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How to keep your kids entertained on long car journeys


Whilst it may not seem like it after the snowy weather we’ve had recently, spring is just around the corner and it will soon be time to pack our suitcases and take a well-deserved family break.

Spending time away on a spring break is enjoyable for all the family, though for travellers with small children there can be one potential issue to overcome before we can properly relax – keeping the kids entertained on the long car journey!

In this blog we’ve pulled together some great ideas for keeping the kids occupied when you’re driving to and from your holiday destination.

Watch DVDs on the go

These days you can pick up a budget portable DVD player for around £50 and taking one along with a stack of your kids’ favourite films and cartoons can help to keep them entertained during the trip. Don’t forget though that the rechargeable batteries in most portable DVD players only last for two to three hours, so make sure that you take a car charger with you so that you can power and recharge whilst you’re on the move.

Load up on new apps

If your kids have their own smartphones or tablets, load them with new apps before the journey. If you install the apps the night before the trip and let them have their phone back on the day of the journey, they will hopefully keep your kids happily preoccupied exploring and learning how to use them. You can find a useful list of suggestions for great apps for kids here.

If your kids don’t have their own smartphone or tablet, you could lend them yours for the trip -they’ll be excited at the special opportunity to use them. Just don’t forget to take earphones for your kids to plug into the devices, unless you’re happy to put up with various sound effects during the entire journey!

Download some audiobooks

Loading up a smartphone or mp3 player with digital audiobooks by your kids’ favourite authors is sure to go down well and keep them entertained. You can buy audiobooks as a physical CD, which can be played in a portable CD player or the in-car player, or copied from CD to mp3 and then transferred to a digital device. You can also buy audiobooks as a digital downloadable mp3 file, which can then be transferred directly to a digital device or ‘burnt’ to a blank CD for playback in a CD player.

There are plenty of audiobooks which the whole family are sure to enjoy and so buying them on CD and listening to them together on the car CD player, could be a good option. You can find a nice list of audiobooks for families here.

Traditional car games

The ideas we’ve suggested so far have all been digital in nature but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we think traditional car games are boring or outdated! We think they can work really well and when they’re fun and capture your kids’ imaginations, they’re sure to make the time fly by. Some car games may be a little dull (Eye Spy anyone?!) but if you’re looking for slightly more interesting alternatives then you can find a useful list of suggestions here.

Don’t forget that it’s very important to take regular breaks during your journey to allow the kids to stretch their legs and visit the toilet – and a bag of sweets (or healthy snacks!) can also make the trip go that little bit quicker.

Happy travelling from the team at Mayday!