It’s only a few weeks until we head off on our holiday to France. I can’t wait. A whole week away from home and work. I can’t wait to take Amelia away and spend lots of time with the whole family. Before however there is still the epic drive we will be making to get there. We are staying about an hour inland from Bordeaux which in total is about an 8 hour drive from Calais. We have done this trip before but minus a small person and without the added responsibility of having to entertain a small person for the journey.
We have decided to split the journey and will be stopping over night on route to the house we have rented. There are 3 children in total so we all decided that saving our sanity and all getting proper rest was the best option for this trip.
We will still be driving for about 4-5 hours each day so my priority over the next couple of weeks is to put together a bag of tricks that will hopefully provide entertainment to last the whole trip.
Amelia does travel pretty well. We have done journeys before of about 2-3 hours and she will usually sleep or keep herself entertained for most of this time. We will make sure we stop for lunch and any breaks needed for some fresh air and a run around. I will be on hand to provide any extra entertainment if needed whilst Mr P does most of the driving. There is also the option for one of us to pop into the backseat if needs be.
After having a good think these are the options for our in car entertainment that I have come up with so far as well as some other things to consider.
I am starting with what most would think of as being the most obvious but I am going to try and keep this as a last resort. Like I said Amelia does travel pretty well and I think we should be good for a few hours before we have to dig out the big guns.
We do have to consider the big guns however and so some serious iplayer downloading will be happening over the next week or so with a playlist mostly populated by ‘Justin’s House’ and ‘Something Special’. (That man must be worth a fortune!).
A few months ago I picked up some children’s books in Aldi. They are hardback story books with a button for music. I’ve kept them in the car ever since. They are a lifesaver, both for journeys and for those mornings when Amelia doesn’t want to play ball on getting into the car seat. Having the book to pass to her usually works a treat and I think a couple more of these will be great for the journey.
I have already downloaded some nursery rhyme albums onto my phone to play in the car but if I’m honest I’m pretty certain she equally enjoys listening to our music. Most of the time I will catch her dancing along to whatever is playing on the radio or whatever i am listening to on my iPod. My plan is to make sure we are loaded with lots of music for her to bob and clap along to. This means we are all entertained and not having to listen to 4 hours of continuous nursery rhymes may make the journey a little more bearable.
It goes without saying. Food is the answer to most problems if not all! (Not exclusively to children either!) For this reason I will be making sure we are armed with a big bag of snacks for the journey. My list currently consists of fruit, crackers, cereal bars, crisps and maybe some cheeky chocolate (for when it might get really bad!). Included in that will be lots of extra wet wipes to clean up the after mess of in the car eating.
Water and lots of it! Amelia’s Car seat has a cup holder which i love and means that we don’t have to keep passing her a drink. She can keep it in there and take it whenever she needs it.
Poundland/B&M/other cheap shops haul
You can’t beat a good look around Poundland/B&M/other cheap shops that sell everything. I am thinking that there could be some treasures hidden among the aisles that could come in handy for this trip. I am thinking coloring books, stickers, whatever I find really. This will provide entertainment during the holiday as well as for the journey so I think of this as a double win.
Rear facing v forward facing
Amelia is still in a rear facing position in her car seat. I know you can turn them forward after 15 months but we’ve just decided to keep her rear facing for a little longer. It’s supposedly the safest option and so far she hasn’t kicked off so much that I would think it was time to turn her around. This trip could change that. She could decide that her view of the backseat is extremely boring and she would like to see more. This is something we will just play by ear and see what happens.
I know I am probably being over conscious about all of this but I would rather have more than less and cover all bases of what could happen on a long journey with a 19 month old. There is of course the bonus option of putting all three kids into Granny and Granddad’s car and leaving them to entertain them whilst I recline my seat and have a cheeky snooze. Madly enough my parents have offered this on different legs of the journey! You have to love Grandparents!
Watch this space!