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Family road trips: the facts

Motorway traffic (credit RAC)

“Are we nearly there yet?” will be asked three times during the average family road trip – with the first grumble coming in after just 29 minutes.

The typical journey lasting over 60 minutes will also include two tantrums, one of which rears its head after 27 minutes.

“I’m bored” will be uttered twice, and parents will need to tell their children off for moaning too much and fighting with each other.

Parents travelling with kids will also put up with four requests for food and drink, be expected to hand out two rounds of sweets and suffer one threat of travel sickness.

The car will need to be stopped at least once for a toilet break, and although the children will have one short nap, the rest of the journey will be spent belting out pop songs while glued to gadgets.

The research of 1,400 parents of kids aged 16 and below was commissioned by Jardine Motors Group and conducted by OnePoll.

“Most of us will, at some point this summer, pack up the car and hit the open road,” said Matthew Wrigley of Jardine Motors Group.

“We may go off to explore new places or recreate a road trip from our own childhood, but one thing is for sure, the kids will make demands. So make sure the gadgets are charged up, the kids’ favourite toys and snacks are packed, and you’ve download a playlist of top pop tunes.”

Those families with more than one child will be familiar with a bit of on-the-road sibling rivalry with unfair playing, stealing each other’s toys and making a mess of the back of the car.

Snacks such as sweets, crisps and chocolate are the most popular food types demanded by children.

Keeping kids happy

Along with their favourite snacks, parents keep children entertained on a journey by playing computer games, having at least one family car game and searching for things out of the window.

Sitting in at least one traffic jam, getting lost and having an argument with Sat Nav are also popular occurrences on a normal journey.

The study shows families will go on approximately 19 road trips a year which last over an hour.

During this time they’ll roughly travel a total of 1,957 miles, and will visit at least five different destinations.

In addition to visiting family, sights most commonly travelled to include theme parks, beaches, national parks and areas of natural beauty.

Researchers found couples generally only take two journeys lasting over 60 minutes WITHOUT their children on a yearly basis.

On these rare occasions, 47 per cent will be going on a romantic getaway, 37 per cent will go to visit family and 35 per cent will be on their way to see friends.

Win one of 10 prizes to help make your great British family road trip even better! 


About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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