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Nostalgia Lane road trip – Win!

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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.

Road Trip Nostalgia and a Competition from Kwik Fit

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.

Road Trip Nostalgia and a Competition from Kwik Fit

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.

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  1. September 8, 2016 / 7:28 am

    I loved road trips and still do! We often do colour I-spy too, but Mr O can normally do the first letter of easier words, so we are starting to play that more too. My favourite games as a child were all the ones in my number plate game book! 🙂 x

  2. Jenna Hegarty
    September 8, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    My earliest road trip memories are of family visits to Northern Ireland from our home in South Yorkshire to see the grandparents, countless aunts, uncles and cousins. This meant a long drive to Scotland to catch the ferry to Belfast , a long ferry ride and then another drive to Derry. The journey was so long it always seemed like we left and arrived at nighttime. The most memorable journey was when we’d arrived in Belfast but my dad couldn’t remember the way out of the city. He has the memory of a goldfish so every time he stopped to ask directions he would only remember the first two or three instructions and would then have to stop again (clearly us kids and my mum were just as useless at remembering). We stopped a lot. Things got really depressing when the car exhaust fell off due, I think, to the car having had as much of the drive as we all had. Being nighttime and not having breakdown cover, my dad decided he’d ‘fix’ it himself. This meant using the drawstring from my cherished winter coat to tie the exhaust back on for the last 50 miles. I’m sure the rest of the holiday was great but this is all I can remember!

    • September 8, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      Hi Jenna,

      Thanks so much for your comment, what an awesome story! I think your dad’s a genius to manage to get you home! To enter the competition, you’ll need to pop over to the competition page and tell kwik-fit insurance your story. The link is in the blog post (towards the end) and I’m sure they’ll be delighted to hear from you!


  3. September 8, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    We play the I spy colour game all the time!! They love the nursery rhymes and sing and dance along. We only take the iPad with us for long journeys and bring it out when needed. x

  4. Char Keddy
    October 13, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    When I was younger we played Eye Spy all the time. But the story my parents still talk about was the time my Father and I sang Old MacDonald had a Farm whilst driving across the entire state of New York! 🙂

  5. Amanda Renton
    October 15, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    On long journeys we would play eye spy or we’d just have a good sing along to the radio ☺

  6. October 16, 2016 / 10:04 am

    We journeyed from Leeds up to Scotland to Helensburgh in 1958. This involved leaving Leeds on the Friday evening and driving though the night. I was eight years old and remember loads of traffic (it was the old August Bank Holiday in the days when you took took your holidays when you were told to!) I have no memory of the car we went in – just that I was glad to get out of it when we arrived! My Mum and Auntie were convinced it would be cold in Scotland and took up half the boot with their new Simulated fur coats. Needless to say it was sunny and hot. This is me and my lovely cousin Lance enjoying the lochside I think at Dunoon.

  7. Kelly Hemmings
    October 16, 2016 / 3:02 pm

    What a fantastic prize & it was great actually thinking back at my road trip 🙂

  8. Deborah Swain
    October 17, 2016 / 8:11 am

    OMG!! So difficult to choose which is my fave family road trip, as they’re are so many!! If I had to pick one special memorable one, it has to be ….. One lovely sunny April morning , when I was around 7 years old, Dad, mum , brother, and, me, set off in dads ‘new’ ( still second hand, as, I remember money was tight for us!!) ‘Hillman Imp’ !! Us kids were ‘wheel’ly excited, picnic packed, tea in flask, and, everyone in high spirits!! I took my ‘portable’ cassette recorder ( hardly portable , as, it was heavier then a house brick! lol) with that weeks ‘Top 20’ on, and we were all singing to ‘Ballroom Blitz’ by Sweet!! .. We were on one of Dad’s ‘Mystery Tours’ , where he didn’t even know where we were going!! Anyway , to cut a long story short, we ended in the middle of nowhere on top of the North Yorkshire Moors, in the dark, when Dad’s ‘new’ car decided to break down!! … Remember, there was no mobile phones, or ‘techie’ items then, I thought my ‘cassette’ was cutting edge! lol … Cold, scared,hungry ( picnic, tea, well, and truly gone by then!) in pitch blackness, with ‘Glam Rock’ for company..It was a LONG NIGHT, were were rescued next day by a nice man who gave dad a lift to the nearest garage !! … To this day, ‘that’ song evokes bitter’Sweet’ memories!!! LOL

  9. Dave Wills
    October 17, 2016 / 9:30 am

    We lived for a while in North Germany… You can imagine that the road trip across Germany and through Holland was a long hard one with kids just school age when we went home to visit the Grandparents. My parents lived a stones throw from Salisbury Cathedral. I recall setting off on one of these journeys one morning and having driven about half a mile, we passed the local Parish Church. My daughter then 4 called out in delight ‘We are there, there’s Salisbury Cathedral ! ‘ It was going to be a long day ! We coped mostly with Roald Dahl stories on Cassette tape !

  10. Spencer Wright
    October 17, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    My kids will say their favourite road trip was when we drove through Northern Italy. I blindly followed the satnav, even though we ended up driving along an overgrown, dusty track and through a steeply terraced vineyard, ending up in the middle of a farmyard surrounded by bemused farmers. The kids still laugh about it now! My most memorable road trip was driving from the south of France to Paris. The memorable part was driving in Paris & being hemmed in by buses. It wasn’t until the bus behind me changed lanes that I could see I had driven round notorious roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe!

  11. Liz Marr
    October 17, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    It has to be when I was a child. We used to travel to the south of France by car every year without fail. And every year I was sick in exactly the same spot somewhere on the motorway in France. It became the family joke and I am now 49 and we still laugh about it!!

  12. Fiona jk42
    October 17, 2016 / 7:16 pm

    My most memorable family roadtrip was when I went with my 2 children, then aged 7 and 9, to Morocco with my friend, her husband & her kids, same ages as mine. (My husband could not make it as he had to work.) We hired 2 cars, one driven by my friend’s husband, one driven by me and spent the best part of a month going from Casablanca, to Rabat, Meknes, Fez, Marrakesh, Ouzazarte and back to Casablanca. For some reason the air conditioning did not work in my car and so we drove with the windows down. The 4 kids decided they preferred being all together in my car, which worked well as they kept each other entertained. My son had made tapes of songs he liked which turned out to comprise mainly hip hop and rap! I have memories of driving through the Moroccan countryside, seeing small villages, people working in the fields, overladen donkeys, and all the sights and smells of North Africa, listening to Salt & Peppa, Kris Kross and Heavy D. Our choice of music certainly turned some heads when heard coming through our open car windows, and by the end of the trip we all knew all the words to every single song on those tapes . Even today, if I hear an old hip hop song, it takes me back to Morocco.

  13. Kat Glynn
    October 17, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    I love a weekend road trip with our son. My most memorable was when we visited Peppa Pig world. It’s quite a drive from Manchester to Southampton, especially with an over excited three year old!

    So off we went… my hubby was dressed in his Daddy Pig Tshirt, and my son in his George hoody with a comical pig head and ears.

    We had to make many rest stops and each time we visited a service station my son excitedly told anyone that was in arms reach he was going to meet Peppa. Our fourth and final stop was after leaving the M25, almost three quarters of the way into our journey. At this point we had been driving for seven hours, and my son needed his dinner, so we made our way to the service station restaurant. My son was babbling on about how excited he was, when a grumpy old man turned round and told him he’d just had Peppa for dinner pointing at his gammon and not to bother going!!

    My son was tired and at this point inconsolable, what kind of person would say such a thing to a young child! After being overheard by other diners the guy was shamed into leaving restaurant. The rest of the journey to our hotel was awful, even though we tried to convince him that Peppa was alive and well…

    The next day he really didn’t want to visit the theme park, but we went anyway. As soon as he saw Peppa he screamed excitedly your alive! your alive! and threw his arms around the character. People looked at us oddly, so we explained what had happened. The staff made such a fuss of him all day, it really was so nice of them.

    I guess it’s not the perfect trips that we remember most, but those that are most eventful 🙂

  14. Petra Hora
    October 17, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    My most memorable family road trip was actually with my husband when we took a bus from Sydney to Europe, it was over 90 days of adventure. Of course we did loads of hop ons and hop offs. I am glad I did as now I wouldn’t able to do it again (with kids on board:).

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