How to Survive a Long Car Journey with Children

February 27th, 2020

When you have toddlers in tow, even a relatively short journey in the car can feel like a lifetime. If you are planning on visiting Cornwall on holiday with your family, we want to make it the most enjoyable experience from start to finish, so we are providing some tips on how to make the car journey on the way to your destination more fun for all!


Snacks for the Journey

Bringing along some nibbles is always a great idea. For one, an unexpected incident on the road may see you queuing for some time, and having something to eat and drink on hand is a great way to ease the tensions in the car.


As well as this, sweet treats can be used as an incentive for good behaviour. Plus, if your little one’s mouths are full, you’ll have a few brief moments in which they can’t ask ‘are we nearly there yet?!’.



Having something to listen to is an absolute must for car journeys, and can bring a family together in a slightly more entertaining way than endless hours of I-spy! Pop on a playlist packed with sing-along hits and have some fun performing on your journey.


If the kids are a bit older now and are seeking a sense of independence, then ensure that there are working headphones at the ready, for when they want to listen to their own tunes – there’s nothing worse than hitting the road and then realising your music is only playing out of one ear!


If you have clashing musical tastes, then why not listen to something different on your travels, such as an audiobook. There are plenty of books out there that have a story entertaining enough for both adults and children alike, and this can be a great way to pass the time on a longer trip.


children sat in a car in Cornwall

Stop Off on the Way

If you’re coming a long way, you may wish to stop off along the way, be it for food, or just to stretch your legs. There are an almost infinite number of activities and places to see in Cornwall, so if you and your family are headed to our child-friendly cottages in Cornwall there are plenty of great places to stop off at on the way.


One such place, for example, is the Eden Project, near St Austell, which is about 40 minutes away from The Valley. You are likely to pass by on the way, and as one of the must-visit days-out in Cornwall, if you have time, this is the ideal way to break up your journey.


Colette from We’re Going on an Adventure agrees that breaks are the key to making car travel with children easier:

Our children are no strangers to long car journeys – we’ve learned a lot over the years about how to make road trips easier and less stressful!  Think about how long is reasonable for your children to be in the car in one go and plan stops around this – we usually try to stop around meal times to give the breaks more purpose (of course there will always be the odd unplanned toilet stop to factor in too!).!


Car Games

After about 20 minutes, I-spy will begin to feel rather tedious, as confusion runs high having passed the thing that was ‘spied’ about half an hour ago! Instead, try a variety of other distracting games to keep the children entertained.


A simple game, that doesn’t involve much engagement from the parent’s side, is to get your little ones to count how many of a particular car they see. Pick something a little obscure, like a mini, or only green cars, so you don’t have to sit through ‘there’s a red car!’ shouted every few seconds! Alternatively, opt for games like ’20 Questions’ or the pub sign game.


Resort to Screens

While some parents deem tablets ‘evil’ for little ones, they are undeniably a great way to keep kids quiet during a long journey. Download a movie or a few episodes of your child’s favourite television show to provide a few hours of entertainment, or let them play a few simple games.


Just remember to make sure it is fully charged, and everything is properly downloaded before you head off to avoid a tantrum when it stops working only half an hour in!


Talk About What You Want to Do on Holiday

Getting the kids excited about the impending holiday is a great way to pass the journey, as understanding and looking forward to all the things they will see and do on the trip may make them a little more willing to sit in the back of the car for another hour!


Do you have any tips for surviving a long car journey with kids? Share them with us via our social media channels! If you are looking for a staycation with your family, where you won’t have to drive for hours, then Cornwall is the ideal location for many to get to!


As well as this, there are loads of reasons Cornwall is the perfect destination for families – be sure to check out our blog post to find out why.