Taking a road trip with an infant can be a much more relaxed way to travel than flying, as you can start and go on your schedule and without external pressures. But traveling as a new parent with a baby on board is going to be much different than you’re used to. It requires more forethought to ensure you can time your drive with your baby’s nap schedule and have the items your little one will need to be safe and comfortable, like a car seat rental. Follow these tips to make sure your family has as smooth of a journey as possible.
1. Overplan your schedule
Your road trip will be much more calm and successful if your baby is able to fall asleep while you’re going from point A to point B. Start your drive during nap time, early in the morning or late at night when your baby would normally already be asleep. Make planned stops for feedings, diaper changes and restroom breaks for yourself and your travel companions. Add some cushion to your schedule so you can pull over for unexpected reasons, like if your baby gets restless.
2. Lock in the car seat
One of the most important things to take on a road trip with an infant is a car seat. Bring your own if you have one, since you are already knowledgeable about its features and how it works. Of course, you can opt for a car seat rental if one is available from the car rental agency, a baby gear rental company or a store near where you will be starting your journey.
3. Organize the car for easy access
Once you get in the car and properly install the car seat, set up the rest of the space for ease of use. Make sure the most important baby items, like wipes, diapers and toys, are accessible, as well as the things that you will want access to without having to pull over, like food, water, hand sanitizer and a phone charger.
4. Get a hassle-free car rental
Waiting in a long line to pick up the keys to your rental car can slow you down and ruin the meticulously planned schedule you have for your trip. Look for a company that is known for its ease of use, like Avail car sharing in neighborhoods throughout Chicago and Denver. All of Avail’s locations are self-service, so you just grab the keys from a secure on-site key box, unlock the car and drive off without ever waiting in a single line. It’s an ideal way to start a road trip with a baby because it keeps you on schedule and reduces the stress you’d normally have waiting at the rental counter.
5. Rent the right car for your trip
When you’re searching for the type of vehicle you want to rent for your trip, think about how much room you’ll need and consider choosing a car class above what you would normally select. Even if you’re a family of three, it might be nice to have a midsize SUV instead of a sedan so you can spread out a little more and fit all of your luggage in the trunk with plenty of room to spare.
If there are two or more adults, you’ll want to have one person in the backseat next to the baby to attend to their needs and keep them entertained, so having more vehicle space will make everyone comfortable. To give each of you a break, add a second driver to your reservation so you can switch off on driving and baby responsibilities. Avail lets borrowers add a second driver at no extra cost, and offers Allstate insurance protection and 24/7 roadside assistance for every booking, so that you can enjoy peace of mind during your road trip with your infant.