OK kids listen up.  There are things in life we have to do.  Coz we’re kids. It’s the rules.  It has come to my attention that some rules are not being followed adequately enough when it comes to travelling in cars.  If you are arriving at your destination with calm and happy parents, then you are not fulfilling your role as a kid, or following the rules.  There are a certain amount of things you must do in the car in order to achieve your full kid potential.


Follow my simple car journey rules for kids, and the parents will definitely arrive at your destination stressed and willing to do anything for a quiet life.  We all know that means saying “Yes” to pretty much anything we ask.  If you’ve followed the rules well, then you should only have to  ask demand your ‘want’ once.


With the holidays coming up you might be going on a long car journey soon.  The parents will have planned for this in finite detail and military precision.  Full safety measures have been taken into account.  The car has a full tank of petrol.  The engine has been topped up with oil and water. The boot is fully loaded.  The tyres are full of air.  They think they have prepared for everything.  Show them who is boss.


Car Rules For Kids


1 The classic “Are we there yet?”

This question is guaranteed to drive any parent up the wall.  It is best used repeatedly with intensifying frequency.  Start the torture approximately 5 minutes into your journey.


2 Eat all the snacks in the first 5 minutes.

The parents think they have this journey sussed, and that they have provided enough snacks to keep you quiet for the duration of the journey. Eat your snack stash immediately, and 10 minutes later proclaim you are hungry.  Repeat this statement regularly.  Approximately 1 minute after each time you ask “Are we there yet” should have the desired effect.

2015-04-15 13.21.33

Snack Supplies

Easily consumed in 10 minutes


3 Insist that you need a wee.

Optimum times for doing this are 5 minutes after you have stopped in the service station, or when you are stuck in a traffic jam.  Beware that this one can backfire.  Don’t be too insistent unless you do really need to go wee wee, because chances are you’ll find yourself bare bottom, weeing in the grass whilst cars drive by, with absolutely no privacy.  It’s a liberty.


4 Change your mind about the entertainment you chose.

The parents may have said you could choose a DVD to watch in the car, and let you choose which one.  But again, this is purely for their benefit, with the objective of keeping you quiet.  Change your mind and protest loudly about wanting to watch another DVD that is still at home.  To really drive home the point, decide you want to watch the DVD that the parents suggested you bring in the first place.  Their stress levels will go through the roof as they will actually feel guilty for not packing it for you anyway.


5 Be a backseat driver.

Let’s face it this driving lark is easy.  You’ve been practicing it since you were 10 months old when you got your first steering wheel.  Tell the parent driving that they should slow down, drive faster, and be more careful.  They love the advice, especially Daddy’s.  If Mummy and Daddy appear to be having one of their ‘discussions’ over which way to go, give them the full force of your opinion on the matter.  Alternatively breaking down into tears and wailing about being “lost forever” works really well too.

born to drive


6 Request your beats.

Now there’s only so long you can do this one before Mummy and Daddy give you headphones, so use it to your advantage whilst you still can. Insist on listening to your music at a loud volume.  I find Cbeebies and chipmunks works really well.  To increase the impact and stress levels, pick one song and demand to listen to it over and over and over and over again.  Do not allow anyone to sing along other than you.


7 Ask lots of questions.

You can never ask too many.  Particularly at times of high concentration such as driving.  Always start each question with a “Muuuuuummyyyyyy?” or a “Daaaaddyyyyyyy?”  But never ask the question until they have responded to your initial address.  If they don’t respond, repeat the “Muuuuuummyyyyyy?” or  “Daaaaddyyyyyyy?” until they do.  Asking for things you want when they are distracted at roundabouts will normally get a “Yes” that you can hold them to later.  It’s also a great time for complex questions such as “Where do babies come from?”


8 Complain about the temperature.

Now this is tricky if the parents have a fancy schmancy car that can have a different temperature in the back to the front.  Chances are your car doesn’t have this.  Moan that you are too cold, and watch as your parents slowly melt in the front as they bear the full force of the heat you have required.  This also works with being too hot.  Win win.


9 Be annoying.

If you are following these rules up to now, then you are doing a great job at annoying the crap out of your parents.  But don’t rest on your laurels. There are tons more things you can do:

  • Play with the windows.
  • Kick the back of the chair.
  • Winge.  In  your most winey voice.  (Especially in traffic jams).
  • Drop all your toys on the floor.
  • Refuse to participate in any distraction games such as counting red cars or I-spy. (If you do get cajoled into playing I-spy, remember to choose something random that you can’t actually see and doesn’t actually begin with the letter you said anyway).
  • Have an argument with your sibling.  (Bonus points for making them cry).
  • Make strange noises.  Loud ones.
  • Interrupt the parents conversation.  Frequently.
  • Declare you want to go home.


10 Forget something.

Leave it as far into the journey as possible to inform the parents of what you have forgotten.  Probably the thing that the parents reminded you not to forget, like a hundred times.  If you have a flair for the dramatics, (and quite frankly what self-respecting kid doesn’t) tears can work really well here.


Good luck my friends.  Enjoy your journey.


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29 Comments on Travelling By Car: Rules For Kids

  1. hannah Mums' Days
    May 1, 2015 at 6:01 am (1 year ago)

    Ahhhh! I see what you mean when we chatted on twitter (gosh I’m so behind!) – hilarious, we’re off to Derbyshire which is about a 5 hour trip for us today. Can’t wait for this ๐Ÿ˜‰

    thanks for linking up to #TheLIst xx
    hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Inspiring mama: Ashleigh Money SaverMy Profile

    • Claire
      May 1, 2015 at 10:11 am (1 year ago)

      Good Luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jenny
    April 26, 2015 at 9:17 am (1 year ago)

    Great tips for road trips with kids. We mostly travel by plane with our kids but will keep these great tips in mind if we ever take a car journey. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Spray on water resistant for smartphones + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      April 26, 2015 at 10:31 am (1 year ago)

      I’m not sure it’s the best advice to follow??!!

  3. Eimear
    April 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Ha we regularly have a four hour journey to my parents and 12 hours (car and boat) so it’s especially painful on the long journey when the ‘are we there yet?’ starts less than five minutes from home!#FridayFrolics
    Eimear recently posted…Summer styles for the office or weekendMy Profile

  4. Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life
    April 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm (2 years ago)

    This is hilarious i remember being that annoying child myself many years ago on long car journeys , i just know that when my children are older they are going to pay me back big time and make my journeys hell x #sharewithme
    Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life recently posted…Cbeebies Live – Mr Tumbles CircusMy Profile

    • Claire
      April 25, 2015 at 11:41 am (2 years ago)

      I travelled to Wales with a friend when we were 8. We spent the whole time trying to do a welsh accent. I don’t know how her Dad didn’t kill us!

  5. The DADventurer (Dave)
    April 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for this – makes me feel sooooo excited to driving places in the future when Baby L is a bit older. All we have to deal with at the moment is a bit of crying every now and then – that’s pretty easy to solve anyway by just turning up the radio.
    The DADventurer (Dave) recently posted…Splish Splash The Baby Shat In The BathMy Profile

    • Claire
      April 25, 2015 at 11:38 am (2 years ago)

      Our portable dvd player is a savior!

  6. Dirty Nappy
    April 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm (2 years ago)

    Eeeekkkk in our car it’s me that’s guilty of eating all the snacks in the first 10min! Must try harder!

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm (2 years ago)

      ha ha! I don’t get a look in with my two!

  7. Jeremy@thirstydaddy
    April 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm (2 years ago)

    decide that you know the words to every song played and must sing them at the top of your lungs, whether you’ve ever heard it before or not
    Jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…Aquarium LessonsMy Profile

  8. Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy
    April 24, 2015 at 8:43 am (2 years ago)

    At the minute the toddler loves being in the car & only kicks off when we are in traffic or at traffic lights. I’m sure it won’t last though & I’ll all of the above soon enough! #FridayFrolics

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 10:31 am (2 years ago)

      Enjoy it whilst you can!

  9. Doctomum
    April 24, 2015 at 8:17 am (2 years ago)

    Bah ha ha! I have to laugh becuase long journeys with kids is about THE worst thing being a parent and this post makes it much more bearable.
    When my sister and I were little we used to fight over who’s side was who’s and who had dared to cross over. This must of royally pissed our parents off as on the end we just got told to’ fight it out ourselves’
    Doctomum recently posted…Call Nanny 911 – I Can’t Afford To Go Back To WorkMy Profile

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 10:31 am (2 years ago)

      Can you imagine our poor parents before dvd’s!

  10. Adrian
    April 24, 2015 at 7:46 am (2 years ago)

    These are tips for the driver right? I know because I do 1 2 3 4 and 10 all the time!

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 10:30 am (2 years ago)

      You are my worst nightmare! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Kate
    April 24, 2015 at 6:51 am (2 years ago)

    Ha ha – love this! My two are just the same – five minutes into leaving the house someone always wants the toilet or snacks opening and soon after they start with the chorus of ‘Are we nearly there yet!’ The words let’s play ‘I-spy’ now also fill me with a sense of dread – living in the country there is ever only grass, trees, sky and the road to spot, apart from an occasional tractor!
    Kate recently posted…Is there a Mrs Bloom? And other pointless questions taking up space in my brainMy Profile

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 7:00 am (2 years ago)

      I have a 5 hour journey at the end of June and I am dreading it!

    • Claire
      April 24, 2015 at 6:59 am (2 years ago)

      Oh yes whilst Mummy sings The Wheels On The Bus repeatedly!

  12. Jane Purcell
    April 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    Excellent list which makes me sigh with relief that one child is now at university and the other at high school! One of them used to throw up exactly as we turned the corner onto the motorway. Oh joys.

    There are many ways that an adult can make a car journey hellish. My ex husband had a habit of sitting next to me when I was driving and just – wincing, or stiffening.
    ‘What?!’ I’d bark.
    ‘Nothing’ he’d mutter *wince*
    On he went with his passive-aggressive disapproval until I felt like driving the car into a wall and shouting: ‘Does THAT make you wince?!’

    • Claire
      April 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Nothing worse than a backseat driver!

  13. Fionnuala
    April 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Excellent. We have a six hour minimum drive with a 6 yo, 4.yo and 7 month old coming up soon and we don’t have an in-car DVD Player. Hopefully the kids didn’t get this memo ๐Ÿ™‚
    Fionnuala recently posted…A Marriage of Glenisk and RhubarbMy Profile

    • Claire
      April 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm (2 years ago)

      Ouch. I don’t envy you that journey.

      • Fionnuala
        April 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm (2 years ago)

        Nope, I bet you don’t. Such a long drive just for a three day weekend, but it is The Bavarian’s family reunion, so we have to go.
        Fionnuala recently posted…50 Things That Make Me HappyMy Profile


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