A family of 5 with a zest for life, love of good food & passion for travel

Surviving a road trip with kids | 5 tips that actually work

We have a few road trips planned this year including the Norfolk Broads, Leicestershire and the Just So festival in Cheshire. We don't shy away from taking the children on long car journeys and as summer is almost upon us, I have scoured the internet for a tips and hacks that actually work and will ensure your family road trip goes as smoothly as possible.  There's everything from mood boosting snacks to my favourite apps that are educational yet entertaining.

Surviving a road trip with kids | 5 tips that actually work including healthy snacks and our favourite apps.

1 - Movies are your friend


During our 36 hour bus journey to spain, I realised that movies are your friend! Yes it's obvious but make sure you pre-load your iPad with their favourite movies or use in-car DVD players and they'll happily sit for hours. We usually watch a movie, travel for another 30 minutes and then take a rest break before loading another movie for the next part of the journey.

2 - Avoid service stations


I honestly think that service stations some of the most depressing places on earth! It really pays to spend 5 minutes planning your journey on google maps beforehand and finding alternative places to stop that are much more fun for your kids. In the past we have stopped at Fodder Food Hall near Harrogate which had a play tractor outside and a basket of fruit the kids could help themselves to alongside colouring sheets with lunch, Sunnyhills farm shop near Belford which is a lovely farm shop  and cafe just off the A1 near Alnwick with an outdoor play area and Bolsover castle which is a fantastic English Heritage property and place to stretch your legs.

Surviving a road trip with kids | 5 tips that actually work including healthy snacks and our favourite apps.


3 - Prepare the right snacks


When it comes to in-car snacks, there's a lot to think about. You ideally need something that your children can't spill and won't make a mess, you want to avoid giving them a sugar high and anything that might make them sick. I love these ideas for mood-boosting car snacks from carhireexcess.insure which include coconut and ginger energy balls, apple wedges with peanut butter and whole-wheat banana muffins. I'll definitely be getting my bake on and trying a few of these recipes this year.

Surviving a road trip with kids | 5 tips that actually work including healthy snacks and our favourite apps. - coconut balls


4 - Sticker books will help to pass the time


I am a huge fan of Usborne travel books and usually search The Book People for any bargains before a big trip. I highly recommend Usborne's travel colouring and doodling books as well as their sticker books. I find these much easier for children to use as they can dip in and out of them.

5 - Download apps


My children would play Minecraft all day if I let them. I think too much screen time during a journey can lead to travel sickness (and the kids already normally watch movies during a trip) so I limit their app time to 15 minutes at a time. My favourite travel apps are Tiggly and Ebookadabra - they are both educational and entertaining and can be used in short bursts.

Surviving a road trip with kids | 5 tips that actually work including healthy snacks and our favourite apps. - tiggly

Let me know if you have any tips to add to my list and if you're planning on taking a road trip with your kids this year.

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