Pack miles of smiles if you're travelling with kids
ROAD trip. Visiting the family. Holiday.
Whatever you want to call it, travelling in the car with kids is not a combination you want to endure for any longer than two hours at a time.
For many families who have holidays planned this summer, travelling long distance is seen as a chore that requires numerous games of "eye spy", toilet stops and tantrums.
Well, that's how they travelled in the '90s anyway. Parents have evolved since then and thanks to our good friend technology, we have come up with some pretty clever ideas when it comes to long road trips with the kids.
We are talking about the power of movies on iPads, tablets and mobile phones. So to help you get ready, here are a few tips to tick off your list before you hit the road.
1. Load Up!
With all your packing, food preparation and cleaning keeping you busy, it's only natural to forget about entertainment for the kids in the car. Never fear though, this process is as easy as searching for the Family Travel iTunes room and purchasing some of the popular movies on offer.
You can even build a digital movie library to give your kids hours of entertainment. Movies such as Ice Age, Madagascar, the Shrek movies, Night At The Museum and Percy Jackson and the Olympians are just some of the favourites on offer.
The best part of buying movies online to save on your iPad or tablet is the price. From just $3.99, nothing costs over $10. So you can pretty much buy 10 hours of movie-watching fun for just $20.
2. Battery Life.
Make sure you charge the battery of your iPad or tablet the night before you leave, ensuring there is at least 90% battery to start with.
It's a good idea to pack a car charger as well, which you can swap and change between each device. Movies generally don't use too much battery life, but as with any digital device they need power to work.
I don't know about you but whenever I sit down to a good movie all I want to do is munch away on snacks - and the same can be said for children. In fact, it is believed a child's attention span will last longer when they have food in their hands.
4. Talk It Up.
Encouraging the kids to enjoy a long road trip is no easy feat, but it can be done. Give your enthusiastic vocal cords a big workout three days before the trip, talking up the family adventure in the car and the array of movies they will get to watch. Keep this up until you're in the car and on the road. With luck they will buy it.
Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: http://www.stayathomemum.com.au