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On The Road With Kids - A Survival Guide

On The Road With Kids - A Survival Guide

August. Can you believe it? The last month of summer. Whether you have kids or pets, everyone can relate to the feeling of school starting and summer ending.

Did you manage to do all the fun things you were planning to do at the beginning of summer? No? Well, you do have one last month of summer to squeeze in one more road trip with the fam - and you need to read this survival guide!

A Survival Guide

We did not mean to scare you straight about driving your kids to a vacation destination or just in routine. Still, the word “survival” is indeed a perfect fit here because even a split-second’s inattention or distraction on the road can be fatal. But worry not, because vigilance and a little planning ahead of time can make you much safer on the road.

Your kids may make the process quite tedious, perhaps even intolerable at times with all the excitement, shouting, pointing, jumping, and whatnot. They are kids, after all, and deserve nothing but our utmost support and love, but when it comes to driving safely, you need to keep things under control.

The seemingly endless drive may make your little ones irritable, but you have many options to make the drive peaceful for yourself and adventurous for your kids too.

And here’s how you do it:

1. Plan Everything Beforehand

They say that the time you spend planning things will cut down the hassle when doing that thing. We can’t say that this does not apply in this case. After all, you can never be too prepared for a long drive.

We’ve pictured a long drive scenario because these are the most challenging trips, especially with little ones involved. Start with the route itself and opt for the least disturbing one, with minimal traffic, if possible; this is unnecessary but can be very helpful.

Also, take time to prepare snacks and recreation activities for your kids before you leave. This way, they’ll stay self-indulged and not bother you.

Plan ahead also means being ready for any obstacles the road ahead might throw at you: detours, car troubles, near-misses, and the most dreaded...accident. If you have a roadside assistance plan, make sure it’s renewed and good to go. Throw in an OBD-II scanner into the glove compartment in case you need to do quick diagnostics on the go. Make sure your dash cam is ready to capture your drive to and back. And while paper maps are almost obsolete nowadays, it's good to have one in the car just in case.

2. Pick Your Snacks Smartly

You’ll need to keep your kids completely satisfied during the ride if you want to avoid having a tantrum on your hands, and snacks are an integral segment of your plan.

Of course, at the same time, you don’t want them to be all junk food. Health is important, too. There has to be a happy medium with your snacks. Go for the items your kids like the most – and build upon that. There is nothing wrong with spoiling them a little, too.

You can’t go wrong with homemade sandwiches, especially if you throw in some cheese, but if you have to go for something pre-prepared, then choose whatever works well for you. Just try to keep the sugar content to a safe level because becoming stuffed with it can over-energize your kids, and that’s that last thing you want for your fun ride.

Crackers, pretzels, and cereals are all excellent choices as well.

It is better to equip your kids with their own sports bottles for drinks because juice boxes with straws can get messy with just a little squeeze; plus, you can refill them - which means less garbage flying around inside the car. Yes, if you’ve been on a road trip with kids, you’ll understand the accumulation of garbage can be as distracting, too.

3. Keep Your Kids Entertained

Next, you need to keep the young ones busy at whatever they love doing the most while you drive in peace. You could get them to watch their favorite cartoon/anime series or a movie, but odds are they’ll get sick of watching a screen all this time.

A road trip is definitely not the time to enforce a strict no-screen policy. Handheld gaming consoles and tablets are lifesavers, that’s until batteries run out. Boy, do you wish you had the BlackVue B-124X dash cam battery pack! The B-124X comes with a USB port that lets you charge an extra device while it powers your dash cam, and it works on all dash cams, not just BlackVue models.

Now let’s say you don’t have a battery pack and the devices completely ran out of juice; you’ll need to come up with a foolproof plan to keep them engaged throughout. Their most desirable toys and picture books should hold them off your back if they ever take their eyes off the screen. Plus, you can add a musical touch to the ride with a sing-along song collection. No, we don’t mean the latest Disney soundtrack on indefinite repeat, and you’ll be surprised many kids are very familiar with the latest hits thanks to many of the video games they play. My kids were belting out Post Malone and other hit songs, and I have to admit, they were pretty good.

However, try to leave the singing to the kids. You’ve got the road ahead of you to focus on.

4. An Organized Environment Can Lower Stress

If the inside of a car looks like a shipwreck, it will create an unnecessary source of stress for you while driving. Packing everything neatly and asking your children to ensure complete cleanliness will keep your mind off this worry, allowing you to better focus your attention on the road.

Just keep a couple of packets and boxes at hand so that your kids don’t create a mess and instead keep everything as organized as possible, and you can clean up later on.

Other must-haves: plastic grocery bags (they make great garbage bags that you can toss out when you stop for gas or snacks) and baby wipes - they are fantastic in cleaning up sticky messes without making your car smell sterile or lemony.

5. Refresh Everyone With Breaks

Among other people, there are probably a bunch of kids stuck in the backseat of a car for over an hour who’d do well in some fresh air. Kids have a limited attention span and will eventually get bored doing the same thing over and over.

If your ride is an exceptionally long one, then a fifteen-minute break to let your kids enjoy the open air in some excellent ground or field area will be helpful. Better yet, you can have a picnic at some nice spot along the way but be sure to plan it all out beforehand.

And we don’t need to tell you why you need to throw in one toilet break in there.

6. Keep Your Little Passengers Comfortable

Sitting for hours in the same posture can be stressful for the young ones, so be sure to make them as comfortable back there as they can be. Their clothes should be all comfy and easy to wear, plus you can ask them to take their shoes off during the ride.

Also, you might need a change of clothes, i.e., if there is a spill, so keep separate sets at hand, stored safely. This way, you won’t have a panic at hand if there is a mess back there. Plus, you can take small pillows and blankets too for a bit of ride nap, if needed.

A well-rested and comfortable child is a happy child. And fellas, happy kids mean a happy wife, and we all know that a happy wife means a happy road trip!

Bottom Line

Driving with your kids can be stressful because you’ll constantly worry about getting distracted and the consequences on your family’s safety. We understand this fully, and this is, in a way, your love for your children that makes you fear the worst. When driving on the road, it might be worth adding a dash cam to your car – with the biggest summer savings from BlackboxMyCar.

The key is to be prepared for every scenario and plan ahead of time. Always take into consideration the time duration of the journey, expected delays, and so on. You need to keep your kids occupied, comfortable, and happy throughout so that you enjoy peace of mind during your ride.

Distracted driving is a serious road safety hazard. Through these small efforts, you’re contributing to a safer road network, for all – more power to you!

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