7 Tips for Safe Car Travel with Kids

July 31, 2017 in #MomLife,ad,children,Explore Ohio,sponsor,tips + tricks,travel

With Summer nearing it’s end our vacation season is officially starting. That’s right — we’ve had several trips (one day trip, one weekend trip, and one week-long beach vacation) planned for quite some time. And with that comes quite a bit of travel anxiety. Well, atleast for me it does. I wasn’t always this anxious about travelling, but having children has certainly increased my level of nervousness. Like, tenfold.

In addition to making sure that we have all of the necessary equipment for our trip, road snacks, drinks, the right clothes, and everything else that comes with travelling with kids, I also worry that we won’t be safe enough.

We’ve all seen it — the awful mommy-shaming on Facebook for not having the proper chest strap alignment for a carseat; or the decision to move your three year old from rear-facing to forward-facing; or, God forbid, the choice to give your child a screen on a 9-hour drive. The shaming is ridiculous, yes. But in all seriousness, there’s a lot of truth in these safety concerns — we all wonder if we’re really ‘doing it right.’

So when it came to finding the perfect family car, we turned to Cars.com. At Cars.com we were able to do the proper research on safety ratings and reviews from real people — from real parents — just like us! With so many different makes, models, and vehicle-types, it could have been totally overwhelming. But I swear to you, it wasn’t. Before even choosing a dealership, we knew what we wanted. We knew the safety rating and that it would be the perfect vehicle for our growing family.

Armed with user reviews, average pricing, and all of the vehicle safety information a girl could want, we chose our dealership and picked out the perfect crossover SUV.

So besides getting the right car for your family, I’ve rounded up a list of other ways to travel safely through this vacation season!

Subscribe to AAA. A membership to AAA not only gets you discounts on all kinds of things (like hotels and outings), but it also ensures that if something does happen on your road trip, you will be ‘rescued’ by someone!

Pack a potty seat for your little ones. This may seem silly; but if you have more than one child and/or if you’re travelling without your partner, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re trying to shuffle 2+ tiny children through a busy rest area. That can be dangerous not only because of other vehicles, but also because of human trafficking. I’ve taken to just bringing along a potty seat to make potty pit stops a bit… ‘easier.’

Get your vehicle maintenance done at least two weeks before your trip. This will give you time in case something unexpected arises during your visit. For instance, what if you find that you have a damaged tie rod during the appointment? It’s best to know these things well enough in advance of your road trip that you have proper time for repairs.

Plan your route ahead of time. There will likely be construction or traffic jams to slow you down. Map out a list of potential stops or breaks, both for your childrens sanity and for your safety (frequent breaks are good for your body and your mind — and can help you refocus for the drive ahead!). Perhaps you won’t need to stop at that nifty roadside attraction; but at least you’ll know where they are just in case.

Check your spare tire kit and pack a first aid kit. Because who the heck knows what could happen! I keep a first aid kit in my trunk, right next to the jack. You really just don’t know what might arise (kids, ya’ll).

Hydrate and have plenty of water on hand. As moms we often think of the ‘worst case’ scenario. Well, what if you were stranded. Just, what if?? As inconvenient as it may be to make potty stops, make sure you and your family are remaining hydrated. Also, keep a jug of distilled water in the trunk of your car in case of an emergent situation. If all goes well, it will remain there. But you will have it for peace of mind if nothing else.

Drive safe and steady. There is no race. You will not win a prize for arriving at your destination 10 minutes earlier. Just drive safe. Remain aware of your surroundings. Don’t text and drive. Assign your co-pilot as your navigator. Slow down for stopped vehicles. Stay buckled. Just, please. Please.

With these tips in mind, I hope you spend the rest of your Summer days travelling the world, the country, or, heck!, even just your backyard!

And tell me — what is your best tried and true travel tip!?

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie L July 31, 2017 at 8:50 am

We always bring our iPad with us that we preload with movies!

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jehava July 31, 2017 at 9:25 am

Great tips! We have taken quite a few road trips this year and plan to take more!

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Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome July 31, 2017 at 11:59 am

These are wonderful tips, thanks so much for sharing. In fact, I don’t have kids, but they are all still important reminders (well, save for the potty seat…I don’t have to worry about that one ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
I always make sure to have a first aid kit and jumper cables in my car. I also have AAA, which has helped me out in more than one occasion. I’m glad you mentioned the importance of having some extra water – I will definitely add that to my emergency kit.

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Rachel July 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Haha! Who knows — maybe a potty seat could still come in handy?? LOL, I kid, kinda ! There have been a couple of times where I thought “Perhaps I could just pull over and use this thing… ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜› LOL

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Angela | The Fancy Ranch Life July 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Snacks and the iPad… definitely makes the trip safer because the driver isn’t distracted by a screaming child! We also try to make sure we are off the roads before dark. Seems way safer when the kids are with us.

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Rachel July 31, 2017 at 1:02 pm

YES! So agree! That’s why I’m all “Who cares about screentime.” ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kelly July 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm

AAA all the way! They’ve saved me so many times, whether is was a flat tire or keys locked in the car. That membership is worth its weight in gold!

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Ayanna July 31, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Great tips!! AAA is a must for me for every day as well. My tip would be for any trip that is 3 or more hours, have an in-car entertainment. That will save you a lot of headaches and allows them to self-entertain.

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Caroline July 31, 2017 at 7:36 pm

Yes to planning your route! Because getting lost is the worst. These are all great ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

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Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms July 31, 2017 at 8:50 pm

These are such great tips! I totally second the recommendation on a first aid kit. Our family tends to be quite clumsy, so I always carry one in my car!

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JeeYoung July 31, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Great tips! We def need to get a potty seat!

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Joleene July 31, 2017 at 9:46 pm

It makes sense to think of a first aid kit, but I never do until I’m on the road! We now have one in our trunk and there it stays. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Christina July 31, 2017 at 10:02 pm

These are great tips! I cannot tell you how many times AAA has saved me from car emergencies, from going off the road into a ditch from locking my keys in my car! We also carry an emergency car kit with us at all times in the back seat. It’s always better to be prepared, especially when there are children involved!

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Jennifer Corter August 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

Ahhh AAA is SO important to have. I can’t count how many times my hubby and I have been stranded on the side of the road!

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Joline August 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

These are great tips! For our family, we just make sure we always have food on hand. Not a pretty site when passengers start getting hangry lol!

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Kelly August 1, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Awesome tips to keep in mind!

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Amy August 1, 2017 at 1:56 pm

It’s definitely important to have a spare tire. We had a flat tire before and it would be a disaster if we didn’t have a spare tire!

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Amelia Furman August 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I constantly find myself unbuckling and contorting my body in circus fashion to grab snacks, toys, etc. I never really thought about it much before, but this is really unsafe! One thing I worked very hard at doing for our last long car trip was to pack the car the evening before and try to make everything accessible without having to unbuckle. A little extra work, but worth the added safety.

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Heather August 1, 2017 at 3:14 pm

These are awesome tips! I also get travel anxiety. Sometimes it is so bad I give myself a migraine! We gave in and bought a minivan a couple of years ago and it has made traveling with little ones so much easier!

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Jordyn Galan August 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm

thanks for the tips! I always always always have to have snacks on hand for my son and even my hubby haha.

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Tamara August 1, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Having a potty in the car is so important! We almost forgot it one trip and I cannot imagine what would have happened if we did forget it.

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val August 2, 2017 at 10:23 am

perfect timing! we’re going on a trip next week

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Amanda August 2, 2017 at 10:37 am

Most of these are definitely part of our road trip routine.

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Sane Mama August 2, 2017 at 4:35 pm

We LOVE AAA! It’s been a lifesaver on a number of occasions.

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Brit Strawbridge August 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm

These are great tips, and we are taking a 2 day drive trip at the end of the month so I really needed this! Especially the potty seat since we just potty trainEd our 3 year old!

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