Revving up for a Christmas road-trip!

stockings (C) pixabayIn just a few days we’ll be united in eating turkey, watching the Queen’s speech, opening unwanted presents and being with the ones we love.

But one thing that divides me and my friend Aidan is Christmas. He’s of the view that it’s a time for getting away – while I’m more of a traditionalist spending it with the family –  Eastenders style rows & all!

So this year ‘to save you from tears’ (sorry, couldn’t help it!), will be doing a ‘What’s Best Test’ to find out which is the more relaxing and rewarding – the holidays with or without the extended family…

Escape from the City

Aidan, his partner and furry friend Dudley are hiring the Honda HR-V and driving to the edge of England to enjoy a week in Cornwall. Escaping the city for somewhere chilled is hugely appealing, but I’m also convinced that a week in the company of just your partner could also be a recipe for disaster! We’re meeting at the end of the break, to exchange thoughts and cars, so I get to road test it with a baby.RV

Sitting Comfortably?

Meanwhile, I’, putting myself through a family Christmas – my first as a Mum. A few days after the festivities, we’ll be hitting the road covering 500 miles as we head north to visit the rest of the family. It certainly won’t be restful, but it should be rewarding…

maxicosi carseat babytoddlercarseat milofix 2015 black blackraven 3qrt group0+1 infant toddler isofix

The Milofix

At nearly 10 months and with extremely long legs, my Boo is now getting small for his Maxi-Cosi Pebble. A car seat I’m emotionally attached to, since it’s what he came home from hospital in. Parting ways with it, is like parting ways with babyhood.

But it’s been a great car seat, and I can see why it’s so popular with parents.

I’m a real stickler for safety, so I’ve been doing a lot of research ahead of our road trip and planning to get the new Maxi-Cosi Milofix.

This is something I want to touch on for a moment, because not long ago Watchdog found that 90% of car seats are incorrectly installed by shops – which thanks to their investigation has since been improved.

As alternative, I recommend taking a look at reputable dealers online such as PreciousLittleOne  where you can often get great bargains. You can then watch the installation video from the manufacturer on YouTube, as well as hire a professional to help install it, such as safercar.gov

What to look for?

When buying a baby seat look for an orange (ECE R44/04) certification label, and a good quality brand such as Maxi-Cosi, who have been recognised with numerous awards.

However, crucially, if your baby is under 15 months you may want to think about a rear-facing car seat, as research has found this to be the safest way for them to travel. The Milofix is one of the few car seats that offers both options – so it can be rear facing for the first few months, then forward facing when he comes of age. It is suitable from newborn to four years old, and at £199 is a great investment – or should I say, gift this Christmas!

I’ve only just touched on some of the useful things to know for family road trips, but take a look at this professional advice if you want to learn more.

Recommendations Please

Do you have any other tips or recommendations on how to survive car journeys with dogs and babies? Is there any essentials we should bring with us? And most important of all, what songs can I compile on my playlist, that don’t incude Chris Rea’s driving home for Christmas! All answers on the back of a postcard, or failing that, in the comments section below.

Thanks and please drive safe xxx

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