10 tips to driving long distance with children including a quick lesson on motorway driving   

This summer I have spent far too many hours driving up and down the motorways of this country visiting family, having fabulous days out and going on holiday. It has been a fantastic summer so far and we still have so many more adventures in store. We love traveling with the kids but after a particularly trying journey today I decided that some people may need to be reminded about the rules of driving on a motorway.

1) Stay to the left hand side unless overtaking – This is particularly for all those middle lane drivers – MOVE OVER!!! 60 miles an hour is not an acceptable speed to be driving in the middle lane when there is no traffic to your left hand side.

2) Keep your distance – This is a special message to Mr BMW, you know who you are. Keeping your distance is for everyone’s safety. Driving closer to someone puts lives in danger and is not a polite way to ask them to change lanes.

3) Undertaking is illegal – I know when you have middle lane drivers it can be tempting to nip past them on the left hand side but this is a really dangerous maneuver. Drivers changing lanes expect the cars to the left to be traveling slower than them if this is not true it can cause accidents.

4) Use your indicators before changing lanes – Indicating allows other drivers to allow you time and room to maneuver by failing to give them this courtesy you can be endangering those around you.

Now that is out of the way I wanted to share with you some of my top tips for traveling long distances with the kids.

1) In car DVD players – The girls got theirs for Christmas two years ago and they have been invaluable. It allows them to watch their dvds and keep quite for long periods of time.

2) Pack snacks – Bottles of drinks and a few easy to eat snacks can make a journey a lot more pleasant.

3) Plan your journey – Using something like Google maps to plan your journey and check road names and junction numbers can make a journey a lot less stressful. Also check where the services are along route so you can plan toilet breaks. If like me you only drink Starbucks check which services sell that brand of coffee and top up your caffeine levels.

4) Check the travel report – If you are going to be traveling on a motorway or in a heavy traffic area it is always worth checking BBC Travel News to make sure there are no major incidents that you need to avoid.

5) Before setting off make sure you check your tyres and fluids. Tyre pressures go down regularly so any long journey should not be attempted until you have made sure they are at the correct level.

6) Do not drive on the motorway with a chipped windscreen. It doesn’t take much to turn a chip into a crack and with high speed travel this is even more likely. Use a company like ShatterScreen to get your windscreen replaced before you go.

7) Pack your car sensibly. Make sure you have everything stowed safely but that you can also access emergency items quickly. A change of clothes for a toilet training child or a Nappy bag for a baby do not want to be tucked away in the far reached of the boot.

8) Don’t forget the kids comforters! You do not want to have to turn around half way there because a precious teddy has been left behind.

9) Having kids music cds in the car are a great last resort for when you can’t change the film and you are not yet at a suitable place to stop. Choose wisely though as these cds will be played a lot and you don’t want to choose one that will get on your nerves.

10) Keep calm and try to enjoy the journey as much as you can, there is an end in sight.

Oh and an extra one for good luck, make sure you have breakdown cover just in case something goes wrong.