Summer is in full swing, and across the country, families are packing up their cars and getting ready for their holidays. Long trips with small children can be challenging, especially in the summer heat. CYBEX—one of the leading manufacturers of strollers, child seats and baby carriers—have compiled a list of five simple things to keep in mind to make sure your journey goes as smooth as possible.
1. Watch out for the sun
We all know to apply sunscreen outside the car, however, it’s also important to protect your child’s delicate skin inside as well. Did you know just how much UV radiation can pass through a simple glass window? A surprising amount, as it turns out most manufacturers only install UV-blocking glass in the windshield. To protect your child from direct sunlight coming through the side windows, there are shades you can purchase which fit onto your car seat. Older children may also benefit from mesh window covers, which filter out a lot of heat and radiation.
2. Proper clothes
Summer means shorts and t-shirts, tank tops and light dresses—for us and our children. For a long car journey make sure your children are wearing suitable clothes made from the right fabrics, as this can have just as much of an impact on their comfort level as the cut and style of their clothes. Synthetic blends like nylon, acrylic or polyester often feature in children’s clothes, as they’re shiny, hard to wrinkle and made to repel liquids. However, they’re often hot and abrasive, trapping heat and sweat against the skin and leading to uncomfortable, unhappy children. Instead, opt for breathable fabrics like cotton, linen or chambray.
3. Loads and loads of snacks
Parents know the importance of packing snacks anytime they leave the house with their children. Kids get hungry quickly, and it doesn’t take a lot for a hungry kid to become a cranky kid. But what do you pack? Chocolate bars or crisps are a great treat now and then, but they aren’t a great snack for the car. The last thing you want is a toddler on a sugar high, strapped into the back seat where you can’t keep a close eye on where exactly all that melted chocolate is ending up. Luckily, there’s a whole host of healthier snacks you can easily make yourself at home. Learn more about healthy eating by visiting our post ‘how to get kids to eat healthy’.
4. Entertain the kids to cut down on the cries of, “Are we there yet?”
Bored children in the backseat and still hours left to drive? It’s tempting to just pull up a game on your smartphone and hope for the best. However, we all know the importance of limiting screen time. So, what can you do? Luckily, long car rides don’t have to be an exercise in preventing the next full-on tantrum. If you plan, they can be great bonding experiences for the entire family.
- 20 Questions, I Spy, I’m Going on a Picnic—there’s a reason car games have been around pretty much since the invention of the car. They’re fun, educational, and make the journey fly by. Unlike other games, they take place entirely inside your head, so no crucial cards or pieces can get lost in the footwell or under the seats.
- Speaking of the classics: radio plays are back in style! Streaming services offer a huge selection of plays and stories for all ages and moods. Just go easy on your mobile data—plan and download a couple of plays before you start your journey.
5. Schedule Breaks
We tend to underestimate how children experience time. If you’ve only been on this planet for three or four years, an hour in the car can feel interminable. So, make sure you schedule enough breaks in your journey. For long drives, it might make sense to pre-plan your journey and figure out a route that takes you past lakes, meadows or picnic spots. The kids will get a break to play outdoors, and Mum and Dad can enjoy a view that isn’t just concrete motorways. Regular breaks reduce the stress of travelling for the whole family, ensuring you won’t arrive at your destination already needing a rest. Baby’s in infant carriers require frequent stops. The ‘2 hour’ rule should not be overlooked when traveling.
All-in-all travelling with the kids sounds like it can’t be fun, but with these helpful tips, hopefully, your next trip is as unforgettable as the destination itself.
Established in 2005, the German company CYBEX is globally recognized for the iconic design, innovative technology, easy functionality, and superior safety features on all its products for stylish adults embarking on parenthood.
In early 2014, CYBEX joined Goodbaby International Holding Limited. The group is one of the world’s leading enterprises for the development and production of child and teen goods.
Find more information at www.cybex-online.com