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Car Features That Make Family Travel Easier

You’re going on a long car journey with the children.  You will all be stuck in the car together for hours.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster doesn’t it.  There are simple ways to ease up the stress of a long journey and make it far more manageable.  I for one believe in keeping children entertained as I tend to do the driving when we go on trips and get nervous on motorways.  Lorries veering in and out of lanes without signalling really do worry me and combined with children who are in themselves a distraction, ensuring I make travelling as easy as possible is a necessity.

Here are my top car features that make family travel much easier:

Dash Cams

For a safety nut you’d think I’d have one of these little beauties, but alas I never got round to doing all the research to get the right one.  But, dash cams may now be a thing of the past.  Aviva created an app that I can simply download to my phone transforming it into a dash cam.  All I need to get is a cradle for my phone that attaches to the windscreen and I’m reeving to go!  Naturally once I discovered this, I took a look at the website to find out more.

The app would track my fabulous driving skills and give me a discount on my car insurance.  The app will also give evidence if I was hit by another driver.  I’m a pretty good driver (or at least I think so) but as my dad always say’s “it’s the other drivers you need to be worried about” and having driven for about 18 years I totally agree.

Did I mention the app is totally FREE – bonus!

Ipads and Back Seat Organiser(s) / Tablet Holder(s)

The ipads we have thankfully, although I don’t have the organisers/holders.  I have however found some back seat organisers on the BTR Kids site which look great.  They come as a pack of 2 and are currently on offer!  These make it easier for the children to view their programmes/movies whilst on the go and keep any other must-have items (you know they’ll have a fair few for no obvious reason other than they’re kids) tucked away tidily.

In Car DVD Players / Portable DVD Players

These can be lifesavers.  Journeys never seem as long or stressful when the children are entertained and this is the perfect way to do this.  Whether they’re Finding Nemo, singing along to Moana or even watching Peppa Pig for the zillionth time they will be happy and we all know that’s a good thing!  Happy children = happy parents.  I would love some in car dvd players in my next car that’s for sure.  The other more affordable option is portable DVD players like those you can find at Halfords.

USB Ports / Portable Power Bank

USB ports can be great if you have taken gadgets on long journeys as someone will need to charge their ipad part way there.  As long as you remember to bring the right charging wire you can count it as a parent win.  Older cars don’t have inbuilt USB ports but you can get around that easily with a portable power bank they’re brilliant!  You can charge numerous items at the same time with some too which is great.

Tinted Glass / Kids Sunshade Shields

Tinted glass is great to prevent the glare of the sun irritating the little ones and saves your blood pressure rising.  I’m fortunate in that my latest car has tinted back windows.  In addition window tinting offers some protection against uv radiation.  Those without need not worry though you can easily get your hands on an alternative thanks to Tesco who have kids sunshade shields that are made of fabric that blocks UVA and UVB rays and are far more effective at blocking out harmful rays.

Wi-Fi Connection

Movies downloaded onto ipads or dvd players will only keep children entertained for so long and then the dreaded chiming  of “are we there yet” begins, reaching a crescendo and leaving an echo in your ears that lasts for ages.  Wi-Fi opens up a world of opportunities from watching cute videos of children reviewing the latest must have toys, to watching their favourite programmes and even watching videos about their rapidly (hopefully) nearing destination.

These car features will make the journey far easier for the whole family but make sure you don’t forget to bring plenty of drinks and snacks too.

Happy travels xxx

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This Post Has 68 Comments

  1. This is so true! Our kids are the same and can’t sit still when we travel long distance by car and your tips is something I am going to take onboard, like the portable dvd player and sunshade

    1. Glad you liked the tips. The work well having tried them for a while now.

  2. It’s amazing how much the world of long car journeys have changed! I remember when I was a kid and I would have to pack every kind of colouring pad I had or book so I wouldn’t get bored. When we eventually got a portable dvd player it was a complete game changer. And now you can get in car wifi or use portable hotspots!

    1. I know, cars have changed so much. It’s great for children I used to sit bored in a seat when I was small.

  3. I love all the features on modern cars they really make travelling easier. Love the app idea I need to look into that.

    1. It is a great idea. Glad it’s free to download too.

  4. These are really good tips. The apps sounds great. e recently got a dash cam and I have loved having it – such peace of mind too 🙂

    1. I’m sure it must be. It’s god to know you have proof if you have an accident.

  5. My family loves to do roadtrips and car features are one of the most important things when doing long drives!

    1. They sure are. They can make the drive so much easier.

  6. We had a near miss recently and I’d like to have something like this to prove whose fault it was!

    1. Same here. It can be hard to otherwise depending on where you have been hit.

  7. I don’t have a dash cam, so this would be great for me too.

    1. I thought it was a great idea.

  8. Haha, love the ‘are we there yet’ photo. So familiar. Ours are good with the iPad until they start to get fidgety!

    1. That tends to be a sign that they need to stretch their legs. Breaks can help on long journeys. Just a little walk around can make a difference.

  9. These are some awesome features – it is hard knowing what is best for a car I could imagine my other half loving the idea of a DVD player to keep him occupied.

    1. That is always a popular option x

  10. I need to get a dash cam in my car as I think they’re so good for keeping safe, and USB ports are really useful x

    1. I love having in car usb ports!!

  11. This is a handy post. We have a bit of a familybroad trip coming up so thanks for the tips. We have recently got a dash cam too so fingers crossed once it’s installed it’ll help us out a bit.

    1. Hopefully you can make use of these tips to make the travel part easier x

  12. We love travelling and exploring new places, however little man tends to get bored on long journeys. So many fantastic tips, thank you!

    1. I’m glad you liked them. Hopefully you can use some next time you travel 🙂

  13. I just bought a car and I need to invest in a dash cam as well. I didn’t know about the Aviva app, I will surely get it especially that it’s free. Indeed, there are the other drivers you need to look after and the dash cam definitely gives proof when it’s not your fault in an accident.

    1. It’s great isn’t it. I think they have come up with a brilliant idea there.

  14. Im all for bring anything that can help ha. My boys ask at least 1000 times are we nearly there yet lol. We tend to bring ipads and games and a drawing board to keep them entertained as much as possible x

    1. OMG it’s a nightmare when they repeat it parrot fashion.

  15. I agree 100%, who the items mentioned always make my car journeys much easier and fun especially when travelling with my family.

    1. It’s so much nicer this way 🙂

  16. The dash cam looks like a fab idea. Thankfully lots of modern car come with decent features. Being able to play our playlists through Apple Music is one of our favourites

    1. That’s a great feature. I’d use that when driving without the kids.

  17. My Dad always used to say the same about other drivers on the road and now I’m older I completely agree! We need to get some iPad holders for long journeys

    1. Don’t tell my dad, he already thinks he’s right all the time lol.

  18. The usb chargers are a lifesaver are they not I know I couldn’t cope without ours

    1. Same here they are great x

  19. Yes! I rely on our USB points to charge my phone on long car journeys 🙂

    1. They can be really handy!!!

  20. This is a good idea, but getting the iPad off our daughter is always a problem, so I welcome car travels as it gives her down time from the iPad. For longer journey, I could see the need for Back seat organiser and holder. As for Dash cam, I have they have already paid off by sending footage to Police and having offenders cautioned etc. They also capture your mistakes too. I always turn off the in-car microphone for that reason.

    John M

    1. It sounds like the dash cam has come in handy for you then!

  21. Have just sent the link to this post on to my son, who is currently researching dash cams as he is a new and young driver so his insurance is through the roof! Thank you for sharing.

    1. No problem. I’m so pleased you found this useful x

  22. Dash cams are brilliant and a must have – I go nowhere without mine. The amount of incidents I’ve caught is amazing.

    1. They are a must in this day and age.

  23. Wow so many features for road trips now! A dash cam would definitely be so helpful.

  24. We have been considering a dash cam for our car so that app sounds brilliant and I like the sound of having cheaper car insurance for it!

    1. It is great that you can also save on your car insurance by downloading the app.

  25. We went on so many car journeys as children in fact we even did a road trip around Europe In a car and this would have been so helpful!

    1. It’s good to have these features as they make the journeys so much easier x

  26. We have an iPad holder in the back of our car which attaches to the headrest and the boys use it as a TV to watch films on during long car journeys. x

  27. The aviva dash cam app is such a clever idea! I use my phone as my sat nav so it already has a place on the dashboard… so it would be really easy to use it for insurance saving reasons too.

  28. A few weeks ago we did a SIX hour car journey with the kids. It was tough, tough I tell ya! These things would have made it much easier! Thanks for a great list.

  29. I definitely agree about the in car dvd player it makes the time go by much faster

    1. It sure does and keeps kiddies and adults in the back happy too.

  30. Deffo the USB points. I have to say I feel pretty old school as we don’t have any of the other things although the kids do have tablets which are strictly only used when travelling and it does help make the journey go quicker!

    Laura x

  31. Even not in a car, powerbanks are a god send. You can get them for a decent price online and they are so useful

    1. They sure are. I love mine 🙂

  32. Ipads, Kindle Fire for Kids, and definitely USB connections for the teens to play their music and charge their phones are vital! Kaz

    1. They sure are. It’s typical that their batteries run out half way through so you need to be prepared.

  33. We’ve just had a car with wifi and it was brilliant. The kids loved having access to all the videos they would normally watch. It saved them from fighting too

    1. Sounds like it worked well for you and your family x

  34. in car DVD players are an absolute must for long trips! so good to have an activity for those drives

    1. It is great to have some for of entertainment to pass the time.

  35. love those tablet holders. great idea even for at home.

  36. I have the same motto, keeping them entertained on journeys, it really does have a big impact on whether a trip is enjoyable, so many thanks…..

  37. My boys are 24 & 22 so i don’t have to worry about this sort of thing anymore but they seem like they’d be really useful. I could’ve done with a couple of these 20 yrs ago.

  38. It’s amazing what you can have in cars these days! They are useful devices – whatever did we use to do in the old days?!

  39. These are a great idea, my Son is onto his third tablet after dropping the last two

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