In association with Aviva
At 15 years old, Belle is much easier to keep entertained on road trips than she used to be.
When she was little, she did NOT like cars. I’d read all these articles with top tips to get your baby to sleep – ‘take them for a drive in the car!’ – they’d say – ‘they’ll love watching the world go by!’
Belle was not ‘lulled by the gentle driving motion’ and she really did not enjoy ‘looking out of the window at passing scenery.’ In fact she screamed constantly unless you sang Agadoo by Black Lace over and over again in a loud voice.
She looks like butter wouldn’t melt doesn’t she? Casually sat up on the kitchen counter, playing her favourite game of ‘put things in the toaster’, but don’t be fooled. She’d scream in your face soon as look at you. (Please note toaster is switched off.)
Nowadays all it takes is a family subscription to Spotify and a carrier bag full of chocolate chip brioche and we’re ready to hit the road. Unfortunately our car is a bit old and rubbish, so doesn’t have the option for Belle to connect her phone to the stereo. I actually don’t mind this as then I get to listen to Belle singing loudly without being able to hear herself, which is entertaining for ME – two birds, one stone and all that.
She’s happy anyway, which is the main thing.
Just in case you’re planning your own road trip, here are three things to consider:
Depending on the age of your kids this could be a homemade CD of Agadoo on a loop, a downloaded Spotify playlist or a good bank of Peppa Pig episodes on the iPad. Or you might want to go old school and play i-Spy. I doubt it though.
Make sure you have a few options for younger kids otherwise they WILL surprise you by suddenly announcing that they don’t like Peppa Pig any more, as of seven minutes ago.
So important. I cannot stress this one enough.
Even though Belle is 16 in about six weeks (gah!) I still seem to be in charge of packing snacks for her. In fact, I often have to pack breakfast if I am giving her a lift somewhere before midday as she will leave getting up until about eight minutes before we have to leave the house. I don’t understand how she looks surprised EVERY TIME I ask her if she has remembered to have a drink, as though I haven’t asked her every day for the last 16 years.
I feel pretty proud of how far I’ve come since the satsuma incident in terms of car maintenance. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I have regular services or anything, but when the engine and handbrake lights started flickering going uphill recently I only ignored it for about a week before doing some investigations and topping up the brake fluid. Excellent work.
Check things like tyre pressures and oil levels regularly and make sure that you have breakdown cover. If there is one thing you really do not want on a family road trip it’s to be paying a recovery firm hundreds of pounds to come and rescue you from the side of the motorway. Aviva offer breakdown cover as an add-on to their car insurance, so they could be worth a look if you’re looking to renew soon.
Tick these three boxes and hopefully you’ll have a smooth ride, literally and metaphorically.
What keeps your kids happy on road trips?