Wednesday, January 25, 2012
5 Mom Inspired Driving Tips
Esurance is asking moms for their best "mom-inspired driving tips", so I wanted to share my best ones so far from my time as a mom and from my memories of running errands with my own mom as a kid. Driving is something that doesn't come naturally to me, and my son went through a phase where he absolutely hated riding in the car, so it's something I've given quite a bit of thought to, actually! So here are my thoughts:
Plan out your route before you go-I use Google maps unless it’s somewhere I’ve been a million times like the grocery store. If you’re going very far, you can also check your state DOT website to see if there are any road closures you should be aware of. I remember my own mom always kept an atlas with a spiral binding in the pocket behind the passenger seat.
Combine trips and buy treats
By going multiple places in our trip, you get more time out and about with less overall drive time-usually a good thing with babies who won’t tolerate too much time in a car. Frequent stops can lift spirits of curious little ones-especially if you throw in some fun stops just for them, like the toy store or somewhere with snacks. And treats from somewhere you were going anyway definitely counts too. One of my favorite places to go as a kid was the grocery store, because sometimes if we were very good, my mom would let us buy ice cream cones from the ice cream counter there (like how my current grocery store has a Starbucks, lol). My favorite flavor was black cherry, which I haven’t found anywhere since.
Drive gently and bring extra clothes
Some kids (like me when I was little and now my son…lucky me!) get carsick if you take them on a bumpy drive or one with sharp turns. Trying to turn gently and avoiding bumps increases the odds of making it to Target without anyone throwing up. But be sure to bring a spare outfit in case you fail. If you live somewhere cold and have a puke prone kiddo, you may want to buy an extra coat. A coat that smells terrible can ruin a shopping trip pretty quick, even if you change the whole rest of the outfit.
Keep your kiddo as safe and happy as you can
Some kids, especially babies, just hate car rides and will fuss no matter what you do. But hedge your bets by taking along some soft non-choking hazard toys and maybe some music your kids will like. And of course, be sure they are in a comfortable age-and-weight-appropriate carseat or booster that is tightly fastened. For older kids, video games like the Sega GameGear we had growing up might be a fun distraction for them so you can stay focused!
Take a chill pill
Once you’ve done what you can to prepare for your trip, and minimize distractions, just relax and try to enjoy the outing. Stressing out won’t help you be a safer driver-or have a good day.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
What memories do you have of driving with your mom?