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Posts from — February 2008

Advice: Flat Tire Fun (Not!)

Some good advice I got from my father once — Be familiar with your spare before you hit the road! (ok, I got it more than once — I get it every time I got a new vehicle.)

Imagine being at the side of the road on a busy Interstate highway with a flat tire…. …alone…. in the dark.

I found myself in this situation recently. I was alone and about 50 miles from home in the countryside on a dark interstate highway on a short 200 mile road trip. It was 7 pm in January so it was pitch dark and very cold. My tire went flat. I pulled off the road as far as I possibly could. Changing a tire by the side of the road is very dangerous and very scary. But I knew what to do. Do you? Read more Flat Tire help for some great advice so you don’t get stuck!

February 27, 2008   5 Comments

Car Seat on Airplanes?

Should you bring your carseat on board the plane when traveling with your child?

Most airlines don’t require it, but your child is always safer when restrained properly. There is a great new product I came across recently that is MUCH easier than dragging a car seat through airports and on board the plane. It’s called a CARES (“child aviation restraint system”). It is the first and only FAA approved harness type child safety device.

It fits in your purse or diaper bag and keeps your child safe and secure aboard the plane. It’s a perfect solution for the car seat dilemma when flying with small children (who are big enough to no longer need a rear-facing infant seat).

So, my current recommendation is to use a CARES restraint on board the plane and check the carseat through to your destination (you’ll need that for the car when you get there). When checking your carseat with your luggage, ask that they put it into one of the huge thick plastic bags that are available at the airport (usually no charge). Without it, your carseat will be returned to you scratched up or smelling like jet fuel.

Without having to drag the carseat through security anymore, you’ll have one more hand available to take care of your child, and one less item to knock innocent people on the head as you make your way to your seat aboard the plane. :-)

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February 21, 2008   2 Comments

Advice: Back Seat Couch Potatoes?

Dear Road Trip Mom:
What is your viewpoint on electronics as a diversion?

So many parents pacify their kids these days with car-installed, or portable DVD players and/or handheld video games. Could kids be making better use of their time, or do you believe such devices have earned a place in roadtrip entertainment?

I do think these devices have a place in roadtrip entertainment, but mostly as a break from other activities.

You just can’t expect children to be actively engaged and play games for hours upon hours. At some point, they just want to take a break and rest. This is when a DVD player is appropriate in my opinion. Kick back and watch a movie, then everyone will be refreshed ready to be involved again.

A family car trip is one of the best opportunities parents have to spend a lot of time really talking with their children, and it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. One of my website readers once wrote to me and said, “The trip there is half the fun because our vacation starts the minute we get in the car.”

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February 14, 2008   3 Comments