Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Traveling with Children is Easy with These Tips

Have kids, will travel: happy motoring with children
If you’re setting out on a road trip with the kids, you’ll need to be a professional safety expert, logistics specialist and entertainer if you want to make it to your destination without losing your mind, or your temper. Read on for some tips on how to keep your cool behind the wheel, when your little darlings are shrieking, battling or inquiring as to the exact proximity of the destination, for the 17th time in an hour. 

Keep them safe
As well as having the correct car seats fitted with appropriate sizing for the age of your child there are a few other key considerations before setting off on a journey with the kids. Never leave your children in the car unattended, and if you do have child locks in the back, make sure they’re activated. Stow all chemicals such as car cleaning products or antifreeze for the windshield in the trunk, and if you have an infant, invest in a large child mirror – it will allow you to check on him or her when it goes suspiciously quiet in the back seat, which can save you a lot of stress.

Go the distance
If you have a long distance journey to take, leave lots of time for getting to your destination to allow for rest stops and diversions. If you can, set off at night when little ones are snoozing. Take regular breaks, and stock the car with blankets, wet wipes, sick bags, snacks and plenty of bottled water. If your kids need to stretch their legs, it might make the difference between a 10 minute break, and 40 minutes of screaming, so let them out frequently to expend pent up energy. Use the time to get some fresh air and recharge your own batteries.

In-drive entertainment
Not everyone can afford to buy a car with screens built into the back seats, but this doesn’t mean your kids have to go without their favorite movie or cartoon. For around $20 you can buy a contraption to temporarily mount a tablet screen on the back of your car seat, which is especially handy to keep antsy toddlers happy. In the absence of a tablet, a portable DVD player or smartphone with pre-downloaded games can help keep children occupied as a treat too. Of course pre-digital tricks still work as well, so try singing to them, playing games such as ‘I Spy’, or bring toys and games they can play as you travel, such as stuffed animals or card games.

Taking the kids on holiday in the car is something most parents will do at one stage or another.  Preparation is essential, and you should also think about how far you want to travel. Try to avoid very lengthy journeys of 10 or more hours and consider going somewhere closer to home.

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