Many of us know what it’s like when we have a car full of kids and everyone is screaming and screaming and the car trips we’re on are anything but stress-relieving.
We start wondering whether it is worth organizing a trip with the family or should we just give up and not bother at all.
However, all is not lost and a few helpful tips should make traveling less stressful.
To help families out, the experts at The Edit by Silver Cross have put together some family travel tips.
Hamish McPhillips, head of car safety at Silver Cross and father of two, gives his tips for stress-free car travel.
The summer holidays can be a busy time for parents, and this is when most families go on vacation. Google search data has shown that searches for “family road trip tips” have increased 100 percent year over year, as UK families are looking for all the summer vacation tips they can find!
Whether it’s in the UK or abroad, a trip in a car is often unavoidable and when you have kids, the simple process of driving can become a chore.
To help parents feel more prepared, The Edit by Silver Cross caught up with Hamish McPhillips, the brand head of car safety, who shared his top tips for car travel with kids to ensure That your vacation or even a day goes as smoothly as possible.
Top Tips on Stress Free Car Travel
1. Route planning. Check, check and double check!
There’s nothing worse than a traffic jam when you have kids in your car and searches for “free driving route planner” are up 300 percent over last year and “plan drive Google Maps” by 200 percent, shows That many are eager to be prepared before setting out on a long journey this summer.
“With kids hungry, tired or restless, the car can quickly become a very stressful place!” says Hamish.
“To avoid over-stretching the trip, I regularly check my route several days before I plan to travel using Google Maps or other online mapping software. It is advisable to do a final check right before you leave to avoid getting stuck in any recent traffic. ,
Even if you do all the checking in the world, you can’t always prevent delays or breaks when you travel, so “make sure you pack plenty of blankets to keep the little ones warm, Extra clothes, snacks, drinks, nappies and toys to keep them entertained”, advises Hamish. “Make sure you have all breakdown cover numbers, including account numbers, in your phonebook so that you can call for help if needed. “
When traveling with kids, timing is important. “I always aim to travel around bedtime or bedtime for the little ones, depending on the length of the trip,” says Hamish. “If arriving late to stay with friends or relatives, let them know you’ll be arriving with sleeping children. Dimming the house lights on your arrival can mean you save the kids the stress of being uncomfortable in their new environment. can take to bed without.”
4. Pack the Car Correctly
To an extent, traveling stress-free is up to you to embrace the unpredictability and go with the flow. However, making sure you make a list of essentials can really help. “When possible, I pack the day before, loading the car carefully so that all bedtime essentials like the travel cot, mattress, bedding and baby monitor are first at hand. Also, make sure everything you need on the go like snacks, water, dummies and favorite comforters are close at hand and accessible”, says Hamish.
“As of now, there is no published research confirming how long you can keep a little one in a car seat. However, health care professionals suggest a maximum of two hours for children, with them in between. to take out of the seat and feed if necessary”, says Hamish. “Make sure you have regular check-ups while travelling, especially for newborns and babies below six months. A car seat mirror can be installed to help you keep an eye on them.”
Car seat safety is another important consideration when traveling by car with young children. “If you are changing the car seats to a different vehicle before the trip, take an extra moment to check that it is correctly secured – the ISOFIX latch is on, the support leg is attached or the top tether is secured ( Different fittings depend on the car seat model)” says Hamish. “Do not make the child sit on the seat wearing a thick jacket as this will limit the tightness of the harness due to the padding, making them less secure in the seat. Instead, use layers of blankets. Check that you know how to fold the seat, as you may want to do so to maximize comfort during travel as the little one is sleeping. Also, if the seat has been installed in the same car for a while, it’s okay to check the fittings – a good way to make sure everything is correct and secure.