Stories of car journeys are legendary in my family and my brother and I still love to relive our memories: toddler me sheltering him from a spider when he was a baby in a car seat; listening to the Pet Shop Boys with one headphone each of a dying Walkman and sibling arguments that reached their crescendo at major European roundabouts. My Dad even referred to one car journey in his speech at my wedding.
We spend a lot of time in the car, more now that our daily school run depends on the car too. We even keep a spare toothbrush for the youngest in our car. Our move meant we became a two car family once more and so I finally have my own car again. Time to kit it out just how I want it, just in time for summer holidays too. I’ve also been busy putting together a piece for John Lewis’s blog about car travel, which was the perfect excuse to test out some great kit. I won’t reproduce the whole article here, but I thought I would let my blog readers in on a few products that stood the test of time on our recent car journey to Boggle Hole Youth Hostel.
Driving or camping with kids generally requires above average levels of parental caffeination, so a decent travel mug is worth it’s weight in gold. We love our Thermos King travel mugs, they keep your drink really hot for up to 7 hours, a luxury in itself, after all, how often does a parent get to drink their cuppa while it’s still warm?
It’s the little things too, I am loving our Joules cool bag, it’s perfectly shaped for keeping all those snacks and drinks to hand, without taking up the entire footwell. The matching waterproof, padded picnic rug was perfect for a pit stop picnic on a wet beach. It received lots of admiration from friends on our last camping trip; finally we have the picnic blanket everyone wants to sit on.
On our last trip it was amazing to see our older kids tackling (and packing up carefully) travel Who Is It and Battle Ships, these also came in handy at the campsite, and helped us ease into more relaxed family time on holiday.
We love the tear off game pad from Knock Knock too, which has classics like noughts and crosses, hangman and squares. It’s also great for those sunny evening trips to the pub for tea.
A new Tinc notebook and felt tip set in it’s own travel wallet soon had mine inspired to draw and to keep a holiday diary – a lovely little legacy passed down from my Mum.
I like to collect toys that fit in a pocket, glove compartment or handbag, which can be whizzed out at strategic moments, like major European roundabouts, or when you feel like the ‘Are We Nearly There Yets’ have reached crisis point. The world’s smallest Etch a Sketch soon became competitive on our last journey.
Travel pillows are great for car journeys and for camping, Outwell kids’ ones, again at John Lewis, are small enough to store in the car all the time and have loops to fix onto rucksacks. Keep an eye mask in the glove compartment too, great for grown up car naps and always handy on holidays.
The Knock Knock Pack This pad is a really handy checklist for packing. I’ve been forcing myself to go back to list making when packing because it really does knock the stress of it on the head.
I really enjoyed what I found at John Lewis to make travelling with kids a breeze, it really is the little things that make a big difference to our journeys. You can have a browse of the baby and child department here. Have you got any good car travel finds?