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Travel Stress-free with Children this Christmas

The Christmas holidays are supposed to be a time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends and recharging your batteries in preparation for the rigours of the year ahead, but for those who have to embark on a journey with the children, Christmas could be anything but relaxing!

Going on a long drive with excited kids can be one of the most stressful experiences you'll have all year. Not only will you have the worry of making sure you've packed everything you need, plus the usual hassle of traffic jams, but you'll also have added stress of having giddy children in the car.


Kids have a habit of getting bored on long journeys, asking if you're nearly there yet and needing breaks to stretch their legs, use the toilet or have a bite to eat. It can all add up to a major headache for parents at a time when everyone is supposed to be relaxing.

So, are there any useful tips to aid stress-free travel with children this Christmas? Read on to find out what other parents recommend when embarking on a long journey...



The journey really begins before you even set off. Have a checklist of everything you must do - including things you need to pack - a few days in advance of your trip. This takes the feeling of last-minute panic away and the constant thought that you've forgotten something. Simply tick off things on your checklist when they've been done.

Careful and organised preparation is the key to a reduction in hassle. A simple tip is to fill up the car the day before your journey. If you're travelling on Christmas Eve, remember that thousands of other people will be doing the same thing, so the last thing you want is to be queuing up on the garage forecourt waiting to fill up the car.

Also, check traffic conditions in advance. If you find out your route may be blocked or have delays - caused either by bad weather, or by an accident - it may be better to either delay your start time, or if the problems are really serious, to postpone your trip until the next day.


Picnic food

According to a survey of 2,000 parents, there are plenty of things you can do to help your journey pass quickly and safely. Prepare a picnic to eat on the road (including hot drinks in flasks), make sure your mobile phone is fully topped up and don't forget the sat nav.

Always be prepared with blankets and extra warm clothing in the boot, just in case you break down, or the weather changes and you hit snow. It goes without saying that your car should be roadworthy, with safe tyres and the oil and water topped up to the correct levels.

Sometimes, a breakdown can occur, no matter how carefully you've prepared for a journey. Make sure you have up-to-date breakdown cover with onward travel, or a recovery option to transport you, your family and the car home if necessary. Take flashlights, a hazard warning triangle, a car jack and a spare tyre for added peace of mind.


In-car entertainment

Once you've set off, you'll need ways of keeping your children entertained in the car. Having a well-stocked picnic hamper will help the journey to pass more quickly, as will having plenty of CDs with Christmas music or kids' songs, so you can have a sing-along on the way.

Also, stock the car with toys and games to keep them amused. Hand-held gaming consoles are a popular option, while a DVD player with a good selection of family films can keep everyone entertained for hours. It's also a great time to play traditional family games - an old favourite such as "I Spy" can last forever!

If the children grow tired, having blankets and pillows will enable them to have a nap en route, thus giving you some welcome peace and quiet!

Another tip is to try and retain a forgiving attitude if another motorist's driving annoys you. Getting angry, shouting and making insulting gestures will cause you more stress and will upset the children too. Remember it's the season of goodwill, so try to be kind to people, even if you think they're driving too slowly, or committing some other perceived misdemeanour.

When you're planning a long journey, Coruba has a range of top-quality vehicle rubber matting to help prevent wear and tear and to protect your car’s interior from spilt food.

Please contact us for details.

Have a safe journey.

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