12 December 2017

How To Have A Child Friendly Road Trip

When I think about road trips, I always look back to when I was a little girl.  

My mum, my dad and I used to travel down by car every year to Argeles in France.  I think we went for around four years and there were always meticulous plans in place to ensure a smooth trip and that I didn't get too bored and say "Are we there yet?" every five minutes.  

First of all, before making the around 17+ hour trip to Argeles, my dad would take the car to www.kwik-fit.com to get a full service done.  There is nothing worse than breaking down when you are travelling a long way to a foreign country.  Especially when you have a young child on board, in this case, me!

My mum used to stock the car with snacks and games that I could play in the back seat.   The trip was always broken down into segments so that it was easier for me and there was always something to look forward to or a destination to get to instead of driving for ten hours straight with a tired and grumpy five year old.

We used to set out early in the morning, around 5am with me sleeping in the back seat for the first few hours and then we would stop for breakfast.  The trip to Dover was around 5 hours so stopping mid point at a service station for some food and a quick look at the shops worked really well and I was energised and excited after breakfast to get to the ferry.

Apart from one year my mum tells me when I fell asleep just before we got to Dover and I slept through the ferry journey, only waking an hour after we docked and asking "When we are we getting to the boat?"

For the France part of our journey the games and snacks came out.  After around five hours, my limit of tolerance apparently, we used to break our journey for the night, always stopping at the same hotel.  I remember being obsessed with the little mushrooms on the hors d'oeuvres trolley and my mum tells me while writing this that I refused to eat anything else!

The beautiful Argeles
After another early start with me once again asleep in the back seat, the 5-6 hour trip down to Argeles didn't seem so bad with the excitement of getting to our destination closer and closer.  

We used to stay in a large static caravan on a local site near to the beach.  I still remember the beautiful beach and the hot sand, running towards the sea to cool off.  I even met a French girl one year who was staying in the caravan next to us.  We became penpals and were friends for many years, even staying at their home one year for a weekend.

Road trips with a young child don't have to be a nightmare.  It is all about planning ahead as much as you possibly can, making it fun and taking advantage of early starts where some of the hours can disappear in sleep. 

I wouldn't change those memories for the world.

*Collaborative post #carsafetychecklist 

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