Surviving the Open Road: A Mum’s Guide to Road Tripping with Kids.
Ah, the call of the open road. The wind in your hair, the freedom of the highway, and... the constant cries of “Are we there yet?” and the "I am bored" whines echoing from the backseat. It's a familiar scene for many mums and, let's be real, sometimes we wish there was a mute or fast forward button. But fear not! With a little prep (and a lot of patience), you can turn that road trip ordeal into an adventure, and maybe, just maybe, make it to your destination with your sanity intact.
1. The Arsenal of Distraction: Activity Packs
We've all been there: an hour into the drive and your little one’s already done with their favourite toy. The solution? A secret stash of new, exciting distractions. Think mazes, word searches and puzzle books for the budding detectives, colouring books and sketch pads for the aspiring artist, sticker books for little ones, and for the tween who insists they're too old for toys? A crossword book, an adult colouring book or even a rubix cube will soon have them furiously focused. Sneak in a few new small toys and watch their eyes light up. It’s like Eid or Christmas, but in July... and in a car. Our top rated items for this are below to make it easy for you, these are all on First Cry which means you can use our code RMD10 to get a discount (even on top of sales!) Maze books Wordsearch books Water Wow mess free books Activity puzzle books Activity books Sticker books Teen / adult colouring books Pingball handheld games Rubix toys Car seat organiser
2. The Way to a Child’s Heart: Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks
Remember how you packed yourself a salad for the trip? Yeah, your kid isn't going to be satisfied with that. Pack a variety of snacks. We're talking a mix of the healthy (think carrot sticks and hummus) and the... well, the not-so-healthy (who can resist a bag of crisps or popcorn?). Individual portion bags or individual tubs are always great and avoid the fights that can occur when one child has one more cookie than the other child. Pro tip: avoid anything too sugary unless you want to deal with a backseat sugar rush obviously. 3. Classic Car Games: Not Just for Nostalgia
“I spy with my little eye…” never gets old. Well, maybe for you, but not for the kids. Car games are not just a great way to pass the time for lengthy trips but are also a fantastic way to get the kids actually taking in the outside scenery! There’s “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” “The License Plate Game,” or the “Alphabet Memory Game", and one of our personal favourites - the "Rainbow game". For this you need to spot every colour of the rainbow in certain objects like cars, motorbikes or even house colours. Not only do these games kill time, but they also give your kids' brains a little workout. And who knows, you might end up having a little fun too. Emphasis on might. Check out the two templates for our favourite car games (I Spy list & the rainbow game) that I made this summer, they were a huge hit on our 2,500KM road trip through Thailand. You can fill in the I Spy list to include things that will be local to you and your road trip. For example, for our trip, we included things like Thai temples, mango trees, rice paddy, a water buffalo, a Thai flag and elephant warning sign. Save them below and print them off for a bit of peace in the car.
Click here to download the file for printing 4. Windows: Not Just for Looking Out Of
Who knew windows could be so entertaining? For the younger kiddos, window gels or stickers can provide hours of entertainment. They can create their own scenes and stories, and the best part? No mess! You can even get wipe off window markers these days too which could spark a whole world of imaginative fun. For little ones, get the toys that stick on flat surfaces, from our favourite gears to suction cup toys. For the tween and teens in the car, why not get them a Fujifilm Instax camera so they can take photos and have instant polaroid photos? Fun, cute and could lead to a nice little scrapbook project after the road trip for them. Check out these products here via Amazon AE. *Please note, we may earn a few dirhams when anyone buys via this link, it doesn’t cost you anything but helps us support Real Mums UAE community and our overheads. Fujifilm Instax camera Film pack (10 x 2 packs) Film pack (10 x 5 packs) Here are our tried and tested favourites for younger ones to make things easier, these are all on First Cry which means you can get a discount (even on top of sale prices) by using our RMD10 code: Window / reusable stickers Wipe off glass markers Window gear toy Window suction toys Baby & Kids cameras 5. Timing is Everything: Plan your driving around naps for younger kids. If they’re asleep, they can't be bored, right? For the older ones, consider audiobooks or podcasts that the whole family can enjoy. It’s storytelling for the modern age. And if all else fails? Well, there’s always the promise of a treat at the next rest stop. Make sure to check for fun little stops along the drive route too, they can be little parks (essential to burn off some energy on long road trips), museums, quirky cafes for food and a toilet break and even an ice cream parlour or dessert shop - remember that bribe of a treat? It is always good to know ahead of time what's on the route and where for these things, trust us. There you have it, our top 5 tried and tested tips to a less painful road trip with kids! As we embark on these road trips with our kids, let's remember the age-old adage: it's about the journey, not the destination. And with these tips in hand and some good preparation, your journey might just be filled with more laughter and memories than “I'm bored” complaints. Safe road tripping!