their music or watched You Tube. 8 hours of looking out the window would have been too much to ask, but at least they could zone out on their tablets for a while.

Scheduled stops

8 hours in a car!  No, not non-stop, we did get out and stretch our legs.   Sometimes it is important to pull over to get some fresh air and have a wild wee :)  We are National Trust members and regularly make a slight detour to break up a journey.  A walk around the grounds and to use the cafe is a perfect way to stretch the legs.

In car games

When boredom really strikes we play a few games.  Our favourites are:  High fiving each other when spotting a vehicle of our choice.  Rufus loves a Mini, Charlie loves a Tesla, I love a Fiat 500 and Dan loves a Land Rover discovery.  Keeping score of who has seen the most, always leads to arguments, but hey – what car journey is plain sailing!   Did you know that us Brits favour good old I spy as our favourite in-car game?  Something beginning with C!

I hope there are some good tips here to help you on your next car journey.  What are your family in-car traditions?  Do you have a playlist to share?


If you are in need of more inspiration BP Ultimate have come up with some great ideas to keep Britain moving.  Head over to their website to discover what the Nations favourite in-car game is or the ultimate driving tune is.

BP Ultimate unleaded with ACTIVE technology is our best ever fuel for cleaning petrol engines. It starts working from the first fill, helping to remove harmful dirt in your engine and to stop it coming back.  With ongoing use, BP Ultimate Unleaded with ACTIVE technology helps keep your engine running smoothly and performing at its best, and helps reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance.


Collaboration Note:  This post was written in collaboration with BP Ultimate.  All words, thoughts and images are my own.  Thank you for supporting the posts that make this blog possible.

  • I loved these journeys as a child, and my partner and I have just returned from our first driving holiday down to the Alps. It amazes me how the same rules apply for adults as for kids! Your suggestions are great, but I’d add two more – audiobooks and podcasts, and activities that help you take note of what’s outside the car windows. I loved an audiobook as a kid and podcasts are my partners jam, so for us it helps pass the time on long drives. A long journey is a great excuse to get into a new book and classics can be enjoyed by all ages. My parents were great with us as kids giving us games to get us looking at what was going on outside the car to actually enjoy the journey itself. Crossing off the names of towns you’ll go through, marking your route on a map, counting cows and traffic lights and even red lorries can help to pass the time with competitve kids. And for big and little kids … ispy books! I gave one tongue in cheek to my 30 YO other half and he loved it!

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