The initial joy of welcoming a new member into your family can only be matched by that excitement of introducing your baby to the whole world. The best way to do that, of course, is to travel and organize family road trips that will help show your younglings the beauty of the world around them. Even if you’re a novice driver, you can safely plan a weekend getaway for the whole family and have that peace of mind to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of your journey.
On the other hand, if you’re experienced behind the wheel and you’ve had your fair share of road trips, you already know and value driving safety not just for yourself, but for all of your passengers. With kids onboard, however, you might need to take a few extra precautions in order to ensure safe driving, a comfortable ride, and make sure that your car is fully prepared for the trip. Here are a few vital safety tips for parents to ensure just that for every trip that lies ahead!
The vehicle and the insurance are essential
In most parts of the world, car insurance is not a matter of choice, but a legal obligation. As a parent, of course, you’re thinking of an entirely unique set of obligations when you’re choosing the perfect car, and when you’re looking for the right coverage for that family vehicle. In that sense, you want to choose a car that suits your travel needs, be it taking long, cross-country road trips or reaching remote locations in the wilderness where you’ll be camping under the stars.
With that in mind, your insurance coverage and your choice of insurance company will differ. Make sure that you read unbiased insurance as well as make and model reviews so that you can make an informed decision. After all, both the car and the insurance are a significant investment, and you should always put safety ahead of everything else as a key selection factor.
Pay a visit to your mechanic
One of the most essential steps before you go on a road trip with your offspring is to make an appointment with your mechanic with ample time to check if your car is in perfect driving condition. With a fully functional vehicle at your disposal, you’ll not just enjoy a comfortable ride, but you’ll be able to reduce the risk of a car accident, and you’ll prevent a potential breakdown in the middle of nowhere.
You mechanic will go through some of those key car maintenance steps such as checking your fluids, tire pressure, brake pads, and you can also clean and wash your car inside and out for added safety – which is pivotal especially during the pandemic.
Equip your car with safety additions
Although the built-in safety essentials that you already have in your care are often enough for you as an adult, your kids will require more accessories to adapt the vehicle for increased child safety. This goes even for those quick rides to school, let alone for traveling and road-trips with your little rascals.
Although snacks and tablets filled with cartoons are genuine lifesavers from a parent’s perspective, you should also invest in other accessories. For instance, you need to check the latest reviews on quality baby car seats to ensure the safety of your baby or toddler while you drive. Different models offer various perks, so make sure you find something that doesn’t just fit your budget, but that will also give you the necessary peace of mind for road trips. Your chosen car seat should be compatible with your car make and model, it should be easy to set up, and the design needs to accommodate safety as well as comfort for your little ones.
Ditch all distractions
Yes, the abovementioned tablet is indeed an essential so that your kids don’t turn into distractions while you drive. However, you, as the driver, need to stick to a strict set of rules that eliminate all possible distractions while you’re in the driver’s seat.
Rule number one: don’t look at your phone. Safe driving with kids requires you to devote your undivided attention to the actual ride and the road. Turn off all notification sounds and make sure that you’re not sneaking a peek to check for texts or missed calls mid-drive. If you’re using a navigation system, make sure that it’s safely placed and that you can get voice driving directions to avoid checking the map frequently.
Packing essentials for safe rides
Safety can depend on so many different factors. With the right car prepared, proper insurance purchased, a baby seat in place, and a cartoon-loaded tablet at the ready, you might feel that there are few things that can surprise you. However, you should still revise your packing list to include some of the following essentials, because they’ll keep your kids healthy, properly hydrated, and their immune systems strong.
For starters, pack a few extra blankets for cold nights, insulated water bottles for fresh beverages, hand sanitizer to keep their hands clean, nutrient-dense snacks for energizing, and of course, sunscreen is a must no matter the time of year. The first-aid kit should be properly equipped for a family, and not a single person or two people, so extra bandages and disinfectants are necessary.
Certain precautions are truly vital when it comes to taking your little ones on a road trip, no matter if it’s local or you’re traveling abroad as a family. Consider the listed safety measures essential, always double-check if you’ve crossed them all off your list of to-dos, and you’ll prepare your car, yourself, and your youngsters for every adventure in the future.