You've booked your family holiday. You've been organised and followed some great advice and you're feeling pretty smug because you're avoiding airport hell.
Instead though, you may have swapped one stressful situation for another, this time on four wheels. Yes, you're stuck in a car with whiny children, a partner who is getting increasingly grumpy and you're only five miles down the road.
Here are some tips to help save your sanity and make that car journey just a little bit easier.
* Hang a bag over the front headrests so the children, who always seem to kick off their shoes and socks, can easily find them again when you stop for a rest break.
* Before you go, search out plastic, lidded boxes so you can stow away each child's pens, comics, books and colouring books. If you find ones with flat lids, they can lean on them to draw. Stick Velcro in the corners and on pens to make them stay put.
* To make meals as mess free as possible pack food in plastic boxes or the children's school lunch boxes which will hopefully catch the spills. Avoid juice cartons with straws though, unless you don't mind sticky children.
* Give the children special maps so they can follow your route as you travel. Hand out laminated copies of the map (which you cleverly made earlier). They can then mark where you've been in pen. This might stave off the "are we nearly there yet?" questions.
* You may have a portable DVD player for your children but if not, play story Cd's on the car stereo. Borrow from friends or the library to increase your collection because none of you will be able to stand another airing of Stig of the Dump after the holiday.
* Revert to playing old favourites like the Alphabet Game where each child has to spot things in alphabetical order or Who Am I, where the others have to find out which character/animal a chosen player is by asking questions which can only be answered with a yes or no. More ideas for car games can be found here. A quiz book or a joke book are also handy to have in the glove compartment.
Above all, remember that the journey is part of the fun and holiday (although, admittedly, it might not feel like it at the time). If all else fails a game of "who can stay silent the longest" can always be played.
Do you have any favourite car games to share? Have you any tips to pass on to make the journey just that little bit sweeter?
Source: (ParentDish US)