Going on the motorway. We all have to do them. Short trips or long ones that take you from one end of the country to the other, or even to another country!
At the start we think it’s great. We can take everything we need in our car, can’t we? It’ll be fine!? Google maps says it’s only 4 hours to do 200 miles! We’ll stop off for supper or a cuppa and wee break on the way. It’ll be fine, honest!
Erm, well, anyone who knows the M25 in the UK knows that what should take 20minutes can last hours – literally!
So the other day we decided to go to the Lake District on a family holiday ( more on that later). We packed up and set off at 3pm, before the rush hour…
Our motorway survival kit;
- Water bottles for each of us. We prefer the Sigg ones. Each of has our own; mine is Hello Kitty,Daddy’s is Blue,Boo’s is Black and Bash’s is a Digger bottle that he has had since he was 1 – he loves it!
- Snacks – fruit, sandwiches, biscuits or cereal bars and smoothies pouches. On a long trip we also take crisps and sandwiches. It saves a fortune at service stations and means you don’t have starving kids stuck in a traffic jam.
- Sweets. We love the ones from Waitrose or Marks & Spencer’s that don’t have too much sugar using fruit juice as a sweetener. They are a treat, keep us going and don’t seem to give sugar highs and lows that can cause meltdowns in the back of the car.
- Blankets, rain coats and wellies. I’ll never forget breaking down on a snowy night when I was a kid and freezing. So I always pack a survival kit just in case!
- The changing bag
- A first aid kit (with kiddie plasters to help reduce the tears)
- A Potette. These are great, a true must have for any one potty training or even past potty training but not yet big enough to find a sharp corner! The new 3 in 1 launched in August 2017 is great. It has replaceable bags or a silicone bag you can reuse when you aren’t on the move. Bash loves his Froggie potty!
- Toys- Etchasketch, magnetic toys, and a tablet loaded with a couple of new games and a movie do it for us!
So all packed and we are on our way – 20 mins on the M25 turns into 2 hours (the usual slow pass by Heathrow and then a 7car pile up closing the M11…..) and by the time we hit the M40 the rsh hour had started, there where more breakdowns and lorries spilling their load that just mean’t we had been on the road for 4 hours. Both kids slept for a good 2hrs of it but we still had 120 miles to go!
Surviving a 7 hour journey!
Froggie potty was a life saver. Bash was so good having a wee in the lay-by by the NEC turnoff. We made it to the services for a well needed cuppa for me and leg stretch for the kids. After half an hour we hit the road again.
And now the road was clear! Yay! But once the sun set and I thought all would be fine the little one needed a wee and there wasn’t a service station for 23miles!!!
So we pulled to the hard shoulder. I put the hazards on and my highest viz jacket and told the eldest to stay in the car. Out came the Potette. Bash had to use it on the other side of the crash barrier, in the dark. It was scary but as they say, “keep calm and carry on”..
I was so busy trying to keep us safe. I didn’t see that the Traffic Police had pulled up behind me, put their hazards on and slowed the traffic right down. They were brilliant and our guardian angels. They didn’t hurry us, or hassle us and just let us get on with and made sure we were safely on our way