Millions of holidaymakers travel by car on their way to their destination. Especially families with children quickly reach their limits on long journeys. Heat, traffic jams, boredom, hunger and thirst – all elements for a hell in the back seat.
How do you ensure a relaxed trip with children? Read these tips and tricks from ten German AutoBild colleagues for relaxed driving with the kids. After all, children have no patience and no sense of time. The children decide. It’s no use if they panic because the parents want to get to their destination quickly. Therefore, the car trip is already part of the holiday. And that’s how we arrive at practical tips that make traveling with children more pleasant.
Pressure band against nausea
Tablets with their favorite films and series provide security for the children. But only until you get tired of looking at the screens. Sea-Band acupressure bands can give children relief that lasts for hours.
Something for everyone on board
Rest comes only when everyone is in a good mood. Just bring what you think you need for everyone. A child likes to sing his favorite songs out loud. Another passes the time with Tiptoi books, and the third plays on the smartphone. Unless one of the children gets sick. Then spit bags help.
An outdoor or indoor playground and special children’s meals in the restaurant, these are the basic conditions for child-friendly breaks on and off the motorway. For feeding the little ones, it is possible to heat up baby food, and it is possible to change nappies. According to ADAC, 270 rest areas have an outdoor playground and 170 have an indoor playground. Almost half of the truck stops – about 100 – also meet the criteria. Tui has compiled a list of child-friendly rest areas in Europe.
By agreeing before you leave that you will only stop at a fast food joint once, you save yourself the hassle and create a tradition that everyone looks forward to. That tradition can become ‘in’ in old age!
Always stay nice and cool
High temperatures in the car make everyone in a bad mood. Sunshades or towels for the windows ensure that the children are pleasantly cool. They keep out direct sunlight and also lower the temperature inside the car. Of course you provide enough water on board for the thirsty offspring.
I see, I see what you don’t see…
The classic you may have played with your parents in the past still works for kids today. But unfortunately usually only five to ten minutes. With variations such as ‘Who wants to see the first car transporter, Porsche or Flixbus’, you can also provide entertainment 100 kilometers away. Other: books, ninjago comics, and pokemon trading cards.
Explore the world through play
Modern technology inspires. The creative learning system Tiptoi provides exciting and relaxing moments, just like radio games from Toniebox or videos on the iPad. Children dive into other worlds through headphones. And best of all, mum and dad have some peace and quiet.
Why children get sick in the car
The key to motion sickness in children is their sense of balance. It gets confused while driving in the car. The information that the eye receives while driving usually does not match the sensation that the body is moving. Especially when children read, the brain can become so confused that it reacts with nausea. Watch for signs such as sweating, pallor and unusual silences. The general rule is: If the child gets sick, stop as soon as possible. Provide fresh air and a cool cloth on the neck. Distractions, a calm driving style, easily digestible food and sufficient fluids help on the road.
It depends on the breaks
There is no alternative to stopping after traveling no more than three hours. Then the children really want to go out to play. Plan your driving routes partially off the motorways to take longer breaks at lakes or in the forest. And then immediately provide a tasty packed lunch.
Children’s chairs: that’s what it’s all about
The basic rule is: children up to twelve years of age or up to a height of 150 cm must be properly secured in the car. Think about good highchairs. The following three child seat standards are currently approved: i-Size/UN ECE Reg. 129, UN ECE Reg. 44/04 and 44/03. A quality mark indicates whether the child seat meets the standards. In addition, the chairs are divided into body weight classes (in kg) and age categories.
Comfort and a full car
First of all, the car must be comfortable. In addition to a good child’s chair, soft neck rolls provide relaxation. If enough water, cookies, and your favorite candy (or carrot, cucumber, or fruit) are handed out, the backseat will soon settle down.
Who cuddles, sleeps better
Other good helpers are the children’s favorite soft toys; they cannot do without it. This allows the little ones to sleep comfortably in the back seat. And if it gets boring: stop in a spacious parking lot. The balance bike is suddenly there. Or play hide and seek with mom. You can also run a lap to get in shape for the next leg.
Entertainment even in the middle of nowhere
With three children, fighting in the back seat is almost a given. Download some movies on the tablet in advance if there is no internet. Then they enjoy the adventures on the screen together – under the headphones.