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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.