8 tips for life as a no car family with kids

Can you really do family life as a no car household? We live life as a no car family and get by just fine, but there are some things to think about and some things I wish I’d known about along the way to starting our family.

Here’s our lowdown to life as a no car family with kid!

8 tips for life as a no car family

1) Choose the right pram or buggy / pushchair for public transport

We chose our Silvercross Surf because it’s really nippy for public transport, with narrow back wheels and great all terrain turning it was a must for us, a pram needs to fit into tight spaces on buses and metros when you’re a car free family and ours is a breeze to push, I do a lot of walking so a nice easy steer is essential. The suspension allows for greater volumes of ‘stuff’ to be carried too. Downside? Really small space underneath for shopping, see solution in tip three!

2) Good coats and shoes are vital

Toddlers walk reallllly slowly! Consequently the whole family really needs decent coats and shoes, you can’t dash about with a toddler so you need to be well prepared for the weather, my toddler loves the rain, me, not so much, so I need a good raincoat to keep me dry so I don’t get as bothered by the downpour!

3) Make shopping easier with better storage

I invested in a great pram friendly shopping net that lets me use all thes space under the pram saving me having to shop daily, it’s not always easy to get it home but this way I can carry more than I’d manage just under the pram and it spreads the weight to avoid a dangerous shopping bag buggy tip that we’ve all seen happen and fretted over.

4) Plan ahead

So you can’t just nip to the shops for an extra pack of nappies/wipes/food whatever… When you can’t get out as easily as you might if you had a car you do need to plan ahead a little but it’s not a big deal if you get in the habit of list making and thinking ahead.

5) Make the most of gym-free exercise

No really, getting out and about in the fresh air without the luxury of a car is great exercise!

6) Relax your schedule

You just can’t do as much when you can’t hop here and there by car, but it’s actually quite nice to enjoy life at a toddler pace. So Joss and I only manage to get out for one activity each day? So what? She likes to nap at home in the afternoons and I like to cook, everyone wins and there’s none of that rushing about. I won’t lie and say some days we do miss out on things, another toddler group, softplay or we can’t ‘pop’ to the shops or swimming pool, but it’s all she’s ever known and she loves public transport!

7) Take a break mama/dada

I only learned this recently, yes you want to get the 2pm bus home and you’re tired but don’t rush about. I have learned to take the time to stop for a break before we head back, it’s not light work pushing a pram the 20 minutes home so Joss and I often stop to enjoy a drink or a sit down on a bench somewhere to just catch our breath before we head off again, lesson learned, I’ve got the energy to chase her about when we get home instead of flopping down knackered!

8) Consider carrying them

And finally, you could do worse than consider a sling as a public transport using / walk everywhere parent! Our baby carrier is so well used and has grown with her, it’s invaluable for days out without a car!

What about you? Do you have a car? Do you sometimes leave it home to enjoy a ride on the bus or train, or to walk? What are your tips?

4 thoughts on “8 tips for life as a no car family with kids

  1. We’ve been without a car since January and my 3 year old now walks half an hour to nursery and half an hour back. I’ve come to enjoy those half an hour walks as I get to talk to her, sing with her and play spot the number/letter games. And the best fun is when it’s raining!

    I got rid of the pushchair when she was 2 so she’s used to walking – and yes, you do have to go slow but that’s part of the fun.

    The only thing I really struggle with is the weekly shop – confess I often go with a friend to get this done.

  2. Great post!
    I quite often choose to leave the car at home for many of the reasons above! We walk and get the bus as much as possible. It’s cheaper. It means we’re not on a time constraint to get back to the car because of car parking charges. I don’t have to keep transferring her between car seat and pushchair. She can really observe her surroundings and loves people watching on the bus – not a trip goes by when she doesn’t get a smile out of a fellow passenger! I do need to invest in some more shopping storage though, that’s usually where I come unstuck!

  3. Getting a sling is such a good idea. It’s not only great for bonding, but also handy when you are getting on the bus. We didn’t have a car until Amy was a little over a year old and public transport was a real pain as there were always buggies on there when we wanted to get on the bus. We sometimes ended up letting three buses go past before we could get on one with the buggy.

    Thanks for sharing your tips and linking up to Monday Parenting Pin It Party.

  4. Pingback: Travelling with toddlers - 7 Tips for a no-car city break Mums' Days

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