June 25, 2018

10 Tips for a Fun and Safe Road Trip with Kids

This post was sponsored by Auto Alliance as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Tomorrow morning, we leave on a 6 1/2 hour road trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! I can't wait. Since Troy is a teacher who has the summers off and I work from home, summer is our time for adventures. All of our trips are road trips that have been 7 hours or less. I have learned so many tips along the way about traveling with kids that leads to a fun road trip that is also safe for kids. I am so excited to share my tips with you today! Right now, my kids are ages 1 and almost 4.

Tips for a Fun and Safe Road Trip with Kids

1. Eat breakfast in the car

Eating entertains the kids and packing an easy breakfast for the car gives them something to do for around 30 minutes. Plus, leaving in the morning seems to work best for their mood. Typically, we do whole-grain peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bagels, egg sandwiches or smoothies for the road.

2. Never leave your child in a hot car

A super important safety tip is to never leave your child in a hot car. Sometimes, it can be tempting to leave your child in the car for a bit if they fell asleep or something but it is not safe in the summer months especially. I was shocked to learned that even if the outside temperature is only 70 degrees, the inside of a parked car can heat up to 120 degrees in 15 minutes, even with the windows open which can be lethal to children. Also, children's bodies can heat up 3-5 times faster than an adults. So scary!

On average, 37 young lives are lost each year due to overheating in a vehicle. Many times, it was by mistake that the kids were left in the car. Make sure to grab your kids out right away. The Auto Alliance has a campaign called "Look Before You Lock, Never Leave A Child Alone in a Car" to encourage parents to help prevent heatstroke in their kids.

The tips make the acronym ACT: Avoid: Avoid leaving the kids in the car, Create Reminders: put reminders in your car, cell phone, or purse to not leave kids in the car if need be and Take Action: if you see a child alone in a car, call 911.

Visit the Auto Alliance website to learn more about heatstroke prevention.

3. Wait as long as possible to put the TV on

I try to wait at least 1 1/2 hours before turning on the TV. The kids are excited and I tell them to look out the window or something before putting on a show for them towards the later part of the trip. That way, they aren't watching 3 movies on the way, just 1. I try to teach my kids to entertain themselves instead of always having a show on.

4. Bring something cozy

If your kid loves a blanket, toy, pacifier, etc., pack it for the car ride so that they feel comfortable.

5. Pack tons of snacks

My kids love to snack a ton and so do I. I love bringing different snacks for them such as chopped veggies, veggie straws, fruit, bars, cereal in a baggie, etc. This helps pass the time a lot.

6. During stops, get out and stretch

When you stop at a rest area, let the kids run around for a few minutes if they're getting antsy.

7. Make sure car seats are buckled correctly

Follow the instructions on your car seat to ensure that it is installed properly and that the buckle is not loose and that the chest strap is located right on the child's chest- not too low or too high. In case of an accident, the way that a car seat is buckled is so important.

8. Pack simple activities

I always over pack for the kids in the car and it really is not necessary. A few simple activities will do. A coloring book- we love the color wonder ones where they only draw on the paper and if the child tries to draw on the car, it will not leave a mark. Genius! We also like flash cards, electronic games and books.

9. Keep a plastic bag in the car for trash

I hate my car getting messy and having a bag in the car for trash is crucial for keeping the car semi-clean.

10. Store a first-aid kit in the car

With it being summertime and going on lots of adventures, we have found an increased need for things like band-aids, painkillers, etc. We like keeping a kit in our car for unexpected minor injuries.

Wish us luck on the trip! It will be the longest trip in the car with both kids by a few hours. I'm a little nervous but mostly super excited. I hope that this list gave you some ideas for a safe and fun family road trip.

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