Taking a road trip with your entire family—including your pet and the kiddos—is a great way to make wonderful, lasting memories, and spend time together as a group. But after being cooped up in a car for an extended period of time, someone (typically your child) is bound to get a little restless.
Not every road trip will be perfect, but every road trip can be the best that you make it! We've put together some tips to keep everyone safe, happy, and comfortable—no matter how many miles you plan to travel!
1. Pick the Right Car Seat
Browsing car seats for your child might seem like an overwhelming task, whether you're a brand new parent or you're transitioning your child from an infant seat to a convertible car seat. But choosing the right seat for your budget doesn't have to be a daunting task. There are experts out there who test and review every single seat on the market to make it easier for you to choose from the best convertible car seats. Aside from your budget (car seats can range from under a hundred dollars to over $400), some important factors to consider are:
- How much space you have in your back seat
- How long you plan to rear-face your child
- The weight limit on seats that catch your eye
- Whether or not the seat is convertible (such as a rear-facing infant seat into a toddler seat, or a high-back booster into a backless booster)
- Extras like cup holders, infant insert and pads that are easy to remove and clean, and ease of install from one vehicle to another
Picking the right car seat will put your mind at ease, keep your infant or child-safe, and ensure that they have a comfortable trip. Once you've picked your seat, double-check that it is properly installed, that your child's chest clip is properly placed, and that there are no choking hazards within reach of your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep your child rear-facing until they outgrow the limits of their seat.
2. Keep Your Pet Comfortable
Boarding a pet while your family takes a vacation isn't always an option - whether for budgeting reasons or because you want to bring your pet along for the fun. But, just like children, pets can tend to get a little restless. This is especially true if they are anxious travelers. Not only is it important to keep your pet safe and secure with a tether or crate, but it is equally important to keep them calm and comfortable. To keep common issues like anxiety, motion sickness, and restlessness at bay, some veterinarians recommend giving your pet a small dose of CBD oil for pets before your trip.
CBD oil is THC-free, so pet parents can rest assured that their pets will feel calm during their trip without the lasting side effects. CBD oil can be given with a small dropper on its own or mixed in with a small bit of food.
Choosing the correct CBD oil can seem like an overwhelming feat. If you have questions about choosing the correct CBD oil for your pup, you can reach out to your veterinarian for recommendations and information on the benefits of CBD. Depending on the size of your pets or the length of your trip, adjustments might need to be made in dosage.
3. Pack Snacks
It may seem easy to pull off of the freeway and stop at any of the hundreds of fast-food restaurants along the road when you or your passengers get a little hungry, but this can get really expensive - and unhealthy. Keeping healthy snacks in your car is a great way to minimize stops, save money, and be conscious of what you and your family are eating. Choose low-sodium treats like fruits and fresh-cut veggies to avoid becoming dehydrated. The more you drink, the more you'll need to go, and if your kids and your pets are comfortable, stopping may seem like such a hassle. If your child is rear-facing, make sure that any snacks they are given are not choking hazards, or have someone responsible sitting with them in the back seat to keep an eye on them as they at.
For your pet, keep the snacks to a minimum outside of their typical eating routine to avoid motion sickness and overeating.
Traveling with your entire family—including your pets—can be a fun and memorable experience. Ensuring your child is safe and secure, and ensuring your pets are comfortable, will help you make your trip as smooth as possible.