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Can You Be Car Free With Kids?

If you are trying to decrease your reliance on outside energy you may be considering going car free.  Quite frankly I don’t know any rural homesteaders who are, because they often need to use tractors, animal trailers, or live much to far from the city to bike or walk.  Urban homesteaders may have more access to public transit, local stores, or car sharing programs.  Many single people have chosen to go car free, but you may be wondering, can you be car free with kids?

We spent about half a year car free, and over a year car light, meaning one car for our family of (at the time) five.   We aren’t any more, and being a family with young children I really, really love my van.  But I’m so thankful for the time we spent without a car instead of going into debt.  But absolutely, it is possible to be car free!  It may not be easy, but it’s doable.

If you are trying to be more self reliant, you may be considering going car free.  What if you have kids?  Can you be car free with kids?

At first it was very difficult and stressful.  after a while we are started to get the hang of things, but if you are car free with kids, you probably don’t need a gym membership!  It’s intense!

Tips For Going Car Free With Kids

Going car free with kids can be tricky, but here are some tips to make it easier.

  • Bring extra socks and panties and a plastic bag.
  • Pack a small snack and some water.
  • Make sure to have a little money and some extra bus fare.
  • Use a stroller that folds up tightly (like an umbrella stroller), or a baby carrier (like an Ergo) to be more nimble when out and about.
  • Store easy to install car seats at home in case you rent a car for longer trips or ride with friends.
  • Have older kids bike or ride a folding scooter so they don’t get so tired.
  • Get a cargo bike.  I’ve drooled over this one from Minimalist Mom in the past.
  • Budget extra time for frequent breaks.
  • Enjoy the scenery!  Feed some ducks or people watch.
  • Make it fun.  Play I-spy or run a short race together if they start to get bored.
  • Have groceries delivered, or have your spouse watch the kids while you go to the store.
  • Little red wagons can carry a LOT of cargo.
  • Produce as much of your food as you can.  Whatever you grow yourself is one less thing to haul home.

You may not want to be car free all the time, but it’s good to know that it’s possible just in case!  As with many things, this is a great one to learn by doing and just diving in and giving it a try.   Have you been car free with kids?  What tips worked for you?

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Tuesday 8th of January 2013

I totally agree. I am car free since 10 year and yes I it a new way to learn. I think it help us to be better at directions, to discover more places, to have more contact with people (openess, interaction, flexibility, to be more indulgent and loving and caring...). Thanks for sharing with us your journey.... Natalia


Tuesday 8th of January 2013

It's so true, there is so much to learn that we miss when we are encapsulated in a car.

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