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Keeping Children Happy on Trips Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Keeping Children Happy On Trips Abroad

The perennial kids question when it comes to long road trips abroad is “are we there yet?”. Most parents dread those words, especially when they have hours left before their next location and the children are already starting to get agitated. One of the most difficult tasks in travelling abroad is to not only make sure you’re safe and in control, but also that you’ve planned well enough that your passengers aren’t completely bored. When it comes to children, this can be even more difficult, but there are some essential rules to follow that should make the trip more enjoyable.

Planning Makes Perfection

Anyone who is driving for long distances abroad should always be prepared to make plenty of stops along the way. It’ll keep you alert and focused and will help prevent tiredness set in when you’re staring at the road ahead for lengthy periods. With children, planning can be even more important as it can help break the monotony for them.

  • Plan in advance when and where you’re going to stop and if possible, make each stop have its own worthwhile or fun aspect.

Many pit stops need not be at cookie cutter service stations. Find out what points of interest are on your route and let the children get excited about seeing unusual tourist spots on the road. This will keep them interested between stops and should give them something to focus on.

As well as this, try looking out for unusual places as you’re driving. There can be some hidden gems dotted along most roads, especially for tourists, so plan to have a few hours free each stretch of your journey so you can stop and explore with your kids if you want to.

In Car Entertainment

The great thing about modern cars is that they’re entertainment hubs on the move. Most new cars have options of rear video screens, DVD players, great sound systems and even games console attachments.
  • If you have children travelling with you, it is almost essential now to purchase rear screens and a DVD player at the very least

Most parents will look to get two rear screens and some may even get separate players so that two children can watch different movies at the same time. This is great if there’s an age gap between your kids and will keep them quiet for hours.

Games consoles in cars aren’t that rare anymore either and many people will attach full size games consoles to their rear screens for their children to play. It keeps them occupied for hours and if you can’t quite fit in a full size games console, a handheld console such as a Nintendo DS or a Sony PSP will suffice.

Games and Scenery

Many children love long car journeys as it means they get to play games with their parents for hours on end. You can play traditional games like Eye Spy or Animal, Vegetable, Mineral to keep children happy for the duration of your trip. You can also make up other games where you have to spot certain car plates, animals, people or colours of car.

  • Use your imagination or ask your kids to think of games they'd like to play
As well as this, there’s also colouring books, word puzzles or other book quizzes to keep your children entertained. The trick is to take part and have fun with them. This will often mean more to them that anything you can buy them.

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