Minimizing Sun Exposure On Car Rides

Woman in the car wearing sun glasses, sun protective arm sleeves and sol Escape UV sun protection cape.
Turns out my family loves a good road trip.
 
We started doing this when the kids were little - stuffing all possibly needed baby gear and other 'essentials' into the back of the Suburban like a bunch of preppers, then making the long drive from Washington state to California.
 
Pro: It's an economical way to travel and easier than 'plane packing'.
 
Con? Well, there's nothing quite like piling six people into a vehicle with luggage, lovies, dirty shoes and socks, and food in various stages of freshness. Then driving several hundred miles with multiple stops at the zoo, beach, museum, and all manner and class of hotels and motels scattered in between.
 
Amidst the constant quibbling, over the years it has evolved into quality family time.
 
Now that my kids are older, the baby gear has been replaced by bikes, helmets, and outdoor gear, and our destination is food (frozen, fresh, fast, slow) + national parks. There's always at least one unavoidable cheesy hotel night, and various dead spots - real or fabricated - with no internet signal.
 
What I don't love is being in the car when the sun is streaming through the windows on my side. I feel a little trapped and start to fixate on how much UV is hitting me. (Side windows don't block UVA rays which are the kind that penetrate deep into our skin.) Since we can't always drive at night or when the sun is directly above us, here's what I do when I'm in the car (but not driving) to mitigate the UV rays:
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  • I hang up a window screen (see photo above). The one in the photo is left over from our baby days! It's retractable and held on by suction cups so you can re-position it on the window as the sun moves.
  • I position a hat on my head for additional coverage if the car visor isn't enough.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect my eyes.
  • I confess I put on sunscreen in the morning but almost always forget to reapply throughout the day - I'm trying to work on this. Also, I like to wash the stickiness off my hands after re/applying. It's a thing, I know, but I don't like how it feels.
  • I use my sun protective accessories to cover my arms, neck and chest.
It's all quite lovely to behold. But I don't care and neither should you!
 
*When I'm driving however, I have to rely solely on the car visor and my wearable sun protection accessories for coverage. Although admittedly, around town at a stop light you might find me behind the wheel holding a hat up to block the sun from the left side of my face while I wait for the green light...
 
P.S. I did a quick search on Amazon, "suction cup window shade", and a bunch of options popped up. Looks like it's not exclusively a baby item!
 
Share your tips! What do you do to keep the sun off you when in the car? Leave a comment below!
Suburban packed with three bikes on roof rack and three bikes on rear bike rack.

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