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Travelling by car without the electronic babysitter!

(37 Posts)
KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 17:26:57

Does anyone still do this?

We are planning a trip to Scotland next year (we live in SE England) with our two DC who will be 18 mths and just under 3 at the time. We are already being offered loans of DVD players and hand held computer games.

I'm not completely anti-tv (the boys watch about 5 hrs a week, so not a huge amount) but not keen on computer games (neither have used them at all) and it got me wondering whether anyone still travels long distances with their DC without these devices.

Without wanting to sound all wistful, my three siblings and me travelled all over the country when we were kids with nothing but trusty i-spy, sleeping and making up words using number plates to keep us occupied grin.

Please reassure me that I'm not the only one contemplating life for my DC without constant technological stimulation!


belgo Tue 30-Nov-10 17:28:44

We regularly drive long distances and only once used DVD players, before realising they encouraged travel sickness.

CDs of music and stories are better for everyone.

sarah293 Tue 30-Nov-10 17:29:31

Message withdrawn

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 17:33:01

belgo, I worried about the travel sickness thing cos dh suffered badly as a child and I understand it can be hereditary (I have a phobia of vomit - great combination! blush).

Riven, we would love to do the train in future but I don't think we could manage all our stuff on the train at the moment (although I have friends with 3 under 4 who do it - puts us to shame!).

reikizen Tue 30-Nov-10 17:36:16

We never use DVDs and we recently did a 7hr car journey with a 3yo & 6yo. I just sorted them out loads of toys, colouring, reading and Cds to listen to and we were fine!

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 17:39:22

This is all very reassuring grin.

Nice to know my kids won't be thought of as the weird deprived children then! grin

octopusinabox Tue 30-Nov-10 19:00:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 19:15:07

See I have lots of childhood memories of staring vacantly out of the window - I'm pleased to see it's a skill that is still being practised today smile.

MrsCurly Tue 30-Nov-10 20:21:12

With your DC's ages why don't you do the drive at night? We do London / Scotland driving a fair bit and at that age it was the best option. Put kids in pyjamas in to the car at 6 with a duvet each. Story CD. They fall asleep and you get to drive in peace and quiet.

The only problem is if you have to stop at all - they always wake up! Make sure you have a full tank.

We've driven from Scotland to south of France and back with small kids and just the CD player and ourselves to entertain them, but then we are loons...

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 20:33:33

We did consider that MrsCurly, our only problem would be that we are hiring a holiday cottage so not sure how we would organise keys, etc and also would be nervous about staggering into a strange house and trying to set up travel cots/beds, and so on without a clue where everything is and how it all works!

We think we will probably break the journey both there and back to help things and keep our fingers crossed that the boys are ok. DS1 is not a worry as he loves his car seat and happily nods off, DS2, well he's a whole other story . . . . grin.

thisisyesterday Tue 30-Nov-10 20:34:24

we regularly travel down to devon/cornwall from west sussex and have no electronic devices!

last time the cd player was broken too!

the kids are fine tbh. ours are nearly 6, 3 and 18 months

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 20:43:25

I think I'd struggle with no CD player!! grin

Francagoestohollywood Tue 30-Nov-10 20:51:17

We've always travelled long distance with the dc and don't have dvd players or hand held computer games.
We listen to CDs, both music and stories, and play "I spy", or spot various things. They also draw etc.

Actually, when the children were very quite small we even drove from the UK to Northern Italy without a radio in the car. I had all sorts of books which I read over and over again and arrived to Italy with no voice left grin

KarenHL Tue 30-Nov-10 20:58:14

For the past couple of years we travelled from mid-England to Scotland (journey apx 7-8hrs each way inc stops). DD is now 4 and last journey of that kind (to holiday cott') was done 3 weeks ago. Every 5-6 weeks we go to visit my Dad which takes 4 hours each way if traffic is good.

We have never used a DVD player, books of any kind or hand held games on a long journey. We listen to the radio, a CD, or enjoy some quiet time. We try to point out things of interest to DD and she tells us of any that she has spotted before us! DH and I talk to each other and she is encouraged to join in.

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 21:02:15


Unfortunately reading to them is not an option as I get travel sick if I read blush. But I could make up stories, and story CDs would certainly be an idea. Or I could entertain them with my amazing singing wink.

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 21:03:06

Thanks karen, these are really all very heartening stories as I really was beginning to think I was on my own on this!!

InkyStamp Tue 30-Nov-10 21:06:53

Yep, we dont own a in car DVD player, or even a DS!! Mine are 5,3 and a bub and we do long trips (5+ hours) quite a bit. Managed to fly from Oz without them to!

MrsTedHughes Tue 30-Nov-10 21:07:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 30-Nov-10 21:10:42

Oh there are all sorts of lovely story CDs on the market (Mog collected stories is a firm favourite here, even if mine are not 6 and 8).

And don't forget sticker books and snacks (and earplugs for yourself).

BikeRunSki Tue 30-Nov-10 21:11:40

DS is 2.3. We travel W Yorks to Somerset with one of these p/B000JFBNAW?_encoding=UTF8&.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 30-Nov-10 21:11:51

not? I meant now

BikeRunSki Tue 30-Nov-10 21:11:57

These! even

ivykaty44 Tue 30-Nov-10 21:12:02

I havn't used one on eiehr of my 2 dd's one now 18 and the other is just 12. I have travelled on my own with both dd;s through spain and france on "a" roiads and never had a problem. One trip coming home as dd1 was ill and I drove from 9am in the mornign till 1am the follwojgn mornign 700 miles and they never complained and were both angels dd2 would have been about 4-5 at the time

Even now we still do a few hundred miles throguh Belguim and Lux and through france and don't have an entertainment.

if we drove to Mullion I would get up at 4am and be in Mullion from Warwick at 9am and they slept ont he way and we had a full days, but we never left that early on the way home.

KnittingisbetterthanTherapy Tue 30-Nov-10 21:12:10

MrsTed, I think you missed the point of my OP grin - I don't think I need them, but everyone I know in RL seems to think you can't travel without them!

Just wanted reassurance I wasn't going to come a cropper by insisting on not using them and then having the journey from hell - but looks like I'm not alone smile.

I'm impressed that you would turn round and go home though!! grin

Thanks inky, not brave enough to attempt a plane trip yet - maybe one day!

ivykaty44 Tue 30-Nov-10 21:13:36

Oh a I never ever played chidlrens music - I told them my music was for childrena nd made them sing along blush they think abba is for chidlrens sing along time and can't beleive a film has been made out of the music

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