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The summer holidays are about to begin… this means that large numbers of people will get into their cars again to go to a sunny destination. But before you can enjoy this well-deserved vacation, you will have a long journey ahead. And if you are stuck for hours on the A10 to Bordeaux, a few tips to make the drive a little bit more bearable are certainly welcome.
Are you are travelling with children? Then it is of course ideal if they can catch a couple of hours extra sleep during the drive. Leave, for example, at two or three o’clock at night, and make sure that they are comfortable in the car with cushions and blankets, so that they can continue to sleep. Who knows, with a little luck the children will sleep until you have passed the French border! Are you travelling without children? Then you will have a nice day ahead of you if you drive at night. Make sure to take sufficient breaks for coffee and lunch, or make a brief visit to a village in the near vicinity. Your Villatent is ready for you from 16:00 hours!
Children love presents. Do you want to keep your children busy during the car drive? Go to the toy store before you leave and buy some small presents, such as colouring books, stickers, pencils etc. Wrap all gifts up, and tell your children that they can open one of them each two hours. Success guaranteed; your kids will enjoy themselves for another one or two hours with their new present.
Having to sit still for hours on end and not being able to get rid of your energy… that is the most awkward aspect of a long car journey. At some point, your legs are getting increasingly stiff and start to hurt. So, take regular breaks to stretch your legs. Will you travel with children? Let them get rid of their energy every once in while at a playground or at a parking space. And when packing the car, make sure to have a ball, frisbee, or jump rope within reach.
Who has not done it in the past? Playing games during a car drive! For example, the ‘guess an animal’ game. Someone names an animal, after which the next person has come up with another animal name that starts with the last letter of the animal that was just mentioned: hedgehog – goose – eagle – elephant etc. You can also play this game with countries or cities.
Another fun game for in the car is ‘Who am I?’. The only items that you need for this game are post-its and a pen. Everybody thinks of a person that each one in the car knows, either a famous person, a figure from a comic book, or just a neighbour. They write the name of this person on a post-it. Next, one person puts his/her post-it on the forehead of the person who has to guess the name written on it. In turn, everyone starts asking questions that can only be answered by yes or no. Am I a woman? An actor? Or am I a TV-personality? Just as long until the person with the post-it on his/her forehead has discovered who it is.
Another game that can cause some hilarious moments is the game ‘No yes, no no’. Here, you ask a person different questions, but he/she is not allowed to answer them with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘ehm’. If they do this anyway, they have lost the game!
The most favourite entertainment gadgets to keep children busy during a long car journey are still the iPad, the iPhone, Nintendo DS, or a DVD-player. Are you planning on taking these with you? Make sure that they are fully charged when you are leaving. What is also handy, is to bring an external charger with you, so that the devices can be used for a long time. And did you know that, nowadays, you can also watch films on Netflix off-line? Make sure that the iPad has sufficient memory space, and download (at home via Wifi) a few films prior to your departure. Next, check whether the games that you have downloaded can be used off-line. Is your child susceptible to car sickness? Try if he or she responds well to a motion sickness pill.
Black Saturdays are days with extreme amounts of traffic on the European highways, due to the so-called massive holiday exodus. Do you want to avoid these Black Saturdays? Then you could leave a day earlier and stop somewhere for the night.
Taking these six tips in mind, you will be at your holiday destination before you know it. And then your vacation can begin! Checking in at the reception, unpacking your car, and ready you are to go to your Villatent to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee or a refreshing drink in the hammock at your own private terrace.