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10 Must Haves For Family Road Trips

Disclosure road trip Sedona Summer is almost here and many families are planning to take road trips with the kids. Last year we traveled at least a couple of thousand miles during the summer and now that the kids are a bit older and gas prices are lower we have even more road trip adventures planned. When we are on the road I want my kids to be safe and happy and I have found there are some things I just can’t live without when we embark on a family road trip.  Here are my 10 must haves for family road trips, all of these will help ensure your kids are safe and happy while on the road!

Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest

I have been searching for a solution to ensure my kids are comfortable and safe when they fall asleep in the car and I finally found it with the Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest.  My daughter would arrive to our destination with a sore neck after falling asleep in the car and sometimes I would have to move to the back seat to ensure that she was sleeping in a position that would not hurt her!

Cardiff Booster Seat Headrest

BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat

We travel a lot and it’s such a hassle and so expensive to rent booster seats.  This summer we are planning a road trip from New York to Toronto and we will have to rent a car in New York so when I stumbled upon the BubbleBum, the world’s first inflatable booster seat I was so excited!  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first but we have been using the BubbleBum for a few weeks now so we could try it out and we love it. It’s small and light and it’s perfect not only to take it when you travel as it fits in a backpack when deflated, but also as an extra booster when you have to drive your kids’ friends or cousins somewhere as it lets you fit 3 kids in the back seat.  I would say the BubbleBum is perfect for kids up to about 9. My soy who is 7 fits perfectly in it and really loves how comfortable it is.

bubble bum MyBuckleMate, Seat Belt Buckle Holder

Road trips can be tiring and when you have to stop 5 times for potty breaks during a 3 hour road trip you want your kids to be able to help out and get in and out of the car by themselves! MyBuckleMate, Seat Belt Buckle Holder makes it easy for kids to buckle and unbuckle by keeping back seat buckles propped up and easy to reach to buckling is a snap. I love that this product was invented by a mom and it’s amazing how much time it saves .  My kids feel really proud that they can both do this by themselves now, both my 7 year old and my daughter who has motor processing problems find it makes bucking and unbuckling so easy.

My Buckle Mat, Seat Belt Buckle Holder

Dual Screen DVD Player

So I’m not a huge fan of electronics in the car but I have to admit that if the road trip is over 3 hours long the kids really start getting bored and whiney; that is when the fighting and tantrums start and this can also be very dangerous for the driver! So if I know we have a long ride ahead I will let them watch a movie in the car. I love that this DVD Player has two screens and you can put different movies in each screen so that the kids can both watch something they like.  Because I am always trying to sneak in more exposure to our home language, Spanish, I have come up with a car rule: if they want to watch a movie in the car it has to be in Spanish. Since this is something that we always do they do not complain about it anymore or beg to see the movie in English and I am happy because they are learning new words and practicing their Spanish while we are in the car.

portable DVD players

Universal Tripple (3) USB Car Charger

We don’t have a new car which means that we don’t have a USB connection in the car and when we are on long drives we always have a few devices and gadgets that need charging between cell phones, DVD players, coolers, etc.   We all want our devices to be fully charged once we get to our destination and the Universal Tripple (3) USB Car Charger is the perfect solution as it provides 3 USB connections! It’s also really affordable so we got two of these in the car.

Universal Tripple (3) USB Car Charger

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

There is nothing I hate more that having to stop because the kids want a drink or a snack so having a cooler in the back seat is  a must for us. I love that the Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler is small enough to fit behind the copilot or driver’s seat and you can just connect it to your car and there is no need to put ice in it, which means that the drinks and snacks will not be floating in water when you arrive at your destination and there is no need to carry those freezer packs that take up so much space and that we keep leaving in hotel refrigerators when we travel.

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Ride Safer Travel Vest

The Ride Safer Travel Vest is a restraint that is worn by the child like a vest. It is designed to provide upper torso restraint while vehicle’s normal lap belt can’t. It meets or exceeds applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is great option for traveling when you are looking for something that is smaller than a booster seat and easy to take a long on a trip but will keep your kids safe in the car. I found this to be a convenient and light option that does not sacrifice safety. It was ideal for my daughter who is 9 and has some low muscle tone issues so we felt a portable booster seat and seatbelt did not provide the support she needed.

Ride Safer Travel Vest

Toy Organizer for the Car

Like I said before I am not a huge fan of electronics so I always bring books and toys along so that kids can be entertained as long as possible before putting on a movie. This Toy Organizer for the Car keeps everything in it’s place and at their reach.

Toy Organizer for the Car

The Complete First Aid Kit

We don’t want to think about it but accidents happen when we are traveling, specially if you have active kids.  It’s very important to be prepared on the road and while you travel and this First Aid Kit has everything you need, including a tooth saver to save knocked out teeth! It is small portable and has a hard case.

61lKgv1q7EL._SL1000_

Family Games

For me the time we spend in the car on road trips is very valuable, I love to talk to the kids about school, about what they like and what they look forward to once we get to our destination.  We also like to play old fashioned road trip games or games that everyone can take part in. One of my favorite games to take on the road is the Bingo – Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game, because it’s a magnetic game I don’t have to worry about the pieces falling under the seat and I love that we can all play it together!  This game is perfect for kids 4 to 8 years old.  Another favorite  is the Spot It! on the Road and this one is ideal for a much wider range of ages, from 4 or 5 to adult.

road trip games

 

 

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages. Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting . When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2015/latino-parenting/10-must-haves-family-roadtrips/

5 comments

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  1. Pam

    These are really some great travel ideas. Love them all but I especially love the MyBuckleMate, I think this would be perfect for my elderly parents also. They seem to have a difficult time locating the part you snap the seat belt into.

  2. Scott

    Headphone! Don’t forget the headphones for the kids so you don’t have to hear their games/music/videos/etc.!
    Scott recently posted…Thrift Treasure: Ghosts!My Profile

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      You are right Scott! Need to add some headphones. 🙂

  3. Katherine Bartlett

    This is an awesome list! I need it for when we go away soon
    Katherine Bartlett recently posted…Win a Mystery Toy Basket from Warner Bros and DCKids!My Profile

  4. Toughcookiemommy

    Having a good head rest is a must when taking kids on road trips. My boys always fall asleep in the car and I feel badly when their heads lob back and forth while they are sleeping and I’m driving.
    Toughcookiemommy recently posted…Lemon Parfait Recipe #MyGoodEnergy #TeamPremier #Giveaway @PremierProtein #AdMy Profile

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