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Guide to Driving Carpool and Keeping Sane

driving carpoolDriving carpool have you anxious? Whether this fall is the first time you’ll experience this parental right of passage or you’ve been driving carpool for years, there are a few tricks to help you ease into the routine of shuttling kids back and forth.

We’ve broken the tips down into four main key areas that will have you driving carpool like a pro in no-time, or at least appearing like you are.

Tip #1: Be Prepared! You’ve heard the phrase, “expect the unexpected” and it’s true for carpool. Anytime you have kids in a confined space, you’ll need to be ready. Here’s a list of items you should consider having in your vehicle:

  • Kleenix
  • Wet Wipes
  • Band-Aids
  • Garbage bag or container
  • Towel or rag for spills
  • Safety pins
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notepaper
  • AAA Card, Phone, Phone Book, & Emergency numbers

This article, “Car pool ideas for busy parents” has more ideas.

Tip #2: Plan Your Routes. Check ahead for any construction, detours, and other delays that may have popped up over the summer. Create a cheat sheet of school/after school addresses and start/end times in the car. If you frequently or periodically drive carpool for other kids, add their information to the list, and keep it in the vehicle, not your wallet or purse. That way if the need arises and a less familiar spouse takes over for a day, he/she has the information right there. Get a few more ideas here.

Tip #3: A Plan for a Clean Vehicle. Sorry to say it, but all the best efforts to keep your vehicle clean will not stop dirt, snow, dust, crumbs, etc from building up. If you allow beverages and/or snacks in your vehicle, keeping it clean is a never-ending task. Here are some DIY Tips for cleaning your own vehicle.

Tip #4: Travel Snacks. Now that you have a plan for keeping your vehicle clean, let’s work on getting it dirty again. Plan some travel snacks that work well for sleepy kids needing breakfast in the morning on the way to school, and hungry kids needing snacks after school or activities. We put together a bunch of travel snack ideas and resources.

“Basic School Carpool Rules” is a good article for establishing some ground rules too.

What would you add to this list? Make sure you are safe on the road. Have your vehicle serviced and tires checked. The TireZoo is here to help make sure your tires are safe. Let us know how we can help!