Making Road Trips Easy

Kid friendly car features that make your trip easier.

I am going on seven years since I moved away from family. It was the farthest I have ever moved from family. About every three or four month I push to take the trip to see my family. This mean I have to place three small children into a small area to ride for a minimum of four hours to be able to see any person belonging to my family. Over the years I have tried many ways to make the trip easier including planning the time of day so little guys will take their two hour nap on the road, eight stops along the way, and packing a large amount of entertaining items. Automakers have worked on making our cars more kid friendly as well and so I looked into what features are kid friendly.

Rear seat viewing devices gives us the ability to see into the back seat to determine who is doing what to who. I find this a great safety device because if you don’t have one you are either trying to look over your shoulder or in the end pulling the car over. Being able to glance back takes a lot of the unnecessary irritability while driving.

I am not to sure about DVD and Video games being added as car features. The DVDs I like because if your children are old enough for a DVD to hold their attention while on a long trip then it can be a huge help. I am still unsure about the video games. I can see having some issues with them, but once again if they can hold the attention without fighting with each other it can be a help.

Seat warmers and cooler are not new, but for those of us who happen to still have leather seats with children always hear the early winter morning complaints of having cold seats so to be able to warm up the seats while waiting for the car to warm up as well, or cool off, saves complaints and provides comfort. Yet there is also the piece of me that still has the time where you bare it for a few minutes the seat will warm up too. So I vote luxury not necessity with this one.

Along with DVD or Video games, I like the idea of having headphones. They can enjoy the movie or game without me having to listen to it. At the same time, my four year old will like the idea too instead of trying to talk me into playing music when we are only going to be in the car for a ten minute drive generally followed by the eight times he says he can’t hear it as he likes it loud. With headphones, most like the idea of 12 volt outlets to be able to plug in other devices. This I can under stand for older children who have these devices, such as laptops.

On summer days I always hear the comment about how the sun is in their eyes. One of my sons even asked me to move the sun. We have the attachable shades for babies and toddler, but can be used on the rear window. So now we have sunshades, which can be used on the back window to reduce sun on our children and glare without blocking our view.

One feature I like is build in booster seats. All of us know our children have to be in a boaster seat until they are eight or eighty pounds. I am a tiny person and my sons are tiny people compared to the children their age. My tall and skinny eight year old is still in a boaster seat because he no where near eighty pounds. As I will have other children in boaster seats, it will mean buying more then one like the $90 each five point harness seats I had to buy. Having build in booster seats mean they are there when we need them and hide them when we don’t without having to pay the extra for the seat itself.

I have never been are remote control sliding doors, but if it is anything like being able to open the truck by remote then it’s got to be good. Trying to direct children while carrying more then a handful it interesting itself, but to be able to hit a button and the doors open for them makes it not just much easier, but I don’t have to worry about them standing somewhere unsafe or wide open car doors blocking other parking spaces.

Next falls backup cameras or sensors. Although I don’t have the forgotten toys in the driveway problem at the moment, it is also nice for trying to get out of a packed parking lot or, for me, it’s the wondering children through the apartment parking lot.

Lastly, safety always make the top of the list. Advance airbags fall into a necessity. Side impact air bags, curtain air bags, and the recent two stage air bags. Two stage air bags inflate at first with less pressure then other air bags. Air bags do protect a person in an accident, but their as been a lot of concern with the force they have all on their own. The two stage air bag addresses this concern. The side impact or curtain air bags have gave us the ability to move from just protecting the driver and passenger from front impact, but to protect back seat passengers and everyone from side impact.

The safety features of airbags, booster seats, and backup cameras help us to better protect our children while driving. The convenience of remote control sliding doors, movies, and video games not only make our children’s time in the car on long road trips more fun, but makes our trip easier as well as gives us the ability to concentrate on our driving more then what are kids are doing. This means a more safer trip for everyone.