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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kids with No Car

I've spoken about why I chose to not have a car and how I manage without one. Those of you with kids probably wonder how I am able to do anything and go anywhere when I'm traveling with 2 kids but have no car.
Have no fear- I explain how I do it right here.

2 Kids, 2 Adults, No Car


Baby Gear for the Car-less Mom

Strollers. Because I don't have a car, I consider it imperative to have good strollers, ones that can withstand a lot of use and abuse. Yes, strollers. I have three, all bought second hand. I have a single travel system stroller, a single umbrella stroller, and a double stroller. Best have strollers with big wheels that push easily. Preferably get high quality second hand over brand new cheap quality.
Baby Wearing. Baby wearing is a life saver if you don't have a car. It leaves your hands free to hold your other child or groceries or fold up a stroller. Consider making your own baby carrier, ideally one that you can use both on your back and on your front.

Walking with Kids

Building Endurance. The more you walk with your kids, the more strength they'll have and the longer distances they'll be able to walk. My 2.5 year old regularly walks a mile or more without tiring, as does a 3.5 year old kid I walk home from my at home daycare.

Best Walking Baby Gear.
  • If it is midday, your kids aren't exhausted, and you aren't walking insanely long distances, bring a lightweight single stroller. 
  • Double strollers are heavier and tire mom out more and should be used only when both kids need to use the stroller, like if you're going for many hours and can't baby wear the whole time. 
  • Consider wearing one child while pushing the other in the stroller if neither can be walking. 
  • Wearing your baby on your back is the easiest way to wear a baby and push a stroller at the same time.
  • If going somewhere with many steps, consider leaving the stroller behind and only wearing the baby.

Buses with Kids

Best Bus Baby Gear
  • Wear the baby when getting on the bus, leaving your hands free to deal with the second child and the stroller.
  • Use a lightweight, easy folding stroller unless intending to do shopping while out. 
  • If taking groceries on a bus, use a stroller that is strong enough to transport all the groceries, preferably also one that folds easily.
Bus Traveling Tips
  • Try avoiding nap time. Sleeping kids are harder to transport.
  • Take a buddy. Two adults, or even an adult and an older child, makes things easier.
  • Accept help. Don't be a martyr and insist on doing everything yourself. If someone is ready and willing to help, let her fold up your stroller or help your child board the bus, etc. 

Car Travel

Take Along Car Seats. Travel systems are great for this. 
Rides from Moms. I usually skip bringing along a car seat and wait till I find a ride with a mom traveling without her kids. Moms usually have available car seats in their cars.

Last Tips

Entertainment. Bring entertainment for your children on the bus. This will make the rides and waits pass quicker.
Keep Kids in Mind. If running errands with children, consider making detours to kid friendly places like parks. It'll make the trip more enjoyable and the kids more agreeable.
Know Your Kids. If your kids are morning people, try running errands during the AM. If afternoon people, then schedule your trips then. Can you trust them to stay put? If they're wild and not willing to listen and you're worried for their safety, perhaps use a child restraint, like strapping him in a stroller or using a leash? (Note- I've never used a leash for my kids and have no plans to ever do so. Then again, my kids aren't wild and I trust them not to run into the street the second I blink. If my children were of a different sort, who knows. But I am just throwing this idea out there for people who have no opposition to child leashes.)
Babysitters. If all else fails, leave your kids with a babysitter while you go run errands. You can barter this service if there isn't extra money.

Have you ever traveled with your kids without a car? What was your experience? Would you do it again or on a regular basis?


Life Without A Car- The Series
Why No Car?
Managing Without a Car
Kids With No Car
Downsides of Not Having a Car- Coming Soon

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