long car ride with kids and the magical solution

Long Car Ride with Kids and the Magical Silence

In TIPS & ADVICE, TRAVEL TIPS, Traveling with kids by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Long car rides with children used to get us anxious. I still remember the time when we drove 11-hours to get to Tuscany. Our oldest was 2,5 and the twins were just 8 months old. We drove at night thinking that it would be easier, but all three boys refused to sleep… We were exhausted…

But every parent knows that even shorter rides of an hour or two can be just as tiring and frustrating…

Many road trips and hundreds of hours in the car with three young children had taught us a lot. In our previous post you can find more tips on how to keep kids quiet in the car, but probably the most important piece of advice I can give you when driving with children is to make sure that your kids don’t get bored.  That, and separating them so that they sit as far from each other as possible.

Just recently we were driving to Switzerland for our ski holidays. While not on the other side of the globe, it’s still 8 hours driving time from where we live in Belgium. But this time we were well prepared. What we didn’t expect at all was that our kids would stay quiet during the whole ride! 8 hours to get there and 8 hours to come back home a week later. That’s 16 hours of sitting in the car with two 5-year olds and a 7 year old who cannot sit still. Yet our road trip with children has never been this quiet and stress-free before…

So what is this magical solution that kept our children quiet in the car during such a long ride?

It’s magic indeed… Harry Potter. No, not the movie, although that would have probably been a good idea for a shorter ride. We needed something to fill much more time than just an hour or two and we didn’t like an idea of kids watching movies for 8 hours in a row…

My husband had this brilliant idea to get the ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ audio book audio bookto take with us on the road. From the moment we switched it on, the kids were in another world… the world of magic. They forgot to complain about the long hours in the car, they didn’t ask to stop every half an hour, they even forgot to fight… Magical silence in the car was the result!

Our kids used to listen to children’s stories and music in the car, occasionally they would watch a movie or even two on the really long trips. Neither stories, music, nor movies have ever kept the kids so engaged and interested for such a long time as the Harry Potter audio bookharry potter audio cd.

So the very first thing we did after this experience was making sure that we have a couple of audio books ready for our next long ride. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretsaudio cd is the next in line, and the boys are already asking how long it is before our next trip or the next long drive…

Read more:
Flying with Young Children Made Easy in 10 Steps
Best Way to Avoid Jet Lag – Theory vs Practice

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Long car rides with kids and the magical solution to keep them quiet


  1. Such a great idea! I’ve never thought of it 🙂
    Thank you Jurga, your blog is beautiful!

    1. Author

      Oh, it still does charms for us, Lena. Just recently we drove to Switzerland (8hrs drive for us) and the kids listened to an audiobook during the entire ride. Luckily the book was just finished as we arrived, but they stayed in the car till the last word of it, while I went to check us in the hotel 🙂

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