How to keep children entertained on long car journeys….


A few weeks ago, we went on a car journey – A very long car journey which was made even longer by the fact that the roads were very busy.

Despite this, we arrived at our destination a good seven and a half hours after setting off without hearing the words I’m bored more than once or twice and I’m almost positive that you want to know what my secret is, don’t you?


First of all, each child had their own car bag (we used the Content and Calm tray kits that we were sent a while ago) which I packed for them with the following things:

  • A reading book.
  • A notebook – I printed out a few children’s wordsearches and stick them in the front and wrote a few titles for stories for Miss Frugal to write.  For Master Frugal, I wrote out a few times tables sums as he’s really enjoying learning his tables at the moment.
  • A pencil case with a few pens, pencils and colouring pencils.
  • Some sweets – mint imperials not sticky sweets like Haribo.
  • Fully charged electronics – ipod touch, DS – anything that could keep them occupied for a while.
  • A couple of eye spy books.

We also let them each take their favourite blanket so they could snuggle up in the hope that they would sleep some of the journey away (unfortunately they didn’t though) and I packed a separate bag with some cereal bars and lots of bottles of water and flat juice (no fizz or sugar on a journey) so we didn’t have to pay service station prices when they wanted something.  I also had a few spare carrier bags and some travel sickness tablets – just in case….

The I Spy books were sent to us to review and they were great for the journey – the every vehicle on the road was our favourite but they all helped to keep them quiet in the back for a while.


As I mentioned, we used the lap tray kits that we were sent from Content and Calm for our car bags and they were ideal for us – they’re big enough to store everything we needed to take with us without being too big to carry about as a bag when needed.  They can be used as a mini desk to rest on which is perfect for my two who love to draw and write whenever they’re in the car and the ridge at the edge means that little things don’t roll out to be forever lost in the back of the car.

Miss Frugal has been after one of these bags for ages and I’ve always said no as I didn’t really think they were worth the money but having been on a journey with the kids using one, I’m definitely converted.

 Stripe & Croc

(I do have some photos of them in the back of the car with their tray kits but I seem to have lost my memory card (again) so I’ll add them tomorrow after we’ve had a good hunt for it)

We were lucky enough to be travelling in a new generation Hyundai Santa Fe which we had borrowed for the week to fit us all in (me, Jen and all four children) for our husband free week away.  As I’ve probably said before, I’m not a big driver and I usually only drive when it’s essential and very rarely on long journeys or on motorways so I  didn’t feel confident enough to drive the car myself which is why I’ll let Jen do the talking with that side of the review which you can read here.


As a passenger, the car was perfect and it was a gorgeous looking car (superficial, me?) – just look at it!  Despite being at almost capacity with 2 adults and 4 children (with 3 car seats) pack in, there was also enough space to comfortably pack a weeks worth of clothes for the six of us all along with all manner of toys, games, food, drink and literally anything but the kitchen sink.

Despite the amount of luggage and people we managed to cram into the car, it was still comfortable for everyone travelling – none of the children moaned about being cramped or squashed (although they moaned about many other un-car-related issues) and there was plenty of space for them to all do their thing or not, in the case of Miss Frugal who managed to sleep through almost anything.


Personally, I loved the USB charger and the fact that the Sat Nav was so good – when someone was sick, it was a couple of presses of the screen to be redirected to a supermarket where we arrived within 5 minutes of them being ill.  Likewise when one of them needed a wee urgently – just a few presses, two minutes and we were there.

I loved the Santa Fe and highly recomment test driving it if you’re in the market for a car like that.

I'm not proud of this....
Summer Holiday Guilt....


  1. mothersalwaysright says

    Those bags are a brilliant idea – and I bet they add to the excitement of the journey, seeing them all packed up the night before, waiting by the front door. I'll definitely be looking into one before our next trip up to see family in the north. It's at least a 5 hour journey and I dread it with our 3 year old!

  2. says

    What a good idea, I am usually in such a rush to remember everything that I don't pack any supplies for Little L in the car but it would make for an easier journey, some of this could stay in the car or be ready packed in a bag near the door just to grab on your way out.