Our longest car journey yet!

We recently travelled from Paris to our home in the North-East of England, via the Eurotunnel, all in one day. That’s 910km covered, and we made it in just less than 12 hours. What a day!

With two little children in the back of the car, how did we manage it? How did we keep those kids entertained?
Well, a lot was down to a mix of luck, temperament, and a bit of planning.

paris eiffel tower at night postcard effect
We left Paris at about 9am and instantly got tangled up in traffic, realising that we’d gone the wrong way, and if we followed the sat nav we’d get to the Tunnel too late! Eep! So we turned to Siri and let him direct us. Magically we saved 3 hours. Our sat nav is astonishingly out of date!

When we arrived at the Tunnel we got stuck in the border checks lanes, so much so that we actually missed our train. By the time we got through, the traffic controller waved us straight onto the train instead of telling us to go in the terminal. A sign flashed up that there were few functioning toilets on the trains. We couldn’t do much about it and had to drive forwards and on to the train. Cue Rob and James spending most of the journey trying to find a toilet that worked.

Then we navigated out of Kent, and up and away to the Dartford Crossing, where there just always seems to be a delay. Anyway, after that it was fairly plain sailing.

Noah had a nap, while James drew little pictures. He’s really enjoying a game we’ve been playing lately, in which I pretend to speak to someone on the phone and they ask James if he’ll be able to draw them something specific. I like seeing how well he can draw, and he seems to like having a focus. If we don’t play this game, he’ll often still just pick up a pencil to scribble circles.

line drawings of a sunshine, a bird and a rocket by a 3 year old

Of course we had an abundance of snacks. Long car journeys need low-sugar or natural sugar snacks, because the last thing you need is an amped up little hooligan strapped in their car seat. It just all goes a bit crazy.

James has a little Tamagotchi, thanks to icarhireinsurance.com, and it provided lots of giggles and lots of frustration (sometimes he wanted a girl creature, and a boy came out of the egg – yes, we often started again!).

map of journey froom paris to newcastle upon tyneWe also found that my sitting in the back of the car with the boys helps to alleviate some of their boredom and it’s good to have a bit more interaction. It also allowed me to help with the sticker books a bit more. My parents picked up some good sticker books while we were in France, where you find the shadow to place the coloured sticker over the top.

And, also, in our final hour of our journey home, we pulled out the iPad. Sometimes, only a bit of playing Sago Boats or Nighty Night will do!

So that was the longest journey we’ve done all in one day with the kids. Our longest without children is Wilmington, North Carolina, to Kissimmee in Florida at 959 km in one day!

What’s the longest journey you’ve taken?

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1 Comment

  1. September 27, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    Full respect to you for managing the journey, the longest we have done is around eight hours with the kids.

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