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“Let’s drive to the Dorset coast from West Yorkshire with the motorways littered with endless 50mph zones”

“Yeah hun that sounds like a fantastic plan it will be a dream with 2 children”

“I know right”

Well of course that conversation did not take place because a 7.5 hour drive is a bonkers idea with 2 small children, but we did it. There and back. We not only survived it but we thrived, let me tell you how.

how to survive a road trip with children

1. Planning

We knew from the very start we needed to split the journey. Sebastian is of an age where he can be entertained, but Humphrey is too old to sleep for long stretches and too young to engage in car activities. Due to check in time restrictions we could not leave at bedtime which we do when we visit friends and family so we did the next best thing we left at 5.30am.

We packed the car and put 2 sleepy children into the car ready in pjs ready to get as far down the country as possible.   That is where the planning comes in. We are members of the National Trust so we marked out 4 different potential day out stops depending on how long in took before Humphrey had a full on meltdown. This way he could have a good old runaround before getting back into to the car making the second half of the journey painless.

how to survive a road trip with children
how to survive a road trip with children

2. Entertainment

We were lucky enough to be given a Pipity activity set. Sebastian had a look through it a few days before the trip as he was finding it very hard to contain the holiday excitement. When we left it was dark outside and he was so disappointed to not get stuck straight in. As we hit our first traffic jam, the sun had risen and Sebastian woke from his nap and uttered the word “finally” as he started to open and play with the Pipity with a huge smile on his face.

The thing I love about the activity book is the wide variety of tasks, unlike all of the other activity books we have had which are mainly variations on stickers, colouring in and a bit of dot to dot. The pack comes with a taster activity pad and you can add additional ones. We have the travel one also. We are still using this, Sebastian takes it out all the time and we like to do the activities as quiet time in the evenings.

3. Food

We packed flasks, breakfast food and healthy snacks. I see lots of posts about road trips and see bags of sweets, I cannot think of anything worse than giving a child loads of sweets and additives and then expecting them to happily stay strapped into a chair. We did go through many punnets of soft fruits on the way down.

how to survive a road trip with children

4. Story Time

This could be classed as entertainment but I think it needed it’s own category. We are huge story fans and you can find a good selection of cds at the library also. Stories are just a little bit more mellow than music and the key to long journeys is to keep everyone in a peaceful state of mind.
Have you got any tips for road trips with little ones that I have not mentioned.

With family and friends scattered to the four corners of the world we are all traveling a lot more in order to keep in touch so knowing how to travel well with children is vital.

January 26, 2019



  1. Reply


    January 31, 2019

    I’ve just discovered your blog! I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read as we are also renovating an old house in West Yorkshire having moved here from France in 2015 with our three boys. Great to find you Jox

    • Reply

      Nicolette Lafonseca

      February 3, 2019

      Hello Jo we have a lot in common I hope that you find some useful info on the site. Keep in touch x