16 life hacks for an easy holiday in the UK with the kidsBack to latest posts
Are we nearly there yet?
You’ve booked the perfect holiday cottage and spent weeks looking forward to getting away. So how can you best survive the car journey – and the week - with little (or not so little!) ones?
Try using a few of these simple travel hacks and make it a memorable break for all the right reasons!
Make an online list. Apps such as Wunderlist make it incredibly easy to create a list well in advance of your break, which you can also share with anyone else who has the app – plus they let you tick off your items as you complete or pack them.
Book a holiday cottage with a washing machine. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a mountain of washing after a relaxing week away. So make sure your cottage has a washing machine. And maybe a tumble dryer? Or even a washing line? You can search for them all on Holiday Cottage Compare.
Research the area. Look around the area online in advance of your stay to make a note of what’s on whilst you are there. Wet weather options in advance can be a great help – as can the nearest beach, play area or indoor swimming pool.
Load the phones and the tablets. If you have smartphones and chargers, make sure you have loaded them with some new games, books or films. And remember the headphones!
Don’t forget the chargers. You have never known pain until you have taken a holiday with kids whose tablets cannot be played because the charger was left at home. And don’t forget the car adapters…
Pack healthy snacks. We are the first to use the excuse of a long journey to justify filling the car with Percy Pig and his mates! However, passing back a box of chopped up carrots, apples, cucumber etc can be surprisingly useful for helping the time pass more quickly. Plus there’s no sugar rush fallout to deal with twenty minutes later.
Enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Challenging your mindset to seeing the journey as part of your holiday – rather than an irritating travelling day – will significantly improve everyone’s experience.
Choose a ‘holiday’ CD. Buying a new CD especially for the holiday can make long journeys a little more bearable. Make it as cheesy as you like - there’s a place for Mamma Mia on every holiday! And playing it when you get back always reminds little ones of their time away.
Update the first aid kit. Kids exploring new places often means the need for more plaster and antiseptic cream – so check your first aid kit in the car is fully stocked.
Bring rubbish bags. Because there will be a constant stream of sticker sweet wrappers and freshly used tissues that get passed through to the front of the car. Keep baby wipes handy for the same reason. Always. Even if they stopped using nappies years ago.
Pack a change of clothes. And keep them handy for when they drop that ham and cheese sandwich down their front. And then smear it across their siblings before you’ve found a safe place to pull over.
Points mean prizes. Each family has their own version of this game but it’s a great help on long car journeys, especially if there’s lots of traffic! Get the kids to monitor oncoming traffic for unusual or stand out vehicles – for example, a caravan might be worth one point and any yellow vehicle two points. Decide how many points they need for their next treat and the time will fly…
Plan your stops. Planning ahead gives kids (and adults!) something positive to aim for. Your coffee and their chance to run around. Pick a motorway services with a scenic view and decent play area like Gloucester Services on the M5 or Tebay Services on the M6.
Pack a night light. Unfamiliar houses can be tricky for anyone to navigate in the dark, not least the kids. So remembering a couple of nightlights can help reassure them as well as keep them safe should they wander.
Get your supermarket to deliver. Maybe just the regular things you will need like milk, butter and loo rolls, that would otherwise take up valuable space in the car and need refrigerating. Oh and Prosecco.
Take breakfast. If you take nothing else, take breakfast for the first morning of your holiday for when you’re still woken up at 6am by hungry kids.