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Staycation season is well and truly in full swing, and with August being the busiest month to travel in England, many people are now thinking ahead to their long-overdue holiday at home.

Holidaying in the UK unlocks a long list of advantages, especially during these uncertain times as Covid-19 infections still grip the nation. As well as giving you the chance to support local communities and enjoy better safety not too far away from home, choosing a staycation instead of holidaying overseas makes better sense logistically too.

With staycations, there’s no waiting around at airports, or long plane journeys and transfer times. Most holidaymakers will journey to their chosen destination in the comfort of their own vehicles, and whilst easier, this too presents its own challenges, especially when travelling with children.

Here we share our top tips for keeping the kids entertained en route so you can start your staycation as you mean to go on, with lots of fun, frolics and minimal drama!

Plan the journey ahead

Planning your journey requires so much more than a quick Google Maps search for your staycation accommodation. With children in tow, it’s well worth scheduling in some comfort breaks, toilet stops or even just a few opportunities to stretch your legs if your journey is particularly long.

You don’t have to plan your route around service stations either. For younger children, taking along a potty is all you need to drive off without the worry of where to stop for that impromptu loo break.

Purchase and pack a lap tray

If, like many vehicles, your car isn’t equipped with pull-down tables, a lap tray is an excellent investment. Lap trays can be used for doodling, reading and pretty much any car-friendly activity. They also provide a wipeable, sturdy base to house your child’s snacks and drinks.

Lap trays aren’t one-off purchases. Its nifty design and multitude of uses mean your lap tray will quickly become a car essential in your everyday life, too.

Stock up on snacks and drinks

Whilst we’re on the subject of snacks and drinks – be sure to pack lots! You’ll spend plenty of time deciding what to pack for your staycation but you also have to consider the car journey to and from your destination.

Snacks are the secret to any successful car journey (long or short) with kids. Pack sandwiches, raisins, mini bottles of water, breadsticks, plain popcorn and cheese cubes for easy, relatively mess-free snacks that you can grab regularly throughout your journey.

Prep those go-to gadgets

Limiting screen time is of course important for development, but a little screen time can work wonders during long car journeys as the Family Holiday Association explains:

“Travelling is one of those occasions where some drawn-out screen time can be rather beneficial for keeping the kids engaged. If you don’t want your child to spend too much time on these devices, a long car journey could be an example of a little screen time treat. Download a film or a game that will keep them entertained for a chunk of the journey.”

If tablets aren’t your thing, download a Disney soundtrack to keep those tunes going throughout your journey, pack a few of your child’s favourite storybooks, or stock up on audiobooks to keep them engaged.

Get the whole family involved

Car games keep everyone in the car enthused and excited for the adventure ahead. From classic I-Spy and car spotting to more sophisticated pub cricket and car snooker, the possibilities are endless. You could even be creative and come up with your own car game!

Still not booked your summer staycation? Don’t sweat it, take a look at our Cambridge staycation offers and discover a fun-filled destination that all the family can enjoy.