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Top tips for car travel with kids

For lots of us, it’s staycation time. 

Once upon a time, car journeys used to be about impromptu stops at beauty spots and your favourite mix tapes, but with young kids on board there’s a lot more to think about now.

Avoid moans of ‘are we there yet?’ from them (and from you!) with these top 10 tips for car travel with young kids. 

Journey planner

If your kid is old enough, show them the map before you set off and give them a list of places to tick off on a list as you pass them. Sounds simple but it definitely helps to invest them in the journey!

Get organised

 A good backseat organiser will help to keep everything accessible, making for a less stressful trip all round. Or how about investing in a nifty activity tray for easy games and doodling?

Sleep tight

Travel at bedtime or nap time if you can- in fact, leave a little while before they’re due to go down as the excitement will probably keep them awake at first. Get blackout car screens or sun shades and put them into their PJs before you go.

Get comfy

Pack your kids’ pillows- they’ll find them comforting and it’ll help them to get snuggly if you’ve got a long trip ahead. Bring spare pillowcases in case of spills!


Prepare your playlist and ask the whole family to choose songs in advance. This is a great time to introduce the kids to some new music. (And they’ll likely associate great holiday memories with these tunes, so choose wisely!).   For a night-trip, how about the dulcet tones of Rockabye Baby’s lullabies? From Prince to Pixies, they’ve got you covered!

Play together

 There’s more to car journeys than Eye Spy! A favourite with the parents at Banjo HQ is the alphabet game where you take turns choosing something for each letter: animals, countries, foods- any theme will do! More ideas here.

 Get stuck in

Sticker books are not messy, are easy to pack and there are heaps to choose from. Check Usborne Books for a fab selection

Snack time

To make snacks last, divide them into these little bags and hand them out at various intervals. Bring plenty of water and freeze juice boxes in advance which will keep packed lunches cold.

Listen up

Audiobooks really come into their own on long journeys. There are also some excellent kids’ podcasts to get into. Everyone will love the Sesame Street Podcast  or could try The Week Junior Show for over eights.

Stay well 

To avoid travel sickness, keep the snacks plain (ricecakes and breadsticks are good) and keep the windows open a crack for fresh air.

And almost as important as the 10 tips for car travel with young kids is to remember that the holiday starts as soon as you leave home so try to relax and make the best of the journey. 

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