Tips for long car journeys with children

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During the semester break, many families go on a skiing holiday or go on day trips - heavy traffic and delays are usually inevitable.

“Long car journeys with children should therefore be well prepared. If you are prepared for all eventualities such as hunger and thirst, boredom or even nausea and plan the route well, the hours in the car are much more relaxed," says ÖAMTC traffic psychologist Marion Seidenberger. The following tips should be taken into account when taking a long car trip with the whole family become:

  • Choose your travel time carefully: Ideally, the start of the trip should be coordinated with their biorhythm, especially for small children. “When the little ones are asleep, larger stages can be completed in peace and quiet,” says the ÖAMTC expert.
  • Avoid additional distractions: There is often a lot going on with children in the car - they chatter, audio books or children's music are played loudly, etc. “Parents should therefore definitely avoid additional distractions and under no circumstances bring the 'office' into the car and make phone calls while driving . Not only is this boring for children, but they often find it difficult to sit still and be quiet at the same time,” explains Seidenberger.
  • Plan stopovers: In order not to overwhelm both children and the driver, stopovers should be made, especially on longer journeys. The breaks provide an opportunity to exercise in the fresh air or visit sights along the route. “For children, the long journey seems much shorter. “Drivers can relax during breaks and continue driving with good attention,” says the expert.
  • Entertainment while driving: Children have a different perception of time - without something to do, they quickly get bored sitting quietly. Cuddly toys, art supplies and reading material should therefore be stored within easy reach in the back seat. Classic word and memory games or child-friendly game apps also make the trip more entertaining.
  • Food: “Pack enough drinks and snacks,” advises the ÖAMTC expert. “Every now and then a few pieces of fruit or even sweets lift the mood – not just for the children.”
  • Nausea: To prevent nausea, children should not look down for too long during the journey (e.g. while reading) or not use a smartphone the entire journey. Just looking out the window can usually help.
Motorists stuck in traffic (Photo: Unsplash/J Torres).
Motorists stuck in traffic (Photo: Unsplash/J Torres).
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