Can we be honest with you? Taking your kids on a road trip can be a lot of fun, but it can also turn into hours of misery.
You know the score, getting stuck in rush hour traffic, children screaming, parents frazzled. The good news is that this doesn’t have to happen in your travel car. That’s right; with a little planning, you can make the best of your road trip and create wonderful memories that last a lifetime. We’ve included our best car travel tips in this article to keep both parents and children happy on your epic journeys.
But before hitting the road, there are a few things you should know…
Jump Ahead To
Travel Car Journeys with a Toddler
How soon can a newborn travel long distance by car? You might think it’s okay to take your infant on lengthy journeys. It should be fine, as long as you get the right kind of seat for him or her… right? Wrong!
According to the latest research, newborns under four weeks are not ready to travel for more than 30 minutes. Why is this so? Here’s the thing: your toddler has not developed a strong enough immune system yet. Doctors strongly warn against taking your infant traveling before the age of 3 months.
Once your child is ready to travel, you can take them along on your trips. But first a warning: the number of children injured every year in car crashes is very high. Your primary job as a parent is to keep your kid safe, and you can do this with the help of safety seats.
Picking the best travel toddler car seats for your child depends on his or her size, age, and needs. If you’ve been struggling to find the best one, then this booster car seats review is for you.
Before getting into the actual preparations, let’s look at another situation… If you’re expecting a new baby, you’re probably wondering how late in pregnancy can you travel by car.
Car Travels When Pregnant
In general, you’re safe to travel on your second trimester of pregnancy (13 to 28 weeks).
It is the time when you feel your best, and the dangers for premature labor or miscarriage are minimal. However, health experts advise you to take precautionary measures for every long trip even if the pregnancy is going well, and you have no complications.
When taking the trip, make sure to drink plenty of water. Make lots of stops for stretching, and pack extra doses of supplements and vitamins in case the trip takes longer than expected.
Warning: you should not make any long travel car during the last three weeks before the estimated due date.
Now that we’ve covered who can come along with the trip, let us show you some of the travel vehicles for families.
The Best Car to Travel Long Distance
If you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle and you love taking your family to the open road, then you should consider cars that are roomy and reliable. Quite simply, you and your family are going to spend long hours together inside this machine, so it must be comfortable. And let’s not forget safety!
Some of the models that are spacious, dependable, and have rated well in crash-tests, are Chevrolet Impala, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry Hybrid. Moreover, these cars are quiet and can attain the best fuel efficiency.
With a good car, you are ready to hit the road with your family. And every Trip Starts With what? You guessed it: packing
What You Should Bring Along and Where to Put It
Car travels can be long, so it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible. How do you do that? For starters, you can avoid placing any luggage in the footwells and make sure that the backpacks children bring along are small.
Depending on the age of your kids, you can put different activities in each bag. It is anything the kids can use… pens, games, books, comics, and some toys for the smallest ones.
The activity packs don’t need to be filled with the latest toys or fancy gadgets. Just some blank paper and color crayons can keep your kids entertained for hours. A word of caution: leave the sharp pencils at home!
But you’re probably wondering whether the backpacks won’t take too much space? Don’t worry. There’s a solution. To save space, hang the backpack over the front seat’s headrest and secure the pack with a binder clip for extra safety.
But hang on a minute. We haven’t talked about the most important things that go into the packs…
Don’t forget: children don’t eat only because they’re hungry. How’s that? Let us explain. You see, food is a way for them to relieve boredom. What this means is that they’ll be asking for snacks all the time. Here’s what you have to do to be prepared:
- Have lots of options available – sandwiches, dried fruit, sweets, crisps, nuts, and crackers.
- Pack all the snacks and drinks individually. It prevents your children from fighting over them.
- Avoid foods like chocolate that can cause a mess.
- Have trash bags ready to stash all the rubbish.
However, since it’s a long way, don’t start handing out the treats right away. Keep something for the whole road. And when it comes to liquids, there’s only one way to prevent the messy spillages. Give each kid the must-have car travel accessory: a simple cup holder.
After all the eating, it’s a good idea to get out of the car.
The Importance of Frequent Stops
Children need to move a lot. Even the best car seat for travel will become uncomfortable after a long ride. And needless to say, parents can benefit from physical activity as well.
Bring along some sports equipment, like a Frisbee, or a football to get some fun exercise in the play parks and rest stops along the way.
If you feel like your car is too packed already for any extra items, you can also simply play tag or compete in foot races.
Fact: exercise helps to reduce stress as it releases the “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. That’s right, and being less stressed will make you much more effective when dealing with any problems along the way.
Plan Your Trip Carefully to Avoid Rush Hours
Nobody wants to sit hours in traffic, so make sure you pick the right time of day for your travel car to leave. That way, you can stay clear of rush hours and reach your destination sooner.
The chances are that at some point you’ll still hit a traffic jam. The cool thing is that there are some awesome apps now that help you choose alternative routes easily.
A word of caution: always check for any road constructions on the path. The delays caused by roadworks can easily turn the fastest route into the slowest.
Journeying With Back Pain
Travelling with back pain can be an ordeal. You might understand the finer differences between spondylolisthesis vs spondylolysis, but that doesn’t matter when you have discomfort.
To make travel more bearable, try the following tips:
- Use heat or cold therapy in the most painful areas (by applying a frozen patch, for example)
- Get out and move around every hour or so when convenient
- Take time to get comfortable before you set off, making any adjustments you require to your seating position
- Get a mechanic to soften your vehicle’s suspension before you make your trip
- Find ways to divert your attention from the pain, such as listening to music
Above All: Chill Out!
If your children are close in age, they may start arguing easily, especially when having to spend a lot of time together in close quarters. The driver needs to focus on the road, so the other adult should be in charge of dealing with the kids. If the fight is impossible to break up by only one parent, find a safe spot, and pull over. But don’t forget: stay calm!
And another thing: believe it or not, but kids can enjoy some quiet time. Don’t worry too much about having to entertain them all the time. That’s right, sometimes just looking out the window and describing what they see can be enough to keep them excited.
Are you ready to take your kids on a long road trip? Have you chosen the best portable car seat for travel? By now you’ll have realized that taking your kids on a trip takes a lot of planning. But using the tips from this article should give you a good starting point to start organizing your trips. Now make it happen. Kids grow fast, and road trips are the perfect way to spend quality time with them. Can you afford not to?
Have you used any of our tips? We’d love to know your thoughts and hear more about your own experiences!
What are some of the hacks that have helped you in your journeys? Leave comments below, as your opinion is important to us!
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