School is officially out for the Summer which for many families means those long-awaited Summer vacations and holidays can get started. Travelling with little ones can bring extra stresses and often need a little extra thought when packing and planning any trip. Whether you are doing a British road trip to the coast or to see family, or perhaps going further a field to an exotic abroad destination, all of these trips may contain long car journeys to your destination or even just to the airport. It is essentials to be prepared to make sure the car journey runs as smoothly as possible to get your holiday off to the best start.
We had a chat with our friends over at CYBEX to ask them what their 6 top tips are for travelling with children in the car this Summer. CYBEX are the recognised leader in child safety. The brand's innovative approach has landed them multiple awards for their pioneering car seats and pushchairs, so who better to get travel safety tips from than the experts!
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 pane 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, baby carriers and baby safety seats often come with additional parasols that can be used inside and outside the car. Older children may also benefit from mesh window covers, which filter out a lot of heat and radiation.
Summer means shorts and t-shirts, tank tops and light dresses—for us and for 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.
You could also pop on a Summer cover on their car seat to keep them extra cool. These are often made of breathable materials and are in lighter colours so the light bounces off them to keep your little one and their car seat cooler. Most of CYBEX car seats have a Summer cover you can buy separately.
Loads and loads of snacks
Parents know the importance of packing snacks anytime they leave the house with their children in tow. Kids get hungry quickly, and it doesn’t take a lot for a hungry kid to become a cranky kid. But what to pack? Sure, chocolate bars or sweets are a great treat every 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.
You could also add a cup holder on the side of their CYBEX car seat so your little one can grab a drink whenever they need without you having to pull over or awkwardly leaning over to give them a drink.
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 to do? Luckily, long car rides don’t have to be an exercise in preventing the next full-on tantrum. If you plan ahead, 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 ahead and download a couple of plays before you start your journey.
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 highways and stretch those legs. Regular breaks reduce the stress of travelling for the whole family, ensuring you won’t arrive at your destination already needing a rest.
Safety is always at the forefront of a parent’s mind when it comes to their children, especially when travelling in a car. Rightly so, your child is very precious cargo that needs to be protected. There are so many do’s and don’ts around car safety, it’s hard to keep up with what is best and safest for your child. CYBEX understand this and wanted to help put parents mind at ease when travelling in the car with the family. To help keep your family as safe as possible they recently launched the innovative CYBEX SensorSafe.
SensorSafe fuses smart technology with smart design to give peace of mind for you and better safety for your child. The SensorSafe is a clip that is attached to the range of SensorSafe CYBEX car seats on the harness system of your little ones car seat which is connected to your smartphone to provide essential health and safety alerts.
SensorSafe’s mission is to help prevent critical situations happening in the car. It will alert you when your child unbuckles the clip, when the ambient temperature around your child is too hot or too cold, if your little one is left unattended in the car and if your child has been seated for too long. This makes it the perfect companion for peace of mind on those long car journeys this summer. Find out more about CYBEX SensorSafe here.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! We can’t promise there won’t be any tantrums or that you won’t get stuck in traffic jams, but we do promise that it will all be worth it in the end when you get to your final destination.