Long car rides with kids – our tips& experiences!

long car trips with children

It goes for you on vacation and this time is a long car ride with kids at? Everything is not so bad – we show you how it works most of the time very stress-free with us! Because we are often on the road on our trips both in the car and in the camper and have meanwhile a whole collection of tips, how to make the car trip as pleasant as possible for everyone. Let’s go!

get going – the best time to start your journey

Whether it’s morning, noon or night – the right time to travel should be well thought out and, above all, adapted to the needs of the children. And of course they are individual! So when is the best time to leave if you have a long car trip with kids ahead of you?? For us, the most effective way so far has been to ca. leave 1-1.5 hours before the normal nap time. so the kids (1,5 and 4y) are still in a good mood, enjoy driving and soon take their nap.
Starting very early in the morning can also work well, especially if the children are still so tired that they continue to sleep in the car. The same applies to late in the evening, although this works less well for us than in the morning or at noon.
I would never leave after a nap or right after getting up (without an alarm clock). Experience shows that children simply have too much energy to sit relaxed in the car.

Breaks – it’s better to plan more!

hunger – pee – boring: with kids in the car you have to be prepared for more breaks than you were used to without them. And also where you take a break is not unimportant: simply at a rest stop is possible, but especially during long car trips with children often too boring for the tots. How about a short trip to the mall or ikea instead?? Maybe there is a playground on the way? Google always helps us a lot and we prefer to take our breaks a bit off the highway. So the kids can run around while we enjoy a cup of coffee. Perfect! New impressions and the urge to move around also make you tired more quickly. And what are parents more happy about on long car trips than sleeping children on the backseat??!

By the way, we have a tradition of getting a coffee to go somewhere at the beginning of the drive. At home we often don’t make it in the rush and the stress. And we always look forward to that first short stop, because then we just take a breath: accomplished! We are on the road.

Exciting stopovers

Depending on how far away the destination is and how long the car trip is scheduled to take, it might also be a good idea to take a longer break in between in the form of an excursion. So we look at our route in advance and consider if there is anything exciting on the way. Maybe an animal park, a lake with boat rental, a barefoot park or or or! Because with children, we think it’s enormously important that the journey is as fun as possible for everyone& good mood means. In the past, with just the two of us, we would have pulled ourselves together and "plowed through" – the main thing was to get there quickly. Today, however, the journey is the destination, as they say. We would rather take a longer journey and be reassured that our children are happy to travel in the car, even if it takes longer.

How about an overnight stay?

I can only recommend this to everyone if the distance is particularly long – it is better to split the journey and plan one (or more) overnight stays in between. This can make the journey much more relaxing! We did the same on our tour of italy and instead of driving into the night, we spontaneously booked a cozy room for one night via airbnb. The pension was right on our way and was pure relaxation for all of us!
That’s one of the reasons why we love traveling in our motorhome so much! And our own little home on wheels, which we can simply park somewhere at short notice and suddenly we have everything we need for the night: from our usual sleeping places with cozy blankets to fresh coffee the next morning!

Comfortable& safe: the right child seat

A good child seat that not only provides safety but also makes the child feel comfortable is essential for a long car trip with children. After all, who likes to sit uncomfortably for several hours at a time??!

On our last road trip through italy, we had the i-spin 360 signature from joie with us for the first time, and our daughter took to it very well right away. This is from birth up to a size of ca. 105cm suitable and can be rotated 360 degrees, which makes getting in and out or putting the child in and out again particularly easy. The children can drive both forward and rearward facing, so the i-spin can be used up to approx. 4 years to be used as a reboarder.

It is important to make sure that the child seat has several angles of inclination so that the children can sleep well in it. For the little ones a well protected and supported head area is especially important. Both of these features are available in the i-spin, and our daughter can ride in this car seat for several hours at a time without complaining.

At joie you will find many other child seats for different requirements and age groups! By the way, baby car seats, strollers, travel cots and much more.!

eating& drinking on the road

Sufficient snacks and enough to drink are essential on long car journeys with children. We like to take a lot of fresh food with us: apples, carrots, cucumber slices, bananas etc. On the way there is always a pretzel – we always combine this with a short break. otherwise you can of course also make sandwiches. And if you want to have a warm meal, you can quickly find a restaurant or a snack bar on the way – this is of course also a nice break for the children.
Except for the pretzels (which the children literally demand)..), but we make sure that we don’t have anything with us that makes us particularly thirsty – salty, very hearty or sweet things. And for drinking we have only water with us. Every child always has his or her water bottle handy and I always have a refill available.

Tip: a utility knife with a blade guard and a trash bag always do us a good service on the road.

Employment& entertainment

Boredom is a bad mood killer, so the key is to keep busy during the journey! For example, we can’t do without music during the drive. We like to listen to our favorite music on deezer and the children have headphones with them if they do not want to be disturbed. Straight audio books are perfect for long car rides with kids!
An LCD blackboard* can also keep the children busy. they can paint or write on it as often as they like and then erase it again. Very practical during the journey! Of course, a children’s tablet* is also conceivable, although we only ever offer it in an emergency (but we’ve already had it and then you’re glad to have it with you). There are also exciting little helpers that you can use on the road. This includes z.B. Also this small watercolor pad*, which is available in different designs. The pages reveal their colors on contact with water. It doesn’t smear, dries easily, and can be reused. We also have a small aqua doodle*, perfect for traveling and similar in principle, except that the children paint pictures themselves and not just color them in.

If your kids like tip toi, the game guessing fun on the road* is a great idea for on the go. Also wipe-away books, z.B. Also thematically matching wipe-and-go book "on vacation "*, are great travel companions, as they are reusable. For children from the age of 6, there are 50 cards with colorful games for long journeys*.
A special travel table for the car is available as a base*.

And to store the small stuff, water bottle& co. We have a car organizer from lassig*. Very practical, as everything is within easy reach and neatly stowed away. It helps us to keep the order in the car halay upright.

Of course, you can just play classic games in the car with the whole family! Everyone knows "i see what you don’t see…" and that can be played wonderfully on a ride. Or just play psychic and try to guess what color the next oncoming car will be? Let your imagination run wild!

Our must-haves for long car trips

In addition to food, drink and occupation, the following is part of our basic equipment in the car:

  • kitchen roll
  • Utility knife with blade guard
  • wet wipes
  • Blanket for the children to cover (depending on the season). weather). Children should not be dressed too thickly in the car! From a safety point of view alone, children should be in the car z.B. Don’t wear a thick jacket, see this ADAC crash test.
  • small change (for the toilet).B.)
  • trash bags
  • Charging cable for cell phone
  • Handkerchiefs

Do you have any tips for long car trips with children?
We wish you a good and relaxing trip!

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