Tips for long summer car journeys with children

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Tips for long summer car journeys with children

Picture the scene: it’s a hot summer’s day in July. You’re ten miles into the car journey to your lovely family holiday when you hear screams of “are we there yet?” from the backseats. Ah, the perfect start to four hour trip to Brighton.

None of us look forward to long journeys and they can be particularly challenging for little ones, but these types of holidays are often the best; having your own hire car, going wherever you chose and doing it with the ones you love most.

For road trips with children preparation goes a long way and by following a few simple tips, you’ll be on your way to a peaceful family car journey in no time.

Leave early and allow plenty of time

For a long drive, you should aim to depart as early as possible. This ensures you’re feeling fresh and if you’re lucky, the children might still be tired and sleepy for the first few hours on the road. Allowing plenty of time means that you can stop of along the way at a park for the kids to burn some energy or for lunch. This will help to make the car journey fell part of the holiday.


Children can be a tough audience in the car. Once you’ve exhausted eye-spy and you have nothing else to fall back on, it won’t be long until the agitation sets in. Research some car journey games, bring along their favourite toys, and download some TV programmes and movies.

If you want to rely on using an iPad as entertainment, be warned that once they have had their hour’s play on it, no amount of crayons and books will seem as good.

Talk about the destination

Get your children excited about where you are going and what you will be doing when you get there. It’s best to do have something planned that interests your children as the first activity when you get to your destination. This gives them something to look forward to.

If you’ve nothing yet planned, show your children what there is to do and use your journey to let the kids think about which they would like to do. Engage them in the planning and they’ll be excited about their holiday.

Food and drink

Always bring more supplies than you think are necessary. It’s better to have more than not enough. Even if you plan on stopping for lunch, have a back-up option in case you get stuck in traffic. Healthy snacks and plenty of water is the key to a happy car. Make room for some treats too. Reward the children’s good behaviour with a fruit pastille or two.

Get your rental car ready

Children can sense hostility and frustrations so if you’ve taken the wrong route or are slightly lost, don’t make a big scene. All of our vehicles are able to have a Sat Nav installed, meaning you can easily follow routes and keep everyone in the car happy. Trust us, a Sat Nav is a must have for family car journeys. Booster seats for babies and toddlers can be also be added to your booking with ease.

UK low-emission car hire

For families who like to travel from place to place whilst on holiday, car hire is a great option. It provides flexibility, savings on other transport and control to your holiday.

Whether you want to pick up your car hire and drive to your holiday destination or pick up a car when you arrive at your location, Green Motion can help. With 20 locations around the UK, you’re never too far from one of our branches and we have car hire available in many of the most popular tourist destinations. For more information about the range of vehicles available, browse our online booking platform.

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