[Brought to you by Volkswagen Singapore]
It’s one of those experiences you have to have with your kids – driving holidays! Here are 3 parents who lived to tell their tales.
Adrian Wee, father of three
“My first driving holiday with a kid was when my eldest, Anya, was just 3 months old. We drove up to Malacca with my wife’s parents. Malacca was an ideal destination because the drive wasn’t too long. Anya was a human motion detector. As long as the car was in motion, she was perfectly fine. It was a very peaceful trip until we got off the highway and hit traffic about half a hour from our destination. She cried like a banshee every time the car stopped. I had to brake 10 meters earlier and then inch the car the rest of the way hoping that the traffic would start to move before I had to come to a complete stop. My father-in-law starting making vroom-ing noises to see if the baby was more interested in the sound, and not the motion. The adults were never happier to see Jonker Walk!”
Safety tip: “The driver needs to completely tune out. Leave the chaos for the other parent to deal with; he/she needs to concentrate on driving. If possible, the other parent should be in the back with the child/children, where he or she can maintain rule and order. I’m so glad my wife does not have a driving licence.”
Jassmin Peter-Berntzen, mother of one
“We started with short journeys of no more than 3 hours to get Dre (short for Andreas) used to car trips. In June, when my parents visited us in Norway, we thought it would be a good idea to visit my in-laws who lived 5 hours from us. 10 minutes into our roadtrip, he did a big poop and so we had to find a carpark to change his diaper. We left at 6.30am hoping to reach by noon-ish so that we will be in time for his nap at 2pm. Dre takes his nap on schedule and doesn’t sleep anywhere but in his crib in a room with aircon/fan (ya, he’s a diva like that). Since we were delayed by all the pit stops along the way, we ended up still on the road at close to 2pm. He went berserk. I insisted on leaving him in his car seat for safety’s sake and tried to comfort him as best as I could … He screamed and cried for a good 45 minutes until we reached his grandpa’s house.”
Safety tip: “Car seats all the way! Your kids will hate being strapped in for that long, but it’s so dangerous for them to not be when in a moving vehicle, even if it’s just for a few moments. You just have to find ways to keep them busy (snacks, activities, etc.) and make short stops along the way.”
Sharon Su, mother of three
“We drove from London to the English countryside of Stratford-upon-Avon, Bibury and Bourton-on-the-water. We love driving on all our trips. With kids, however, there is a constant need for extra layers, less layers, clothes for spills, clothes for if they fall into a pond, snacks, drinks, a place for a quick nap, and so on … Having a car makes the logistics a whole lot easier. For this trip, we had initially booked a spacious four-door sedan. However, when we got to the car rental company, they offered us an upgrade and drove up with a two-door convertible. I rejected the car immediately cos there was no way our luggage would fit in the boot and it just didn’t seem practical. But my husband was determined to keep the car. So, he called the hotel to ask if they’d keep our luggage, we took only what we needed in two small bags. Looking back, I’m quite glad he insisted on his way because we really did enjoy driving with the top down.”
Safety tip: “When you’re driving with kids, you need to be prepared for all kinds of situations – including tiredness. Wearing sunglasses with polarised lenses will help lessen the strain on the eyes by cutting out glare, and this in turn reduces the risk of falling asleep when you’re driving.”
Now that the adults have shared their thoughts on safe driving, here’s a video with kids giving their two cents’ worth:
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25 Nov 2016