As a family friendly lodge resort on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, the majority of families staying with us opt to travel by car. We wanted to put together a handy guide which should help make the car journey easier, meaning mum and dad can start relaxing before they’ve even arrived at their lodge! Together with some helpful family bloggers, we’ve put together the following list of tips for travelling in the car with kids in this handy infographic. Scroll down to read the full blog article.
Before You Leave
Take time before you leave to plan your journey – where will you stop, how long for? You’re the best person to know when your kids are likely to need a toilet stop, so make sure you have plenty of stops organised to avoid any on the road accidents. For little ones who are in the process of toilet training, pull-ups can be a handy addition to your kid’s travelling wardrobe.
Pack like a pro
Jane from the Hodge Podge Days blog recommends keeping a list of things you always need to take with you on your computer and printing it off as a check list for each time you go away. She also says travel light (or as lightly as you can!) and remember to check and see if there’s a washing machine at your accommodation. And don’t forget that unless you’re heading off to the remotest place on earth, there will likely be a shop nearby for any forgotten essentials!
Don’t forget their comforter
Whether it’s their favourite soft toy or a comfort blanket and pillow, be sure to pack some things that will provide comfort to your kids during the journey. Most likely scenario? It calms them during a tantrum until you can find something else to occupy them with. Best case scenario? They fall asleep for a few hours, giving you some well needed peace and quiet.
Prep some snacks
Make sure you pack lots of water and snacks to keep the kids full and hydrated throughout the trip – though we’d suggest avoiding sugary snacks as these will likely make the trip worse! Snacks such as grapes, cheese cubes and dried fruit like raisins work well since there’s not much mess involved, but make sure you pack some baby wipes as well, just in case! Oh, and a plastic bag for any rubbish. We also love the idea of a Snack Catcher.
Choose your travel time wisely
New mummy blogger, Ana Kyle from This Family Adventure recommends setting off just after teatime, with the kids in their PJs, in the hope that they fall asleep quite soon into the journey. It might mean you arrive to your destination quite late. But on the plus side you get a good few hours in the car with sleeping children where you can listen to music and chat to your other half.
The (dreaded) Journey
A car journey without a family singsong can be a dismal affair. Before your trip, consider buying a singalong CD of popular kid’s songs. Ana recommends 30 Toddler Songs and says that whenever she plays it for her kids now, vivid memories of driving around France last summer come flooding back to her.
No matter what age your kids are, there are plenty of games that you can play in the car that will keep them entertained for at least part of the journey. Blogger, Leta Elliot (aka AttachmentMummy) recommends I Spy…something red for younger kids, an adaption of the classic which uses colours instead of letters to make it a game all the family can enjoy, and 20 Questions for kids over the age of 4.
Tablets/mobile devices (and headphones!)
Katie, author of the Mummy In A Tutu blog says that electronic devices such as an iPad can be a godsend when travelling with little ones. When your family singsong or car game loses their attention, perhaps an episode or two of their favourite TV programme will provide a few hours of peaceful drive time. Just don’t forget to pack the headphone as well!
While You’re There
This will largely depend on your destination, but we’ve put together some handy tips for those visiting Loch Lomond. Sarah Christie, author of the Extraordinary Chaos blog recommends having an open mind and to not stick to a routine. Luckily, there are loads of kids’ activities in and around the Cameron Lodges Resort to keep your family holiday varied and interesting.
The Enchanted Wood (known locally as Faerie Wood)
Situated between the 17th & 18th holes on The Carrick golf course, The Enchanted Wood is a wonderful educational and sensory resource for visitors, created by our wonderful Estate Ranger Jenny, that also provides food and habitat for a variety of woodland species such as birds, bats, butterflies, bees, and amphibians found in and around Loch Lomond.
Loch Lomond Sealife Centre
Take the kids to see Cammy, the only giant sea turtle in Scotland or let them hold a crab or touch a starfish in the interactive Rock Pool. For those a little more daring, take a trip into the Ocean Tunnel and enjoy watching the sharks swim by. A great day out for all the family, the Loch Lomond Sealife Centre is located at Loch Lomond Shores, just a short drive from Cameron Lodges.
Loch Lomond Pony Trekking
Kids will love meeting Chrissie, Petra, Bailey and Glen, the very well-mannered and well-groomed ponies at the Loch Lomond Pony Trekking facility in Balloch, just a five minute drive from Cameron Lodges. Ideal for both novice and experienced riders, you’ll get to enjoy the amazing views of Loch and Ben Lomond at a nice, leisurely pace.
And finally…don’t forget that mum and dad are on holiday too!
Mums and dads shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to spend some time together doing grown up things, which is why it’s useful to find out about any babysitting or kids clubs available at your destination. For example, Cameron House provides great kids activities and facilities to keep the little ones entertained while mum and dad visit the Spa or enjoy a round on the golf course.