I spend a lot of time in my
mom mini van. A LOT of time. I have a shift work job which has me on the road as early as 3:00 am or as late as 3:00 depending on the shift. I also own my own business, so I am doing deliveries, going to parties, hauling stock, picking up products, meeting with women. The list is endless. Now that my kids are in school full time, they aren’t with me as much in the van, however, they used to spend a great deal of time tagging along with mom.
As I look at some of my friends who are just now entering the parenting area, I thought I would offer up some great Mom Inspired Driving Tips to make life just a bit easier on them.
1. Pack Snacks! Snacks for the kids, snacks for you. Snacks that are EASILY opened. The last thing you want to do is drive down the freeway wrestling open a plastic package that is mom proof. I always have granola bars, goldfish crackers, fruit and nut mixes, mini chocolate bars…after all I am a woman! I also love the little packs of mini carrots that the grocery stores sell. Those are fantastic for a feel good taste good snack. I also have juice boxes at the ready as well. If I know that we will be in the car longer than usual, I will freeze them the night before and they serve double duty…one to keep us hydrated and two to keep the food cool if I bring along veggies or fruit. I also have bottled water in a box in the back of my van. I keep 4-6 bottles in there all the time. Water is super important to have in the car at all times, it stops me from going into the drive through or the convenience store to grab soda.
2. Keep well stocked on movies in the van. I have a van that has a DVD player in it. I love the DVD player. Before you go all…my kids don’t need a movie in the car…we play games….sometimes, a Diego movie can save the trip. Getting stuck in traffic is not fun, especially when you are 4 years old and there are no more Eye Spy things that interest you in the car. I try to choose DVDs that are filled with music, laughter, education and fun. I love the Sesame Street ones and I love the Treehouse TV ones. We can all sing along to the songs and we can all laugh at the silly stuff. We also have Scooby Doo Cartoons and now we have added Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Grommit to the mix. It sure helps the kids cope with long days sometimes.
3. A GREAT blue tooth headset. Don’t go for the cheap $19.99 headset. It won’t pair properly with your phone, the battery will die quickly. It will crackle and snap in your ear. Invest in a good quality blue tooth headset. Many big box stores will now set it up on your phone when you buy there and get you all ready to go. Hands free chatting is law in many places now, better safe than sorry.
4. A multi use car charger. I have a mini usb charger that can charge my phone and the kids DS game. There are plugs in the back for the charger so there is no tears over a game dying or the phone dying.
5. GPS or a GPS enabled phone. I am so directionally challenged it isn’t even funny. I would turn left when I had to turn right, I would go East when I have to go West…it’s a nightmare when I have to rely on a paper map. Forget the tiny writing and the vague streets! I love my GPS enabled phone. I can get directions “from my location” and back again. I can get points of interest…a coffee shop or a grocery store. GPS has saved my butt more than once and let me tell you…it has saved my relationship many times too. No more arguing over stopping and asking for directions!
Driving can be stressful, however, when you plan ahead to have a fun trip, it makes all the difference in the world!
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