Almost every parent who has taken their kids on a road trip dreads the question, “Are we there yet?” Even trips that might sound short to an adult — one or two hours — can seem like eternity to kids. Making sure you have kid friendly cars is important for everyone’s sanity. If you have more than three kids, you probably have a larger vehicle that can accommodate them and they’re built with an eye towards being kid-friendly already. But there are other ways you can turn your vehicles into kid friendly cars for trips or even just short jaunts out. Let’s go over ways to keep your kids entertained — and ways to keep your car safe from spills and as neat as possible, despite lots of bodies going in and out.
What To Look For With Family Cars
If you’ve been browsing new car dealerships or looking at used cars for the perfect family vehicle, getting a few pointers on what to look for can be helpful. They all sound like they could be perfect! Don’t rush into a purchase though — be like the 48% of buyers who will browse around for one to three months before finally deciding which vehicle to buy. Checking out safety ratings online and reviews on how they handle and how reliable they are over the course of their lifespan are all good things to consider.
If you have young kids, you may want to look at models that you can can easily install car seats into. If you have teens who are big into sports or other extracurriculars that require a lot of equipment, having a larger cargo area in the back might be just what you need. If you have a large family, roominess might be more of a factor than if you just have one to three kids.
How Can I Make My Car More Kid-Friendly?
Putting down car mats or seat covers on your car can be a great idea. If a drink gets spilled on a rubber mat, that’s way easier to clean than rubbing at a stain — and who has time to spend doing that, anyway? Same goes with seat covers — if too many crumbs or stains accumulate, simply remove, shake out, and throw in the wash!
Keeping a trash bag in the car is handy — somewhere for all those snack wrappers or empty juice cartons to go, instead of the floor, or your purse — and can help contain mess, drips, and crumbs.
Looking for a vehicle with a rear seat entertainment system can be great for keeping kids occupied during long trips, or as a special treat. The most kid friendly cars may even have special storage features, like fold-out trays, cup holders, or built in coolers, making them basically a parents’ dream come true.
Every parent knows that having snacks on hand is a smart idea. Stowing non-perishable, healthy snacks like granola bars or trail mix in the car ensures that you’re not empty handed. If you have older kids who are using devices, make sure you stock up on chargers for those devices, so you don’t have to deal with the inevitable whining when their devices run out of juice. And of course, making sure kids have their headphones can save you a lot of background noise!
How Can I Adequately Prep For a Road Trip?
As mentioned above, prepping snacks, beverages, and charging devices ahead of time is a good idea. Make sure you leave enough time in your ETA to accommodate bathroom breaks — especially if you have younger kids — and that you’re choosing routes that have a good number of rest stops along the way.
Choosing movies or music ahead of time if you have a rear seat entertainment system can help cut down on the squabbling and keep the kids entertained — and hopefully lull them to sleep at some point during the trip!
Though there’s always sure to be hiccups along the way when you’re traveling with kids, making sure you’re looking at kid friendly cars and trying to anticipate needs can go a long way in making them smoother than expected!