Travelling with kids can be hard work. Whilst you're trying to concentrate on the road; your little one will be wanting to play, explore or ask over and over again "are we there yet?" It makes for an interesting trip – regardless of how far you're travelling. But if you're not prepared, it can be a painful experience. Whether you've upgraded to a more family-friendly vehicle or you're looking to child proof the existing one, spending the time to make the journey with kids as painless as possible will go a long way.
From a little entertainment to vital safety measures to keep your family secure, there's a few tips and tricks to boost those car journeys. And you don't need to go out and spend a whole heap of money either. And whilst safety is paramount, keeping your child entertained can be important too. Here's a few ideas to get you started:
Even if you don't live in a super sunny state, rear window sun shades will protect your little ones from harmful rays. Regardless of whether the sun is behind the clouds or not – getting burnt is still possible. Shades are the best way to keep the sun out of your baby's eyes and protect them any chance of sun damage.
Rea window shades can come in different sizes and shapes to suit most vehicle makes and models. You can opt for brightly coloured shades or ones with fun pictures on them to combine safety and practicality with fun art young ones will enjoy looking at. Car sun shades are essential for longer journeys when children are likely to nap and will help to minimise heat and boost their comfort levels.
Car reversing cameras have become a vital safety feature many drivers agree are essential. Designed to save the lives of children in carparks and driveways, these extra set of eyes are turning up in vehicles of all sizes. As a parent, we like to believe we know where all children are before moving the vehicle – but accidents can happen and reversing cameras allow for a much better and safer practice. To operate a car well and safely, you really need to have good vision. Rear cameras are ideal for this.
Whilst reversing cameras aren't 100% infallible, investing in them as an important safety aid is something that should be mandatory for all drivers. Set to become so in the USA in 2018, rear-view visibility is a great place to start in protecting our children from the dangers of stepping out into the driveway. And if you're terrible at parking, then they will aid with that too!
Young ones always seem to be hungry and bored – and if they don't have snacks and activities to keep them entertained, a car journey with grumpy kids can be very stressful! Create a snack and play travel tray so your child can play and eat comfortably. You can purchase a snack and play tray with side pockets to fill with their favourite child-friendly pieces that's easy to use and clean, or you can create your own setup using smart storage solutions to make something simple that works for your family.
Whilst these keep children entertained and comfortable, it can also act as an effective safety measure. You won't need to worry about trying to fish out toys or snacks mid drive which can be a nasty distraction and it'll save time not having to pull over to get anything out.
Appropriate child restraints are essential for car trips, regardless of how far you're travelling. Depending on the age of your children you'll need to have a rear or forward facing car seat that's reliable or a booster seat. Investing in quality child restraints that comply with the safety standards in your location is imperative for safe travels.
All new cars will have the government mandated LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) which ensures a baby car seat can be mounted safely in the vehicle. When you're looking to purchase a child seat, be sure to check the weight and age criteria to confirm it's the right size for your baby.
Investing in some rear-seat entertainment is necessary for those longer trips to keep the little ones entertained (and the parents relatively sane!) You don't need to upgrade the car to anything fancy with screens already installed, these days' electronics like iPads make car entertainment very easy. Consider an iPad mount to sit on the front headrests so your kids can want a movie without having to hold the device or opt for electronic books they can plug into with their headphones.
Installing a conversation mirror can be a great way to keep children entertained too. They offer a broader view of what your young one is getting up too, making it easy to keep a safe eye on them whilst driving. And interacting with your children during the drive can help to keep them happy and comfortable.
Prevention is the best cure travelling with kids. Whether it's in the form of essential safety measures or entertainment to prevent those melt downs and short attention spans, keeping your child happy and safe on every road trip is important.