What to Know About Road Tripping With Pets

Family road trips, while often amusing and memorable, can exhaust the attention span of the most patient travelers. Some animals are afraid of traveling in a car, while some are a bit too excited. We’ve gathered a few tips that’ll help you and your pet enjoy the open road.

Pack for Your Pets

You’ve prepared your snacks, booked your hotel(s), gassed up the ride, and remembered to pack your charger. Don’t forget about your barking buddy! You should make sure to pack your pet’s essentials, just as you would your own. Here are some common pet travel accessories:

  • Poop bags
  • Crate and bed
  • Food and water (with their bowls)
  • Anxiety or motion sickness supplements
  • Vaccination records
  • ID tag
  • Toys and treats
  • Blankets and seat covers
  • Safety restraints

Keep Them Out of the Driver’s Seat

A roaming dog in your car can add to the numerous distractions you’re already facing. Of the 84 percent of drivers who bring their pets on various car excursions, only 16 percent use safety restraints for them. Having your canine (or feline) companion restrained inside of the vehicle helps with the safety of the animal, yourself, and other passengers in the event of a crash, and averting distractions. If you need a seatbelt, so does your pet.

Breaks Are Important

Similar to people, your pet will need to take a break from sitting in the car for 2-3 hours at a time. Often, the time spent traveling between breaks allows your dog to regain his energy, making him more playful and a disturbance while you’re behind the wheel. Use these breaks to tire him out and take a potty break.

Be sure to not spend this time on the side of the road, your pet will be in danger of getting hit by a passing vehicle. Many rest stops along U.S. interstates/highways are pet-friendly. Find pet-friendly hotels that are along your route, in case you’ll need proper rest to continue your trip. Taking your pet on a leashed stroll when you stop for gas for food is also an option.Don’t forget that your pet will still need access to water. Filling one of their bowls during each stop will encourage hydration.

Road tripping starts with planning and preparation. If you’ve failed to prepare, be prepared to fail. Now that you’ve packed the items that’ll make your journey less stressful for everyone in the vehicle, have your animal secured and not causing distractions, and allotted additional time in your itinerary for your furry friend to stretch their legs, you’re ready to make some new memories. A pet that’s comfortable and safe can have a more enjoyable experience.

Here’s another article you might like: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success

How to Select Your Next Family Car

Is the car you use to transport your family falling apart? Now that it’s time to buy your next family car, you want to choose well so that you have dependable transportation—after all, your children’s safety is at stake. It’s also important to factor in price and your family’s specific needs. Here are a few things to consider when you are ready to purchase a new car.

Buy Used

Buying a used vehicle can save you money right from the start. Simply look for the type of vehicle you want and find one that fits your needs and has been slightly used. Used vehicles can be purchased from individuals or dealerships and often save buyers thousands of dollars. In many cases, it’s possible to buy certified pre-owned vehicles that come with certain protections.

You want to make sure to buy a car that has been cared for and maintained well. Ask plenty of questions before committing to purchase. It’s also wise to go with a dealership or individual you trust who will offer you verification that the car is running well.

Buy Smaller

Bigger isn’t always better. Don’t buy a huge SUV that has more room than you need unless you want to pay more to purchase it. It will also cost more for gas and insurance if you decide to go big. From an environmental perspective, large SUVs are not great for the environment either. As an alternative, crossovers combine elements of SUVs and compacts cars in a more balanced package. They offer plenty of space that is laid out well so that you still have the feel of a reasonably-sized vehicle. Crossovers are more affordable and cost less to maintain.

Check Features

The qualities that you need in a family car are safety and reliability. Of course, you can still have a stylish vehicle that you love to drive. Just make sure to go for features that are practical instead of simply flashy. Look for vehicles that are rated high in safety and that offer features kids can enjoy on long rides. Avoid buying used cars that have been subjected to multiple recalls or vehicles that can flip easily when in a wreck. It’s also logical to make sure the car has enough seating and storage for your entire family so that you can ride comfortably.

Now that your old beater is getting up there in age, it’s time to consider buying a new vehicle. However, if you have children, this decision may not be as easy as you think. But purchasing your next family car doesn’t have to be a chore. Know what you want and follow these tips to make the entire experience easier.

Once you buy a car, you need to know how to take care of it. For more information about basic car maintenance, check out: What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Your Tires.

How to Avoid Bug Bites While Hiking With Your Kids

Hiking as a family is a fun way to bond while exercising in the great outdoors. Before you set off on your outdoor adventure, it is important that you have equipped yourself with the knowledge and tools to avoid bug bites. Ranging from mild mosquito bites to more serious tick infestations, it is critical that you protect your family from these potentially dangerous encounters. Here are three ways that you can avoid bug bites while hiking with your kids.

Bug Spray

It is important to remember that not all bug sprays are created equal. Before you apply the spray to your kid, be sure to check the label to make sure that it is safe for use on small children. If you are concerned about harmful ingredients, you can look to naturally-based bug sprays. According to Wildthings, natural ingredients that repel mosquitoes include citronella, lemon oil, and eucalyptus. Repellents come in a variety of forms, making it easy to find the application that is best for your needs.

Cover Up

One of the best ways to prevent bug bites from ruining your outdoor adventure is to cover up. If you’re carrying a toddler in a hiking backpack, you can even buy a specially-designed mosquito net to put over their head. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt provides excellent cover while out on your hike. You can even spray the clothing with repellents for an extra layer of protection. Tucking your pants into your socks will also help to keep bugs out. While mosquitos may be annoying, it is especially important that you are on the lookout for more dangerous critters such as ticks. According to ChemTec Pest Control, ticks can carry diseases that lead to symptoms such as fever, rash, aches, and fatigue.

Choose Your Time Wisely

Mosquitos are most active between dusk and dawn, making this the prime time to be susceptible to bites. Early mornings and evenings are the especially active times for these types of bugs. If you want to decrease your chances of being bitten, it is a good idea to avoid hiking during these times. If you are out during these hours, be sure to be extra vigilant with your protective clothing and spray.

Hiking with your family is a fun way to get the kids outdoors and off of their electronics. However, nasty bug bites can ruin your fun. With the right precautions, though, you can increase the chances that everyone in your family comes home without any unwanted and painful “souvenirs.”

Looking for more parenting advice? Consider reading: Healthy Habits to Teach Children That Will Set Them Up for Success.

4 Easy Ways to Make Your Vacation More Insta-Worthy

Besides jet-setting around the world, the best thing about traveling is taking Insta-worthy pictures that will last you for months. But with all the logistics of traveling, it can get a little difficult to truly prepare for those priceless moments. Here are four easy ways you can begin making all your traveling experiences that much more Insta-worthy.

Research the Sites

One of the best ways to make sure that your pictures are not only going to be stunning but unique is to do your research ahead of time. Doing research on the location you’re traveling to can go a long way. Often travelers will post online about little-known areas of the location that provides the best lighting or areas to take pictures in. In addition, making your way to lesser-known but beautiful areas of your location can truly make your Insta pic that much more unique. Make sure to look into local food so you know you can find somewhere with great plant-based eats to snap a photo for your story.

Bring Your Best

You’ve seen it before: A beautiful girl posing at the top of the Grand Canyon with her incredible dress flowing in the wind. Those who’ve hiked through large canyons and valleys will tell you that you don’t get there wearing a dress. So, before you head off to your destination, make sure to pack clothes for the photo you want to take. If it is just a short trip to your destination, you could even bring multiple outfits to give you more options for pictures.

Be a Little Extra

Taking pictures at exotic locations is one thing, but what happens when you get back to the hotel room? People want to see how you live both outside and inside. Therefore, if you have the means and the opportunity, always choose to upgrade both your hotel room and your transportation. Rather than a small one-bedroom, why not go for a bigger room with a view? Instead of using your own car or renting a mediocre car, why not go rent a mustang for fun instead? They make excellent Insta-pics that can be posted between your excursions. Even if you don’t use it for pictures, premium rentals often come with upgrades such as advanced navigation systems to help you get where you’re going.

Make Friends

Although selfies are definitely Insta-worthy, you should also concentrate on getting a few shots with friends and locals alike. One great way to accomplish this is to go to local hotspots such as a popular restaurant or bar. Note that you should always be courteous when taking pictures with someone. Make sure they have agreed to take a picture and never post without their consent.

There you have it! Four tips to making your next vacation more Insta-worthy. Simply follow the tips listed above to begin taking some of the best Instagram photos that will last you for months on end.

Looking for more tech guidance? Check out my Tech Guides!

3 Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel with Your Kids

Travelling with kids can be memorable, but if things are overly structured or there’s too much forced togetherness, family vacations can turn grim. To make sure that your family vacation is positive and leaves everyone wanting more, you’ll need to make sure you can travel in comfort, enjoy outings together and get a little alone time.

Rent a Roomy Car

If you’re planning to spend at least part of your vacation in the car, make sure that everyone has enough space. For those traveling with older kids, consider renting a vehicle such as an SUV or van with three rows of seats to give everyone plenty of room. Younger children will likely need to be closer so you can monitor them more closely. If you’ve never rented a car before, it may be a good idea to rent one similar to what you usually drive in this instance.

Plan a Space Where Older Kids Can Run

You’re going on an adventure, and your older children may want to be able to break free and stretch their legs a bit. You can make this more possible by setting an eye-catching feature that they must stay in sight of. If you’re taking the family to the beach, invest in a giant umbrella and make sure your older kids stay within visual range. If they’re not strong swimmers, invest in good quality flotation vests. If your kids are old enough to have their own cell phones, check in with them as they roam. You can keep tabs on them while allowing them to expand their own horizons.

Leave Time for Doing Nothing

If budgets are tight but you still want to get away as a family, make room for unstructured time. You can even have an exciting bicycle staycation in your city and arrange lunchtime picnics. Plan to spend a few hours letting your children run free at a local park. Bring large balloons or tie a brightly colored piece of fabric to a tree branch and let your kids go as far as they can while still keeping in visual range. Then, schedule nothing and see what their imaginations can do.

It can be tempting to pack as much vacation fun into your trip as possible, but this can leave everyone feeling exhausted and overloaded. Leave time for naps, for reading alone or just for daydreaming. Focus on comfort, not speed or efficiency.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Keep Your Nursery Clean Without Toxic Chemicals

Baby Care Anywhere: 4 Tips for Parenting on the Go

Travelling with young children, can be, shall we say, challenging. With a little advance planning, you can still enjoy exploring the world with your children in tow. Here are four tips to help make the travel process go more smoothly when on the go with infants and toddlers:

Pack Snacks

When traveling with young children, you never want to be caught empty-handed when it comes to snacks. The last thing you want is a meltdown because you forgot to bring critical sustenance. Be sure that your food will withstand the rigors of travel. Good portable snack choices include granola, fruit and veggie squeeze pouches, apples, and trail mix. Always be sure to pack more than you think you might need in the event that you end up with unexpected delays.

Diaper Emergencies

Traveling is no excuse to give up on your potty-training regimen. While you’d probably love to take a break and enjoy the vacation, consistency is key during this critical phase of a toddler’s life. Packing along extra changes of clothes, trash bags, and wipes will help to make the process easier and more convenient. Be mindful of the clothing choices you make, since clothes that are easy to slip on and off can make all the difference when you’re out and about or in a rush.

Embrace Technology

We have all heard the warnings about the danger of too much screen time for young children. However, traveling is a time when you want to give yourself a little slack when it comes to breaking out the technology. Handheld personal devices can soothe a cranky toddler on a long car ride or an airplane flight. As long as you use caution with the apps that you use, now is the time to harness the power of technology to make for a smoother trip.

Stick to Nap Schedules

While it can be challenging to stick to your regular routine when out and about, naptimes are the one element of your schedule that you do not want to ignore. A cranky child will ruin even the best-laid travel plans. Do not count on your child falling asleep on an airplane. The excitement of travel might be too stimulating. Instead, choose travel itineraries that maximize nap availability.

Although you may not be able to pack up and go spontaneously, you can still enjoy a lifestyle that places an emphasis on travel and seeing the world. The right planning and execution will ensure that the plans go as smoothly as possible.

Want more advice on how to survive the harrowing challenges of parenthood? Be sure to check Ceri Clark’s Parenting Category for more articles like this!