Advanced search

Get an exclusive 5% off your next Mark Warner holiday - call 0333 305 9795 and quote Mumsnet

How to do a long car journey without falling out - your tips please!

(23 Posts)
fridayschild Fri 14-Aug-09 13:08:34

We are going to Holland on holiday, about a 6 hour drive. DS1 is 6 and DS2 is 4.5. They probably won't sleep in the car. It would be a shame to get our holiday off to a crotchety start.

So far my plans for entertainment are
- the Harry Potter first book on CD ( they haven't heard it before)
- small bag of toys chosen by each child
- the journey through the Channel tunnel
- stopping at French and Dutch service stations to see what we think of them
- meals
- erm... that's it!

Any other ideas will be very very welcome.

CMOTdibbler Fri 14-Aug-09 13:14:59

A good one that my mum used to do was to dole out a tube of sweets at predetermined points along the way. You can do a simple map with the key points marked so that they can see their progress. It stops the 'are we there yet' questions, and gives them something to look forward to.

fridayschild Fri 14-Aug-09 13:19:20

I like it! Keep 'em coming.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Fri 14-Aug-09 13:39:43

Can you do your own version of an "I Spy" book. I used to love these when I was a kid.

Get some images printed off the internet of things they may spot along the way - churches, eddie stobart lorry, windmills and dstick them on paper. Make them up a booklet each. May not work so well though if its mainly motorways?

Portofino Fri 14-Aug-09 13:47:09

1. Beg borrow or steal a portable dvd player
2. Loads of drinks/snacks easily accessible
3. Wet wipes
4. On no account make ANY remarks about your DH's driving. grin

MrsBadger Fri 14-Aug-09 13:54:44

portofino is spot on

and do not forget novelties

a bag of toys they have chosen is one thing, but a bag of utterly new things is wonderous

comics are v good for this, also charity-shop happy meal toys

smellen Fri 14-Aug-09 13:57:34

-those magnetic drawing board thingies (about £4 in Tesco)
-favourite music on CD
-a tube of smarties each - held by you. If at any time someone is acting up, tell them you'll chuck one smartie at a time out of the window. They get what's left (a full or empty tube!) on arrival in Holland.

bruffin Fri 14-Aug-09 13:58:27

We are off to Holland next week as well

We used to have "who can get their polo mint/fruit the thinnest" competitions.

Competitions on who can spot the most cars in different colours

Spot the nationality of the cars from the number plates.

Ipods/mp3 with favorite books/music on and Nintendo DS

Obviously stop off for food/drink/toilet

Lakota Fri 14-Aug-09 13:59:32

I find seatbelts and shutting all the doors helps grin

Lakota Fri 14-Aug-09 14:01:01

Sorry. Am no practical help. We go to Wales from London twice a year and are usually at the brink of divorce with the kids on the hard shoulder

NorbertDentressangle Fri 14-Aug-09 14:06:46

Alphabet games -eg. spotting a lorry with company name that begin with an A, then a B....and so on.

I spy (little ones can play phonetically or using colours "I spy something that is blue")

Counting the lorries from haulage companies eg. Eddie Stobbart v Norbert Dentressangle - (Norbert would win naturally wink)

Fimbo Fri 14-Aug-09 14:11:14

You may not need this, but a plastic bag (without the airholes at the bottom) kept in the glove compartment or stuffed in the pockets of the car door is invaluable for those "I feel sick" moments. Especially if you cannot stop at that particular moment.

RoscoPColtrane Fri 14-Aug-09 14:18:45

My two have a lucky dip snack bag each which they are allowed to take something out of every 1/2 hourish, I fill it with a mixture of sweets and healthy snacks.

ellceeell Fri 14-Aug-09 14:19:15

What about these? I haven't tried them but they might have good ideas.

chuffinell Fri 14-Aug-09 14:23:32

we have that pack,ellceeell its really good

GreatUncleBulgaria Fri 14-Aug-09 14:55:46

We did Holland at Easter and at the last minute folded and got DVD players, they were brilliant and made life a lot easier when there as DS wasn't very well - started puking going over motorway bridge at Rotterdam.

There is a fab Esso service station at Bergen Op Zoom which looks like a silver space ship, the DC's were most impressed. Looks like it is newly done inside and has computer games for the children.

We're off to Germany tomorrow and am surveying the disaster zone that is my packing in dismay !

TracyK Fri 14-Aug-09 15:01:56

I'd second (or third) a portable DVD player. dh poo poo'd it and wouldn't let me buy one - so I borrowed a friends for a driving holiday from Scotland to South coast. ds (5.5) didn't even realise he was in a car for 5 hours at a time. I got the kind that straps to the headrests - don't think the lap ones would be very good at that age.

Mumwhensdinneready Fri 14-Aug-09 16:17:19

Took ours to Holland around the same age although we did North Sea Ferry so not so much driving.
Recommend Sat Nav for avoiding conflict with the driver.
Loads of well tested ideas above.
One thing that worked very well when my boys were that age as a bribe reward for good behaviour, was a sticker collection. You can get football or whatever from Smiths before you go. You also buy a supply of stickers. These are given out at agreed intervals for good behaviour.For example I used to give them 3 stickers each morning if they were good at bedtime (ie not popping up every 5 minutes while DH and I were winding down with a glass or two).

I don't normally do this kind of thing and perhaps that's why it worked so well. Like you say, no one wants a crotchety holiday.

fridayschild Sat 15-Aug-09 07:02:43

Thanks all - the utterly new things makes it sound like cunning planning, rather than a bribe! Will see what we can do...

Wallace Sat 15-Aug-09 07:23:42

lock the doors...

For a moment then I thought you meant literally "falling out" grin

glasgowtomelbourne Sat 15-Aug-09 07:25:26

DH also suggested 2 tubes of Smarties, but when DC1 plays up DC2 gets one of DC1's Smarties in their tube. And so on...

bloss Sat 15-Aug-09 07:33:50

Message withdrawn

piscesmoon Sat 15-Aug-09 08:04:35

We also used to have a list of things to spot like an ambulance, Eddie Stobbart lorry, car with a roof rack etc.
As the DSs were into cars they used to choose a make and count how many they saw. We also counted caravans in the summer. Alphabet games as suggested by bloss were always good. We also had 20 questions-animal, vegetable and mineral -this game improves with age.
We have now gone past that stage and they just plug themselves into their music-it is bliss!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: