According to AAA, 46.9 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more during Thanksgiving of 2015. This year as family eagerly anticipate visiting loved ones and relatives for the Thanksgivings/Christmas holidays, at least as many people are expected to take to the roadways. Added to this, as it is every year, is the stress of packing, finding a house sitter, making reservations, planning out the best route(s) etc. However, perhaps nothing is as stress producing for parents of young children as the anxiety that comes with traveling with toddler, infants and small kids. This anxiety can itself be a hazard to safe driving as parents attempt to entertain, appease and control their children during long interstate journeys. That is why we at Pacific Driver Education offer the following advice for parents traveling with small children during the holiday season.
- Make rules: Let older kids in particular know what is expected of them by way of behavior during the long journey. Older children can also help manage younger children who become unruly.
- Check the car before you start off: Besides checking the usual things such as tire pressure, windshield wipers and the air-conditioning system, you should also check to make sure you have items you will need in the event you break down somewhere while you have toddlers, etc on board. Do you have enough baby food, diapers, clothing and change accessories such as talcum powder, etc?
- Make your child comfortable: For those long journeys make sure that you bring a piece of home with you so that your child feels relaxed. Be sure to pack his/her favorite pajamas, T-shirts, toys, blankets and even pillows. This will cause your child be less stressed and you to concentrate on the road.
- Plot out fun activities and places to visit: On the way to your true destination, plan out stops to candy stores, amusement parks and similar diversions. Children get bored very quickly sitting for extended periods of time.
- Pack his/her favorite tech: Be sure to pack with you an iPod or Smartphone filled with your child’s favorite songs, books, sites, etc. Apps are also available on sites like Google Store for the little ones.
At Pacific Driver Education we strive to make every trip our students take safe ones. We can teach you to learn how to drive in Portland regardless of your needs as a driver. We even teach fleet safety for large companies. We hope that you keep us and these guidelines in mind for the day your child says, “Teach me to drive.” Portland has many driving schools but few employ experts who are better trained and certified than ours. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and be careful on the roads!