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Share your top tips for surviving long car journeys with SEAT for a chance to win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!NOW CLOSED

(140 Posts)
ZaneKhan Mon 09-Nov-15 11:28:54

Painfully long car journeys, we all have them! SEAT have asked us to find out Mumsnetters’ tips for surviving long car journeys.

Here’s what they say, “The new Alhambra can’t settle family arguments like where to stop for lunch, but everyone is bound to agree that long journeys feel shorter in the new Alhambra. Maybe that’s because it’s as big on technology as it is on space. It’s packed with features to keep you comfortable, entertained and in control, from the SEAT Media System to Park Assist. All you have to do is find a song the whole family likes.”

So how do you cope with those insufferably long journeys? Do you have an iPod playlist at the ready to keep you all entertained? Maybe you give in and hand your DCs your iPad to keep them happy and quiet? Or perhaps you just break the journey up by making some stops along the way? Whatever your tips are, we’d love to hear them!

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a draw for the chance to win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!

Thanks and best of luck.
MNHQ

Bouncearound Mon 09-Nov-15 12:25:33

For the pre schooler it's lots and lots of sticker books and downloads of sarah and duck/ peppa pig on the iPad. For the older children anything and everything technology related!

CopperPan Mon 09-Nov-15 12:42:03

We have older dc and usually give them extra itunes/Play vouchers to download new games for longer journeys, we also download a few things from iPlayer in advance and tell them to make sure everything is fully charged at the start! We plan the rest stops in advance and keep easy snacks and drinks on hand. I always like to have a new book on my Kindle to look forward to.

BabyGanoush Mon 09-Nov-15 13:14:33

buy cheap second audio books (CDs), and choose them wisely...

2 hours of horrid Henry will drive you mad, but a good children's book such as "His Dark Materials" will make time fly by.

We also loved the Robin Hood series, Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy and when younger; "Tom's Midnight garden" and "Great Expectations" and "Peter Pan"

You can work your way throughout he classics!

Maplessglobe Mon 09-Nov-15 13:22:51

Agree with good audiobooks that won't drive you crazy hairy mclary I'm looking at you.
Also good music CDs that are nice for adults as well as kids. Putumayo do some lovely ones. My oldest DC loves to read books on the kindle and doesn't get carsick so that's good.
Frequent breaks for a run around, and setting off in pjs at bedtime when at all possible are my other preferences!

Chelsea26 Mon 09-Nov-15 13:38:50

Food keeps my two happy - so I always have a car picnic. We're trying to resist personal technology for as long as possible so we have music we all like and sing along. Play games about spotting letters in numberplates or eye spy and as PP said setting off in PJ's at night time.

But the best tip is a BLAST every now and then... A blast is simply openning all the windows in the car on the motorway for 10 seconds or so. It's cold and bracing and really really noisy and it makes everyone laugh!

ILikeBigBumpsAndICannotLie Mon 09-Nov-15 13:46:37

Timing is everything. Driving at naptime is the most successful here. When she's older I plan on using my mother's fiercely uttered phrase ' if I have to stop this car.....'

starlight36 Mon 09-Nov-15 13:47:54

Our two DC are both car sick on long journeys so we have to avoid books and iPads and journey snacking. Music is our main distraction in the car - Frozen and Tangled soundtracks are the current favourites but we've been through a whole range of children's nursery rhymes and TV soundtrack theme CDs. We also travel with air con off and the rear windows slightly open to provide fresh air.

We regularly play iSpy games or have completions to spot the first of a kind on the motorway - first car transporter, first double decker coach etc.

The other highlight is letting them choose which service station we stop off at and make sure they get to have s charge around outside for a bit.

AGrinWithoutACat Mon 09-Nov-15 14:02:12

Go as early as you can stand, we did NE Scotland to London a few years ago and left at 3 in the morning, meant the DCs slept until about Glasgow by which time we would stop for breakfast - we arrived in time for lunch and a run around in the park!

Other than that, in car DVD players kept our sanity intact smile

They are older now and we mix between a range of in car games, I Spy, the Ministers Cat etc, tablets and music for the semi regular 4 hour journeys that come up

asuwere Mon 09-Nov-15 14:29:12

We like audio books or we often burn a CD where everyone gets to pick 3 or 4 songs they want then they get shuffled, keeps everyone happy at various times. Also try to time journeys so stops will be at mealtimes. We also have a car bingo game which works well for a while-it has pull out flaps over all the things you need to spot (hospital, bike etc)

CMOTDibbler Mon 09-Nov-15 14:46:07

Good audiobooks are a must - we love Terry Pratchett read by Tony Robinson.

MadameJosephine Mon 09-Nov-15 14:51:06

Sing songs, eye spy and silly games keep my 3 yo happy but there's only so much of that you can do so I try to time long journeys for when she is likely to sleep.

When my son was little he got terribly car sick so lots of stops and fresh air breaks and old ice cream tubs (with lids) for when it's not safe to pullover for vomit sad

Catsgowoof Mon 09-Nov-15 16:20:30

allow loads of time so you can stop at as many services as possible. sticker books and kids cds

kslatts Mon 09-Nov-15 17:24:20

Travel at night time if possible, put dcs in pyjamas and take blankets, that way they sleep through the journey.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 09-Nov-15 18:13:38

We love a good audio book when driving and I always allow plenty of time for breaks.

On a more practical level- check oil, water and tyres before setting off and have good breakdown cover. Hi-vis vests, warning signs, blankets, a wind-up charger, torch and a plastic sheet (for sitting on), umbrellas and food and drink for emergencies. If you never have to use any of them, great, but always better to be prepared.

PallasCat Mon 09-Nov-15 18:35:39

Carefully curated playlist, including extracts from books, comedy sketches, alongside music.

Loula117 Mon 09-Nov-15 19:04:08

When they were younger we invested in a DVD player for the car - it really did make the 5 hour journeys to see grandparents more bearable! Now we listen to a fantastic recording of The Hobbit, or the boys play backseat DJ. If we're on a motorway we give them a list of things to spot in exchange for doling out the sweets - eg. Eddie Stobart lorry, yellow car, truck with advert for bananas etc etc

Maiyakat Mon 09-Nov-15 19:29:55

Audiobooks, CDs of daft songs, snacks, irritating musical toys, and when things get desperate the DVD player...

StickChildNumberTwo Mon 09-Nov-15 19:45:04

Audio stories are a must have here. When we were kids it was all about games - I Spy, guess how far it will be to x next time we see a sign, spot the letters of the alphabet on number plates.... When my two are older we'll no doubt try some of those, although I have a dreadful cheat of a husband when it comes to such things!

loosechange Mon 09-Nov-15 20:12:25

Adequate snacks and juice.
We recently started using audio CD's and they are a big hit. We'd previously used freebies occasionally, but the sound quality wasn't that good.
I tried one we received from MN (huigh thankyou) and the children loved it.

Pick you CD though, my 4 year old refused to listen to James and the Giant Peach after the parents were eaten in the middle of London and James then had a hard life - all in the first five minutes of the story.

A selection of CDs (including some for you if they sleep, there is only so long one can listen to Disney and stay sane.)

Also - we put cushions in the car for the older children to sleep against the window.

BeeMyBaby Mon 09-Nov-15 20:19:02

We make sure we have films loaded onto the iPad and have the children's car seats reclined as far as possible to encourage them to have a nap.

CheeseEMouse Mon 09-Nov-15 21:01:53

We got stuck when the M6 shut in July we ended up having a journey of 13 hours with a three month old baby and a nearly two year old. So, what I would suggest is:
- having a large snack mountain with you. Plus water in preferred bottles.
- having a lot of nappies and wipes with you.
- CDs to entertain the children. The toddler has a particular favourite which involves action songs.
- Stickers and paper to stick the stickers on to.
- a very enthusiastic passenger helping the toddler spot all sorts of different things. Preferably very loudly and distractingly enough to stop a whinge.
- "read" a book (helps I know stuff like bear hunt off by heart).
- stop if you can and get children to stretch legs.
-aim to travel at nap time, though tricky when you get stuck for a loooong time.
- coffee for the adults!

anonooo Mon 09-Nov-15 21:08:49

Endless games...animal vegetable mineral and the like ...plus lots of silly songs and frequent breaks to stretch legs and stock up on sweets.

Pico2 Mon 09-Nov-15 21:16:19

Lots of chatting, a bit of I spy, music and audio books. I'd say that you should start as you mean to go on, so we don't have DVDs or tablets in the car.

We also have no eating in the car as an emergency stop can cause a child to choke. DD is allowed candy floss in the car as I can't see how you could choke on it, but that's about once a year.

foxessocks Mon 09-Nov-15 21:25:43

Definitely audio books. I always remember listening to the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on long car journeys to the south of France when I was young. I reckon I'll get a copy when my kids are older! Have a few stops for food and leg stretching. Get a nice play list of great music to listen to and hope the children fall asleep eventually !

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