How To Make Your ‘Dad Car’ Cool Again

When you have kids, the days of having a reasonably cool car are long over. Out are the sweet little two-seater sports cars, and it is in with the big wagons that carry kids and all the associated paraphernalia to school, daycare and the million sports and music clubs they all seem to have. We no longer go out for pleasure drives; instead, we become ‘dad’s taxi’, ferrying the kids around at their beck and call.

Does that mean we have to lose all our coolness though? Absolutely not! Our article looks at the few things you can put in or do to your ‘dad car’ to make it just a little bit cool and regain a little bit of your street cred. Read on!

 

Alloys

Even the most boring of cars can look a million times better with a set of shiny new alloys, and they are generally an inexpensive and safe way of funking up your vehicle. Visit your local car repair store – they should have a massive range for you to choose from, including matte, chrome and glossy styles. All you need to know is how big you need them and how cool you want them!

Dash cams

These are not just about making your car look good, but about keeping you and your family safe. Think about all of the videos you have seen on the internet where people have captured bad driving and crashes – often, this leads to prosecution or at the very least, gets you off the hook if you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Many insurance companies offer you a discount if you have fitted in your car. Check out Blackboxmycar for a vast range of dash cams for all kinds of needs.

Tinted windows

No, you can’t pimp your car out and have the front windows tinted because, in many places, it is illegal, but it’s okay to have the back windows done. In fact, you may find it a blessing in disguise if you have little ones in the back. They often like to nap right? Well, this will keep the back of the car darker and free from the glare of the sun.

Seat covers

Kids are messy: fact. No matter how hard you try, you will never avoid sticky fingers and crumbs all over the seats, and let’s not even get started on those toilet accidents and sickness bugs that young children are oh-so-prone to having in the most inconvenient of places. Protect your seats with a set of quality seat covers. Look for some that can be removed quickly and can be washed, prolonging the life of your car seats.

A quality sound system

Ok, so you are more likely to be found listening to the Moana soundtrack these days than Eminem, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have those tunes banging. Most standard car stereo systems are pretty low quality, so invest in a decent one for those family Disney sing-alongs!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Essential Questions To Answer Before You Buy New Wheels

Even if you’re not a petrol head, getting a new car can be pretty exciting. The trouble for most of us is that there’s too much choice. If you took a moment to search for new cars for sale, you’d be inundated with links and adverts, so how do you go about narrowing down your options and finding the one? If you’re thinking about swapping your car, here are some questions you should answer before you make a decision.

How much do you want to spend?

Budget is a factor for most prospective buyers. If you have a budget in mind, this will give you an idea of the kind of car you’re looking at. If you don’t want to spend a vast amount, you can probably rule out the latest sports cars, for example. Search online to get an idea of prices, and do a bit of research into the cost of makes and models that appeal to you. If you have a car in mind, but you can’t afford a new model, it’s worth looking at second-hand cars, which are likely to be significantly cheaper.

Do you know what you want, or are you open to ideas?

Have you got your heart set on a specific car, or are you open to ideas? If you know you want a Chevy, for example, visiting a Chevy dealer is a good idea. If you’re not sure, and you’re interested in taking a look at a variety of makes and models, taking a trip to a dealership that sells multiple car brands, or visiting a series of showrooms is wise. This way, you can have a look at different cars, arrange some test drives, and get a feel for each vehicle and an idea of how it would fit in with your lifestyle.

What do you use your car for?

There are multiple types of car available today. From sporty models and cool cabriolets to family-friendly estate cars and compact city hatchbacks, drivers have a huge range of options open to them. When you’re deciding which type of car to buy, think about what you use your car for, how much space you need, and how much driving you do. If you tend to use your car to nip around town and get to work a few miles away, and you don’t have kids, pets or tools to carry around, a hatchback is probably a good option. If you’ve got children, you have dogs, or you use your car to transport equipment for work or hobbies, you’ll need more space, and an estate, an SUV or an MPV may appeal.

What are your priorities?

When you’re looking at cars, what matters most to you? Are you all about looks or are you searching for a practical, reliable vehicle to get you and your family from A to B?

There’s a vast range of cars on the market today, and it’s always a good idea to explore different options and narrow down the contenders based on your budget and your individual requirements and preferences.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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How to Plan a Fun Family Day Out

If you want to have a really fun, family day out then this is easier than ever to do. With a little planning, you can be sure to help everyone to have a great time while also staying on budget as well.

Look around for Discounts

It is a really good idea for you to look for discounts online. A lot of attractions will give you the chance to save money when you book online as well, so this is another major benefit that you need to be aware of. If you buy the local paper, then it is also a good idea for you to look for discounts on there too.

Plan Way Ahead

The more you can plan ahead, the better. Some attractions will give you a significant discount when you book in advance and you can also avoid the stress of last-minute payments. You can also spend more time learning the route when you do this as well, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost along the way.  If you are driving over a very long distance, then it may be a good idea for you to set off a little bit earlier than what you planned. After all, there is no telling what the traffic is going to be like and if you do end up getting caught in a jam, the last thing that you want is to miss out on time at the destination.

Spare Clothes

It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they always need to take some spare clothes with them. This way you can relax knowing that they are going to be comfortable and you can also worry less about them getting too wet or muddy. If possible, you should always take some unisex clothes with you. This way it doesn’t matter who ends up wearing them, and you can pack less too. If you just can’t decide on a location to visit, then why not find somewhere that has some dinosaur props?

Snacks

You can never take too many snacks with you. Sometimes it helps to have snack boxes or even bags for each child. When you do this, you can help to stop any arguments and they can even carry each one themselves as well. This will give them some level of responsibility and it will also help them to feel as though they are part of the adventure.

Money

It’s always a good idea for you to take some loose change with you. Sometimes change can really be handy if you need to pay for the toilets or even if you need to buy an ice-cream. A lot of attractions also have “additional activities” that you can pay a small fee for as well. This could include things like feeding the animals or even going on a ride. It’s always a good idea for you to have cash for these reasons and you can even empty your change jar at home if you want. This will stop the money from coming out of your bank and it puts it to a really good use.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Keeping Up With Your Kids and Being a Healthier Dad

They say that age is just a number, and while that can be very true, we are all getting older (which is never more obvious than when you are a parent and can see your kids growing at an alarming rate). If you are feeling your age, though, then no could be the time to do something about it. When you are taking care of yourself you are much more likely to feel fresher, younger, and have more energy for doing all that you need to do as a parent. So here are some tips and ideas to help you navigate life as parent, and fitting in taking care of yourself as well.

Practice Gratitude

Part of being healthy and well is all about feeling good both physically and mentally. Which is why something that can make a difference is practicing gratitude, expressing thanks, and being more mindful. When you have a lot on your mind you can internalize a lot of stress, but this can help. Express these things verbally or perhaps in something like a gratitude journal.

Develop Coping Strategies

There will be a whole range of emotions that you will go through as a parent, and just when living everyday life. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed and others we can be overjoyed with joy. So developing some coping strategies is a really good idea. It could be taking some time out to exercise, deep breaths, or just dropping everything to be fully-immersed with your  kids and just playing. Ways to cope will be different for everyone, so find something that works for you.

Stay Active

Depending on the age of your children, you are likely to be pretty active anyway. And unless you have had a vasectomy, then you never know if there may be more little ones to chase around on the cards. But if you aren’t, or your only activity is walking to and from school with the kids, then it could be time to do something more. When you move more, it can be beneficial to your mental health, physical health, weight maintenance, as well as keeping you healthy from the inside out. Of course, time is a must, and you need to find something that you enjoy so that you are motivated to keep doing it.

Develop Deep Bonds with Your Children

When you spend time with your children and develop deep bonds with them, then it can help you and your health, particularly your mental health, as well as helping your child and their emotional health as well. There has even been studies that have looked into this and have found that a man’s work-related stress is much easier to cope with and deal with when they have emotional involvement with their children. Plus, the more that a dad is engaged with their children and fully involved, the more satisfied he is with his life. So it makes complete sense to get fully involved with your family, as it is good for everyone.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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