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Tell Hertz about your experiences of travelling as a family - 5 tickets to Disneyland Paris (worth £277) prize draw! NOW CLOSED

(158 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Apr-14 16:39:18

Hertz have asked us to find out what Mumsnetters' experiences are of travelling as a family.

Here's what Hertz say, "Hertz has a car for every occasion. With one of the biggest car hire collections in Europe, we have the cars to match your needs, mood and budget.
The Hertz Family Collection comprises a range of family and holiday-friendly cars for 5-7 people. Every car in the range is 5-star NCAP safety-rated for added reassurance and has all the space needed for the children, bags, holiday extras and the kitchen sink."

So, what do you find the pains and joys are of travelling as a family? What tips would give to ensure that, when on the road, longer journeys go smoothly? Maybe you have lots of different games you play as a family in the car? Or is the key making sure that you have enough ready made snacks to take with you in case your DCs get grumpy hungry? Have you got any travel plans for over the Easter weekend? We'd love to hear about any plans or experiences you have.

Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win 5 tickets to Disneyland Paris worth £277, valid until the 28th of July 2014. Tickets are valid for both Parc Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios.

Thanks and good luck,



k8vincent Wed 14-May-14 16:13:13

Wow, I am amazed. Thank you so much!

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-May-14 13:03:37

Thanks for all your comments! The winner of the prize draw is k8vincent, congratulations smile

ClioD Wed 07-May-14 11:01:12

My kids are two years and 9 months respectively. They are both pretty good travellers although we need plenty of snacks, drinks, books and games on hand for the two year old. As a last resort there are some cartoons on my iPad, although we try to limit that. The 9 month old still tends to nod off very easily. We're driving to the south of France in a couple of months for our hold so that'll be the true test I guess!

Byrdie Tue 06-May-14 14:17:51

Seriously difficult typing on a iphone while breastfeeding! I was trying finish off with a good fuel consumption car helps to minimise stops. We also had a car service check carried out just before we went.

Usually we do rent cars abroad and i have to say the main thing there is having air con and decent seats and storage!

Byrdie Tue 06-May-14 14:15:09

We've just come home from a car trip with 9 week old, 3 year old and 6 year old that went from surrey to scotland and back via Holy Island, hadrians wall, chatsworth and quite a few motorway stops!

My tips are make sure the dvd player is plugged in, good car seats they can sleep in, lots of snacks and water and most of all, research where you'll stop!

We also downloaded spoken word stories off LibriVox all about the history of the places we were visiting.

We had a pretty good time journeywise. A good fuel consumpti

Moogdroog Sun 04-May-14 21:30:20

My tips - have an entire arsenal at your disposal! Snacks in pots to pass over to the back row, magazines, cds to put on as and when, maybe a grabber to pick up things they've dropped and are shouting about as you hurtle down the motorway. Many and varied entertainments!

moneyone Sun 04-May-14 20:56:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

urterriblemuriel Sun 04-May-14 19:38:32

Last year we wanted to go abroad but didn't fancy the stress (!) of a short haul flight with a 12 mo, so decided to book a eurocamp hol instead. The site was in brittany, so the plan was to drive to Portsmouth c200 miles and then catch a ferry to Caen (4 hours) and then the onward journey of another 100 miles. We could travel in our own time (sort of) with the intention of it being a stress less experience. Such a naive decision....

Both of families live locally so we have never travelled for more than 40 mins with our DD in the car, and we soon discovered that she is one of the rare types that does not easily fall asleep with the motion of the car on a long journey, so both the outward and return journeys were very painful. All we had in our armoury was a nursery rhyme cd which got played to death, so other than that there was lots of feeding snacks, stops, crying...and arguing!

Since, I have learnt that the iPad in a special headrest works a treat (filled with hours of mr tumble), colouring in books with crayons (easier as she is older) as well as much shorter journeys in one go!

kelandab Sun 04-May-14 09:02:53

We always play a game of spot the lorry, where we each choose a branded lorry to spot e.g Argos, & the first to 5 spots wins!

We also ensure we take a special treat such as a packet if sweets for the halfway point of the journey & sometimes find a pretty spot for a picnic halfway through too if it's a longer journey.

MrChow Fri 02-May-14 00:57:03

It's tricky with a toddler, 8 and 12 year old! Usually though they need some space to move in the back a little and plenty to occupy. We've found the best game so far is the lorry game. So we pick a lorry each - usually the big companies such a asda or Sainsburys etc. we then count the first one to get to 20! It kills time. With the toddler it has to be the iPad playing peppa pig quietly at this stage until she can join in!

Benzalkonium Thu 01-May-14 21:57:08

Don't buy cheap air tickets that depart at 6 am from a distant airport and think 'ah the kids will sleep during the drive to the airport/on the plane. They won't they'll be totally hyper the whole time and will not want to nap when you arrive at your exciting g destination at midday.

mawbroon Thu 01-May-14 20:59:28

Our DSs are 8 and 4.

Eddie Stobart spotting keeps them occupied on any journey! There are 2,500 in the fleet so they are unlikely to ever see them all!

They enjoy looking at all different vehicles and look forward to long journeys.

GrasshopperNchipmunk Thu 01-May-14 20:15:26

Snacks, drinks (but not too many!), books for the kids, games, good music and sick bags are a must for long distance car drives in our family! That's if we drive in the day time, in the last couple of years we have increasingly been trying to drive either v early morning or v late at night wit the hope that the kids might sleep part/ all of the way.

We pop the kids in the car in the pj's, and take a spare change of clothes in case they need it and change them at the services.

TopsysMum Thu 01-May-14 18:46:00

Making sure everyone has gone to the toilet to start! I make sure ive got a good supply of snacks starting with the healthy stuff and then hitting junk if and when we get desperate!

If it's a very long journey (we have extended family 270 miles away who we like to see) we try and do one leg of the journey at bedtime which usually works. It's generally on the way home as the excitement keeps everyone going on the way.

We play games together but when everyone has had enough/ little ones have fallen asleep I allow the electronic stuff out. We generally do ok, until I get asked are we nearly there yet....hmm

SueDNim Thu 01-May-14 18:40:13

We prefer to drive with DD after bedtime. We put her pyjamas on, brush her teeth and set off. It has worked less well since she turned 3 as she keeps herself awake.

lostmumsarah989 Thu 01-May-14 18:12:56

I would always leave as early as possible 4am maybe 5am take my lo out of bed and straight into the car, blanket and all. About 50% of the time she would stay asleep but I would be prepared with her favourite teddy, but if all else failed id chuck on a DVD on the portable DVD player and just let her watch that.
Stop at services around about breakfast time for food and to get dressed in the toilets, empty bladders and back on the road.
Always took extra blankets, food, drink and a few toys for her to play with, if she got really restless then if let her play on my phone, an instant quiet car so I could concentrate on the road and my travel sickness lol!

tallulah Thu 01-May-14 17:46:37

We used to travel a lot when our 4 children were very little, and every trip involved the M25, no matter which direction we were heading. We always left between 4 -5 am. We just lifted the children out of bed, wrapped in blankets and loaded into the car. They would generally stir, look around then go back to sleep.

That gave us a good few hours to get as far as we could before they woke up. Once they did we'd stop for breakfast at a Little Chef and get them dressed.

When they were too old to do that (and before the days of proper car-seat until 12) we had our first 7 seater. Each child was assigned their own place in the car and we took care to separate any warring parties. Grandma did try to interfere once and said did it matter. It sure did because it stopped the arguing.

Years of cars that regularly broke down taught us to always carry food and blankets, and spare (communal) items of clothing.

Later we were blessed with DC5, who for the first year of her life screamed hysterically on every single journey. We assume she suffered travel sickness.

Narahs Thu 01-May-14 16:47:32

Our essentials list for a long drive with our 4 & 2 year olds;

* Snacks - fruit, biscuits and chocolate!
* Plenty of water & cordial
* Ipad
* Pillows and blankets
* The kids bedtime teddies (all four of them!)

Along the way we make up stories, look out for letters and numbers or sing along.

Our most recent trip was to calais via ferry, it went much more smoothly than a flight as we'd be forever chasing after the 2 year old!

missorinoco Thu 01-May-14 13:20:29

Pack snacks, and do NOT let DH put them in the boot.
Plenty of CDs, I spy, spot x no of blue cars etc.

Tactics will need to change according to age.

Stop every 2-3 hours.

HappyMum4 Thu 01-May-14 11:01:58

I also go with the individual goody bag method, with healthy snacks, a small drink, book, magazine, little pack of crayons or pencils and activity book, they have their electronic game and we do have a car tv for very long journeys, we play games in the car like making sentences out of car licence plates (last three letters), spotting certain coloured cars, etc.

exexpat Wed 30-Apr-14 23:17:59

My main tip for family holidays is to avoid long car journeys. Anything over about 1.5-2 hours drive we take the train instead, or if necessary fly. It is so much less stressful if we can all get up and move around, and I am not stuck behind the driving wheel (single parent, so only driver). I do occasionally hire a car for day trips at the other end, but a lot of our holidays are car-free.

WhateverhappenedtoBrian Wed 30-Apr-14 23:12:51

List for each child of what to look out for on the journey....boy on a bike, a man walking 2 dogs....some easy, some obscure...make each list different. Easy for groups of children of different ages. Prize for the first to see everything on their list. Great fun, keeps mine entertained for ages....

Also neck pillows for tired little ones.

Consult mumsnet and trip advisor for the best places to eat and things to do. Do this before you go.

Put a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate in the fridge before you leave home. Something to look forward to when you come back and have a ton of washing to do!

Doubtfuldaphne Wed 30-Apr-14 21:25:01

Arm yourself with colouring in, stories tablets/portable DVD players..then something to catch the sick as all of the things I listed create travel sickness.
Take a picnic and water bottles so there aren't spilled drinks!
My dd always sleeps no matter how long we are driving for, my ds usually plays on his phone then sleeps. I guess we're lucky. When I was little my sister always got sick so we frequently stopped off for fresh air.
The best time to travel if possible is the evening after they've eaten and had a bath.

boptanana Wed 30-Apr-14 20:36:43

Lots of snacks in little tubs, story CDs, and lots of games althogh dd1 is only just getting the hang of I spy so we started with colours. Sticker books go down well and any novelty toys which aren't too noisy/ repetitive for Mum and Dad. Frequent stops are also a must with a 1 and 3 year old! We don't generally go further than 3 hours away at the moment as that's the limit for my sanity grin

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