Kids Compare Car Travel Games

Ranked: the problems you're most likely to encounter on a long journey

Even if your ultimate destination is exciting, there’s no denying that big old road trips can be, at best, extremely boring. But it turns out there are other problems associated with long drives too – ranging from trivial rows with your partner about which song to put on to temptation to eat all of the crisps. Cut out the stress of comparing car insurance so you can just focus on your upcoming travel. Here are our top ten - plus a few tips on how best to deal with them… 

10. The temptation to eat all the junk food

It’s fair to say that a trip down Britain’s motorways is not a fine dining experience. Sure, you could be really efficient and take a packed lunch, but why bother when it’s the perfect excuse to stop at a service station and “reluctantly” tuck into greasy fried chicken, salty chips and all the sweets you can squeeze into your glovebox? It’s all good fun until the bloating and sugar crash kick in. And don’t pretend you don’t do it - road safety charity Brake revealed a third of drivers eat at the wheel.

junk food

9. Music wars

If you’re hitting the road with friends or family, there is zero chance that you’ll all agree on what to listen to – one of you wants to keep up with the big game, one of you wants power ballads and then there are those little people in the back who prefer 18 rounds of Justin Bieber.

If you’ve got a big trip planned, why not have fun putting together a big playlist beforehand and let everyone choose a few songs? This also avoids the risk of getting distracted from the road because you’re chopping and changing so much. Thankfully, in the not-too-distant future Individual Sound Zones - which allow all passengers to listen to whatever music they want to undisturbed - will be in mass production. The future is now, people.

kids music

8. The road trip blues

Of course, long journeys can be stressful in the short-term, but did you know that people who regularly go on long commutes have a decreased sense of wellbeing? Factoring in rest stops, listening to music you enjoy and grazing on healthy snacks can all help ward off the road trip blues. And before you head off? Check out our road trip check list.

long drive

7. Getting lost. Yeah, that.

You might be surprised to see this one so high up on the list, but with Sat Navs now used by the majority of motorists (52%), you’d be forgiven for thinking getting lost is an annoyance of the past.

However an AA study showed that poor navigation is still one of the biggest reasons for in-car bickering. We’re not quite done with it yet then, peeps.

6. High blood pressure

Long drives can be stressful, especially if you’re running late, so much so that they can lead to a temporary spike in your blood pressure. Stay chilled at the wheel by carefully incorporating a few in-car breathing exercises into your drive. At the very least, you’ll make your passengers giggle.

kids in car

5. Car trouble

It’s not just your mind, body and soul that’s craking under the strain of that long journey – it’s tough on your car too. Many of us are so busy planning our route and packing for our trip that we forget to check the car’s in decent nick. Long drives can make your tyres suffer, so always check the pressure and tread before you set off, make sure your spare tyre and jacking equipment are present and correct, and check your water and oil levels if you don’t want to risk breaking down. It’s better you stumble across a problem on your own driveway then on the hard shoulder of the M1…


petrol guage

4. A bad back

A one-off long drive can make you ache and creak temporarily (especially if you’re getting on a bit) but regular road trips could lead to more chronic issues, and even an increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, which people usually only associate with long-haul flights. The good news is, there are simple exercises you can do to improve your posture at the wheel and minimise the chances of long-term issues.

3. Traffic jams

Well, duh – if you’re going a long way, of course you’ll be lucky to avoid traffic at some point, whether it’s city gridlock, motorway misery or some pesky country tractors (or sheep) slowing you down. But just remember, it could be a lot worse – check out this Californian freeway on the eve of Thanksgiving this year. Hell. On. Earth.

car jam

2. Bored, moaning kids

Travel sickness. Boredom. Urgent wees. These are all problems that can affect adults too, but it’s far, far harder to reason with little ones. A few options that can make a long drive with small people more pleasant include putting them to bed in their car seats and setting off in the evening, playing games and singing songs to keep them amused or – last resort – bringing along a tablet and allowing Peppa Pig to come along for the ride. Whatever keeps you the most sane. Here are some other tips for surviving a family car journey.

bored kids

1. Bickering with your beloved

There’s nothing like a long car journey with your partner to bring out tension in a relationship, which is why this is the number one most likely problem you’ll encounter on the road.

When you’re shut in a confined space with your partner, there are so many things to get annoyed about, from less-than-great driving skills, their lack of map-reading prowess, their taste in music, plus the fact that a long journey is often used as an opportunity for difficult conversations, even though this is a terrible idea for a multitude of reasons.

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Just focus on the fact that you’ll have a much nicer time when you get to your destination. Or just turn the music up really loud.

Make sure you have your insurance intact, or see how much you could save to make that journey a little easier right here.

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