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Packing for a family road trip

O2 Drive

Fill your boot: what you need to pack when you’re travelling with children

Heading off somewhere with the kids in the car? It can be a struggle to keep everyone calm and reasonably clean while you get there. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay prepared and have a think about what you might need to take with you.

By planning ahead, you'll also avoid the chaotic clutter of last-minute journeys. And it might just help you keep your young passengers comfortable, fed and entertained –and maybe even quiet.

Spare clothes

Spills are likely, so keep a change of clothes in the boot. Even if you’ve packed for a holiday, keep your change bag within easy reach. It saves you having to rifle through your whole suitcase to find clean t-shirts if there’s a spill.

Snacks and drinks

Food is essential if you want to avoid your passengers getting hangry. Dodge delays with pre-portioned drinks in plastic bottles and simple snacks like chopped fruit. Avoid crumby, sticky or melting foods, and be even more cautious than usual about choking hazards. The peace of mind is worth the extra prep.

The bottom line

Parents with babies never leave the house without a changing bag. On journeys, be prepared for a lay-by change and add a changing mat. If you’re in the potty years, pack a bottle of water for rinsing and carry nappy sacks for used loo roll, in case you find yourself without a bin.

Just-in-case stuff

You know the drill – tissues, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, wipes. Remember to charge your phone in case there’s an emergency and double check the child seats haven't been wriggled loose.

In-car entertainment

Remember when an auto-reverse cassette player was your only entertainment? Luckily, your high-tech brood have access to all sorts of gadgets that make the journey fly by – just don’t forget the chargers. Low-tech options include books and colouring, and favourite toys can be comforting too. Just remember to stick to soft toys to keep it safe.

Tech can help your journey run more smoothly. Find parking ahead of time with the O2 Drive app. If you're an O2 Drive customer you'll find special perks there too. Download the app on iOS or Android.