Long car journeys can be tedious for both the driver and passengers within the vehicle. Long stretches of motorway with next to no scenery surrounding you and congested roads, often result in boredom and frustration for all involved. For adults enduring the journey, it’s easier to keep yourself entertained; whether that’s through conversation, music or reading a book if you’re a passenger.
For younger members within the vehicle, it’s not as easy to stay entertained. For any parents reading this, you’ll know how quickly a child can go from occupying themselves, to becoming agitated through boredom. It can be a hard enough task entertaining the little ones when you’re in the house or trying to complete the weekly food shop; never mind whilst you’re in the middle of a 2 hour car journey.
For any driver you’ll understand how easy it can be to become distracted whilst driving, not only by long car journeys but also by passengers as well. To maintain a good level of concentration and to prevent the risks of being distracted whilst driving; we want to share with you some ways in which the younger passengers in your car can be kept entertained.
Take regular breaks
If you have a long journey planned then it’s important you take regular breaks. This is important for the driver not only so they can have a break from driving, but also to minimise tiredness. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes to grab a coffee and stretch your legs, regular breaks are important for the driver, as they will keep up a good level of concentration.
Passengers will benefit from a break as well, especially the younger members. Stopping at a service station or a similar designated area, means the children can let off some steam in the outdoors or even in the play area or arcade which many service stations provide.
Think ahead and be prepared
With a long journey ahead and potential obstacles such as traffic, it’s wise to make sure the children on board have plenty of things to keep them occupied. Portable DVD players are a great distraction to have for the little ones, as they can put their headphones in and watch whatever film they like. If you’d rather your children not be glued to a screen for the whole journey, then another good idea is to create activity packs.
Colouring books, word searches and puzzles are great places to start and will come in handy when boredom starts to strike. It’s important to be prepared with things like this, to prevent you from having to buy magazines and books at service stations.
Plan your route
We’re all aware of the effects road works and other driving obstacles can have on a journey. What should be an hour long drive can almost be doubled because of scheduled road works that you weren’t aware of; which is why it’s important to plan your route before you set off. If you’re journey is mostly on a motorway then check for road works and potentially set off earlier.
Although in most cases taking the motorway is quicker, you should see if there are any A roads you can take to prevent congestion. Planning your route in advance will minimise the chances of extra time being added onto your journey and in turn, reducing the amount of time both you and the children are in the car. By following the steps mentioned you should maintain a good level of concentration, avoid distractions from other passengers and have a stress-free journey. Children can be one of the biggest distractions whilst driving so by being prepared and making sure they’re kept entertained, it means you can have full concentration on the journey ahead and get to your destination as smoothly as possible.