New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

Family Car Journey | The Survival Guide!

Create The Perfect, Fun Family Car Journey…

As the great Easter getaways are being planned, the roads will soon be full of families making their Easter road-trips!

Q) Are your toes already tingling at the thought?!?

Many of us here at the hotel are parents. Parents of babies, toddlers, teens and proud Grandparents too.  Most of us have had (or have) regular challenges when it comes to car journeys – both long and short!

Finding your own way to make it is essential – we all have different needs and varying tolerance levels – especially when driving! 

We want you to arrive in Plymouth full of beans – not full of fury! So, we asked some of our amazing parents and grandparents who are staff here at the New Continental Hotel, if they would share some of their tips, on how to keep both children and parents happy on their car journeys!

These tips are great for either nipping down the road to swimming lessons (which can be just a gruelling sometimes!) or making the four hour motorway trip to visit family!!

We welcome many families during the Easter Holidays and sometimes, as they walk through the foyer, after their family road trip, we can feel their pain!

Parents who are wearing the signs of being road warriors; and children eager to get out of the ‘tin can’ and stretch those legs!

 

We all have our own techniques; for some it’s taking  favourite toys; making regular ‘adventure stops’ or travelling at night!

Here are some of the methods staff at the New Continental Use…

Charlie | Head Of Housekeeping | Grandchild

Charlie is a super proud Nana! And although her Grandson is now almost old enough to drive her around; Charlie is a big fan of her IPad and so we asked her to search for something that could offer some ‘techy’ aid for the travelling family!

Her tips for surviving a car journey – load your IPad with these FREE APPS!

Talking Tom Cat

Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep children engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll distract them, make them laugh and I am sure offer hours of entertainment! You may want to turn the volume down a little – he repeats what they say in a rather high pitch voice! They will love it – but the adults in the car not so much (especially after the first few times!)

Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles

This is a great traditional style game; I really liked it because it cleverly fused old with digital! The electronic jigsaw – no need to hunt the car for pieces at every pit-stop with this one! This app features Toy Story, Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options. I think it will be a winner – if only for 20 minutes or so!

Nursery Jam

Music is a winner and this is a really great, fun, creative app.   It lets you compose your own music by tapping objects. I really liked it!! It might be a bit noisy though! So, although it will keep them happy  – I might consider the option of headphones!

Claire | Events Coordinator | 6 Year Old Daughter

Claire is one of our super organised Mums. The Mum we all aspire to be like. The Mum that stays up late to bake for the PTFA and who knows her way around great Tupperware!

Being both super organised and a regular road trip maker; her tip for surviving a family road trip – plenty of snacks (and wet-wipes!)!

“We travel a great deal to visit family and friends – by both car and ferry.   So we have learnt lots of tricks to keep our little one happy!  The tried and tested favourite for us is making sure we pack lots of healthy snacks (and some treats of course!)  Some might say I pack enough to feed an army – but you can never be too prepared!”

Here are some great ideas – many that are favourites in our four wheels!

Boots also do some great Tupperware, with lids that really keep things in!

Katie | Events Coordinator | 18 Month Old Son

Katie is what we call ‘the cool Mum’ – she is fun and always busy doing fun and creative things with her little man.

Her tip is to prepare your spotify for the journey!

‘I have quickly learnt that: a) I may never listen to my own music in the car again and b) to get over the embarrassment of bobbing along to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ for a happy car journey! No more shame at traffic lights when my son and I are rocking along and laughing at each other for taking the tunes a little too seriously! Nor do we mind when we make it to the shops and we still have the soundtrack playing – just without the music as we dance down the cereal aisle!

For us, a silent car journey just doesn’t cut it! We need tunes and laughter! There are some great pre-made soundtracks – or create your own – which is fun in itself!”

Simon | Operations Manager | 7 Year Old & Baby

Simon is one of the best Dads; you know the ones, the one we all wish we had had!

He is hands on, cool and always wants only the best for his little brood!

Empowering his little ones and making sure they enjoy being educated. That’s what matters so much to him; hence his journey tips being educational but FUN!

Learning Games!

“My 7 year old loves nothing more than to be armed with her special clipboard and selection of pencils and rubbers and her fun car games. Games we can all play along with – if she lets us!”

Simon has let us in to his secrets and so we have created some templates so you too can let your little ones get bossy – we mean busy (!) – in the car!

Alphabet Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

Paul | Executive Chef | 12 & 8 years old

Paul, like Simon, is one of those amazing Dads. Amazing, but also one who might be considered a little ‘Competitive’! Often sharing his stories with us in the staff room of Monopoly battles at Christmas and Nerf Gun fights on Sunday’s!

Proving that being a great Dad is all about having fun…with a little healthy competition!

So…little surprise to any of us; his survival tricks for car journey is a game of Guess Who!

“Having fun and play times are perhaps the greatest setting for making memories, learning social skills and integration but also having fun!  With two children we all know that the back seat can be a frenzy of squabbling and ‘Dad he did this’ and ‘Dad she did that’s’!

So, I like to add a little fun for distraction,  with a dollop of healthy, family competition to the mix things up a bit!!  Guess Who is perfect!

It’s a great alternative to the ‘I Spy’ game – which has to be said, can be a bit distracting as the driver!

Guess Who! The player thinks of a person; it can be a famous fictional person, like Andy from Toy Story or Carl Fredricksen from UP! It can be a singer, like Ariana Grande or Bob Marley! Or perhaps an actor, sports person or even a member of the family!

The person who thinks of the ‘who’ then has to honestly answer up to 10 questions from the other players. With the answers they then have to try and ‘Guess Who’ that person is!

If the person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point, they then start another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can then think of another person … AND get the one point!

No cheating though!”

A BIG thanks to all our staff for taking the time to share their tried and tested trip survival tactics!

Long trips with children are always a little daunting – but they are worth it once you arrive in Plymouth. And hopefully our staff have given you some great tips to make it survivable!

All you need to do now is plan your next trip to Plymouth and thank us in person!!!

We would love to welcome you and share our city – as well as our tips – with you soon!

Safe Travels. Happy Journeys.  Family Fun Holidays.

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