Traveling with Kids: Tips for a Comfortable Car Trip
Bored in the back seat? Long car trips can be a test of children’s patience. The travel reporter gathered some tips so mom and dad arrive comfortable and packed into their vacation destination.
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When did we finally get there? Every driver traveling with children has probably heard this sentence enough from the back seat. And indeed, long car rides can sometimes go on like chewing gum.
But with a few simple tricks, this doesn’t have to be the case – and a car ride becomes equally comfortable for mom, dad and kids.
1. Make yourself and your children as comfortable as possible
Sitting in the same position for a long time is uncomfortable for adults and even children. It’s more fun with comfortable clothes and loose-fitting shoes. So ditch the skinny jeans for yourself and your kids and wear cooler leggings instead. Also, if your children have long hair, do not tie them up in a ponytail, as this will make it impossible to rest their heads comfortably.
The child seat must also be installed correctly and the mounting system installed correctly, otherwise sitting in the car will become very uncomfortable in the long run.
2. Do you have proper entertainment at your fingertips
Many children love stories, but reading them out loud while driving often makes adult readers uncomfortable. It is easier to download a larger selection of audiobooks before the flight and thus save travel time.
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Travel games can also provide a distraction:
- One of the classics is “I see something you don’t”
- Creating crazy stories: A family member begins telling a story. After three sentences, it’s the next person’s turn to add three sentences and so on – this is how crazy stories are created that you can laugh at together
- Form strings of words: one person in the car says a compound noun, i.e. a compound word, eg “back seat”, the next person forms a new compound noun from the second part of the word, eg “meat seat”, then the next person picks up the part the last of the word and zum is an example of “meat broth” and so on
- A-to-Z Game: First think of a category, for example animals, food, or countries. Then it takes turns: the first person names the representative of the class starting with the letter A, the next person searches for a suitable word starting with the letter B, and so on.
- Auto-Bingo – For all children not prone to travel sickness: Children first write different models of cars in a three-by-three or four-by-four playground. As soon as they see one of the signs written, cross out the field in question. Whoever crosses an entire row first wins. The game also works with license plates.
- Pro license plate weden: Whoever can assign the most vehicle number plates correctly wins – and after driving gets ice cream at the expense of the losers. You can practice in advance with our license plate test.
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3. Keep snacks and drinks close at hand
How do you always have an appetite on long car trips? We don’t have an answer to this question, but we do have a tried and tested tool: buttered bread. The strange thing is that it tastes twice as much as it tastes in the car. Drinks are also a must. It is best to drink light, non-carbonated water or tea.
And the biscuit (without chocolate, of course, because then it can get greasy) for dessert not only makes the meal, but also makes people happy too. A few crumbs on the back seat are mercifully ignored.
4. Schedule time for breaks
Who does not know: the last tank stop was only five minutes ago, and voices are already rising that a toilet is needed. Bad timing is simply part of long trips with kids. When planning your route and peace of mind, it is better to allow more rest time from the beginning, then you can still reach your destination on time.
It is wise to use these toilet breaks directly for an extensive round of the playing field. With the right infrastructure in the parking lots and service areas, your kids can still let off steam after calling and later sit on the back seat less satisfactorily. ADAC recommends taking a break every 1.5 hours when traveling with children.
If you wish, you can take a full trip from the break. We’ve put together a list of nice places to take a green break from the highway, which you can get to in just a few minutes.
5. Leave early
Of course no one likes to get up too early during the holidays, but before a long car trip it’s worth doubling down. On the other hand, temperatures outside were still cold and the car wasn’t uncomfortably heated. On the other hand, tired (older) kids (and passengers), who like to sleep in late, can close their eyes again – and sleep comfortably during the early hours of the flight.
If you also know that there are many traffic jams along the planned route, you can usually get through traffic faster in the early hours of the morning, for example in the Karawanken tunnel between Austria and Slovenia or in the Brenner autobahn, which connects Austria with Italy.