We have always been a travelling family, I remember the days of building holiday survival kits for the boys to keep them entertained on a road trip.
Preparing little bags packed with goodies and travel games. And how excited they would get to receive a new Noddy book, cars and Disney mini figures to play with on travel day. Road trips were an adventure.
Then they became teens and the rules of travel changed forever.
You see, as parents, we thought travelling with toddlers was hard! You try playing eye spy with a 17 year old? Travel takes every bit as much preparation; they still throw tantrums in some form or another. But generally it is because you have pulled up outside the wrong fast food joint! I kid you not…..
Last week we had an epic journey to Gatwick airport and back for our flights to St Lucia. We may have kept it a secret for a while that we had a 5-hour drive to the airport! Experience has taught us, the less said about long journeys the better.
So here is how we prepare for long car journeys with teens in the Christie household.
Teens sleep A LOT there is nothing more frustrating than constantly having to wake a grumpy
lion teen from a slumber because their head is at an odd angle. A pillow will keep them propped up safely and asleep. The aim is to keep them in this state FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE for everybody’s sanity. If they are well rested they are much easier to handle.
Have you ever experience starving teen? It’s scary! Take snacks and drinks in case a bout of starvation arises. And don’t pack them in the boot. We have made that schoolboy error; teen starvation is an emergency situation that must be dealt with immediately.
Stopping for food is a risky business
We in general are not a fast food kinda family. This means fast food on the road is a treat! And packed lunches won’t cut it. Oh no to a teen a long journey is an open ticket to fast food. But know your teen, pulling up at the wrong fast food joint could be disastrous.
And what if you have two teens that like different fast food joints? Oh yes this is our life. Save yourself heartbreak and know where these holy grail service stations are. We have been known to pull in and out of four service stations in a row because they don’t have the right two food joints.
Breaking down is a no no
It gives me shivers just thinking about it! Do all the checks before you set off, water, oil tyres. And if all else fails Car Insurance with Aviva comes with Aviva Breakdown Cover to help you get to your destination. Offering roadside recovery to repair your car at the roadside or get you to the nearest approved repairer thus giving you peace of mind on long journeys.
Be prepared with devices
We are an Apple family; the boys take their iPhones and iPads everywhere. The beauty of this is that they can download films and series to watch on long journeys, which keeps them content for any waking hours and also saves data.
My top tip here is make sure you pack their headphones. Honestly the biggest drama of any long journey is someone playing a movie or music too loud. And check downloads, we have had occasions when the boys are convinced they have downloaded but not checked without WiFi.
Having no WiFi is a truly alien concept to a teen!
Also pre download any books they want to read, it’s all in one place and easy to access.
But be warned take extra charging leads for devices
I am not sure if it just our house, but charging leads fail all the time. Have spare lead in the car in case of a lead failure. This is an end of world situation and must be dealt with immediately. A flat battery on a device is a potentially devastating occurrence on a road trip.
And if there is any arguing or bickering between teens
Suggest a family sing along or game of eye spy. Those headphones will be back on and peace will be restored before you even finish your sentence.
This is all a bit tongue in cheek, but teens are a rare breed. And can alternate between puppies and lions in a second. Car journeys in their opinions (And I have this on good authority) are a waste of time. The better prepared you are the more likely you are to enjoy a harmonious trip. Happy travels x.
In collaboration with Aviva