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Over the coming weeks many of us will be loading up the car and heading off to visit family or friends.

Or if you are very lucky, going somewhere completely different. After spending 5 days in the car with my little angels/devils, here are my top 5 tips to keeps the kids calm(ish) and help preserve your sanity!

Charge those iPads

Long car trips are boring for anyone who isn’t driving, so make sure you have plenty to do. Colouring books, sticker books, DVD’s and iPads make for great entertainment for kids and can keep them quiet for a considerable amount of time.

Plan your journey

It sounds obvious, but think about your travelling time. Travelling around sleep times is a great option, if possible. Have accommodation booked if your journey involves an overnight stop over, there’s nothing worse than driving around trying to find a place to stay with cranky kids in the car.

Stop regularly

Regular stops help not only the kids to burn off some excess steam, but are also important for the driver. Parks, attractions such as the Australian iconic “big things” and places with ducks to feed make great options! Feel free to use Google Maps to search for local playgrounds with toilet facilities. Factor these breaks into your travelling time so that you don’t feel you’re losing time.

Bring plenty of food and drink in the car

Just the process of eating can entertain kids and younger kids, especially those who like to snack regularly. Having food on hand helps to decrease the amount of stops and also stops the “I’m hungry” complaints. Packing a bag full of healthy snacks cuts down your reliance on service station food, which seems to consist mainly of burgers and chips.

Be prepared for the endless questions

The question of “are we there yet?” is bound be to asked. Young kids especially have no concept of time or distance so be prepared to be regularly asked how much longer the journey will be. This is a good time to divert into a game of “I spy”, or a “oh look out the window at the sheep”. If the question is becoming increasingly repetitive, it’s generally a good indicator that a stop is necessary!

What are your top tips for travelling with kids? Share with us below.

  • I have travelled with 2 small children and had no dramas. Need some tips on travelling with a 1 year old, now that will be hard

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  • I am thinking of flying to Melbourne while my parents drive with my 10 year old twins (from Queensland)! There just isn’t enough room in the back for all of us now!

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  • Entertainment for the littlies is essential that’s for sure!

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  • Great example in photo, I think not. The car is left hand drive so it’s obviously not in Aust. (I have no issue with that) I have issues that the driver is using what appears to be a mobile phone. Not parked at the side of the road at all so we can only resume that the car was moving. As entertainemt for those old to to join in, you can also look for horses (favourite used to be white ones), various colours of cattle…or old houses. Farmhouses used to be built close to main roads. Sadly a lot of them haven’t been maintained and are derelict. Depended how bad they were whether they were Mum’s or Dad’s…….It’s definitely a good idea to stop every couple of hours, preferably where there’s toilets. Sometimes servos are a good idea and you can go to the toilet and re-fill the car with fuel. Some have picnic areas nearby. There is just a few servos with clear space out the back where kids can run around for a few minutes. Just watch for cars coming through that people have the same idea. If you are looking for good reasonably priced meals when travelling, use the ones that have trucks parked there if you can. Truck drivers will not use the ones that have substandard meals or snacks. Word gets around ver quickly if they find some are no longer good or if they decide to try another one and it is good. I know of one roadhouse that built a huge truck parking area out the back, the food got really bad and none of the trucks now stop there. THey pull into a side road and walk across the highway further down the road at another one. A few that the trucks use have free tea & coffee (you make it yourself). There is a great little one south of Port Pirie in SA. It doesn’t look much from the outside but the food is fantastic and not expensive. If they are really busy you may wait a few minutes than normal for your meal, but it is all freshly cooked and the salad freshly made too. We went in there one night. Where I was sitting I could see into part of the kitchen. It was really busy that night. There was a constant flow of trucks.

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  • Never had iPads in my day with my four children on the road. Used to make up games and see who could find the first cow, horse or whatever. Who could make the first sentence from a number plate. I spy. And I can never remember them asking me ‘Are we there yet?’

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  • Get the kids to work out before hand what they want to do on the trip. Chances are you’ve already thought of them but they will feel like they have done all of the planning and won’t complain nearly as much. Worked for me. Also I think it might be wise for them to tell the driver not to look at their phone while driving.

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  • headphones! For pete’s sake don’t forget headphones and snacks!!

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  • Good article. I hope the driver is not using his phone and driving at the same time which it does appear to be the case.

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  • Talking books are good, you can buy the Cds with the books that the children can follow when you have the cd playing

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  • Snacks, drinks, games, music, books and plenty of conversation – a wonderful to engage with your children.


    • Stops and fun times at stops – scavenger hunts.

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  • Brave souls travelling with kids! We only ever go 2 hours away max and food and timing the drive around naps so they sleep helps us!

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  • Regular pit stops help. Let the kids out to burn off some energy at regular intervals. You’ll need to allocate more time to your travel agenda, but it’s worth it

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  • Make sure you plan to have a longer stop including lunch and a play. Ask online in mummy groups where they normally stop on the same route. have a few little cheap toys eg hot wheel cars to pull out on the journey.

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  • When I was young, me and my family would drive from the Netherlands to Switzerland or Austria in 1–12 hours leaving at 3am in the night.
    We would regularly have a stop to use the toilet, stretch the legs, kick a ball or use our lunch. We didn’t have ipads or devices at that time, but had a cassette recorder and would listen to music / sing for hours.


    • Lol not 1-12 hours, but 11-12 hours drive.
      My own kids like to bring books, word search and drawing material and yes tablets as well.

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  • Plenty of food and drink is a must have!

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