This weekend we’re off on a road trip with the girls. We’ll only be in the car for a couple of hours which seems quite reasonable as an adult, but for children it’s an eternity. I always find that road trips go a lot quicker if we find a way to keep us all entertained – whether that means singing, playing eye-spy or just chatting away and putting the world to rights. When I think back to the road trips of my childhood, the first ones that come to mind are always the school trips. When I was at high school, I played in a brass band. Every year, we’d load up our musical instruments, tents and bags into a coach and drive over to Europe. The journeys always took a whole day, but we never really got bored.
That’s the thing with travelling with a big group of friends, there’s always someone to chat to, games to play and songs to sing. I remember buying big bags of sweets and getting onto a bit of a sugar high. Then we’d start up a rather talent-less chorus that involved us all humming our own part of the brass band score to whatever songs we were practising for the trip.
Inevitably, this would give way to popular songs that we all knew, then someone would put some music on a little personal stereo with makeshift speakers and we’d have our own dismal attempt at karaoke. When things calmed down, I was always quite happy to sit and read or chat about all the exciting things we were going to get up to during our trip. By the time it came to the return journey, we were all so tired that we’d spend most of it asleep.
These days when I’m travelling with the girls, things aren’t so different. They’re happy to sing the same songs on repeat for hours on end, delighted that they’ve got our undivided attention for a few hours. Things are much easier now because when they tire of singing, counting cars or looking out for animals we can turn to technology for entertainment. We always put a few children’s programmes on the iPad before we set off, and they’ll happily zone out watching those for half an hour before eventually nodding off.
When it comes to avoiding tech on a road journey, my top tip is just to relax and enjoy the time together. I usually have a few games in mind based on their interests at the time. For example when Lia was learning her colours, we’d play Eye Spy Colours. Everyone takes it in turns to say “I spy with my little eye something the colour of…” and we all have to guess what they’re looking at.With older children, Guess Who is still a firm favourite. Someone thinks of a person and the others ask them yes / no questions until they can work out who they are. Libby is starting to enjoy playing this now and it won’t be long before Lia can join in too.
Do you have fond memories of family road trips? If so, you could be one of two lucky winners of a £150 Amazon voucher from Kwik-fit Insurance. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is to share your most memorable family road trip with them. To enter, tell them about your trip here in their Nostalgia Lane Competition. The competition ends on 17 October and terms and conditions are at the bottom of the Nostalgia Lane competition page.