We’re planning a road trip this summer to visit with my family in BC. We’re all meeting in the Okanagan, which Google Maps says to be about a 16-hour drive. Am I insane? Yes! But we’ve already established that I’m a bit off my rocker. I rounded up a few items that will help me keep what’s left of my sanity, and hopefully help my kids have a good time, too.
1. High Road Kids Car Organizer, US$32.00
I’ll admit to letting my kids watch many, many movies when we’re on road trips (movies = quiet kids = safe driving), but sometimes they need a little screen break. The Kids Car Organizer eliminates back-seat chaos, keeping snacks, movies, and toys in their place. It has adjustable dividers for the inside and identical sides on the outside. I have to say that whoever designed this was a genius, as my girls would definitely squabble about who got which side were they not identical. Available online from amazon.com.
2. High Road Floor Litter Bag, US$18.95
I’m going to go ahead and assume that my van is not the only family vehicle out there that ends up being quite a litter trap. I found this 1.5-gallon litter bag that not only holds a standard garbage bag, but is also leak-proof. It has two mesh side-pockets and a “secret inner compartment” for a wallet or valuables. The best part is that there is an underside grip strip and inner weights to keep the litter bag stationary and upright. Available online from amazon.com.
3. Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Tray, US$19.97
My five-year-old is the queen of dropping things. She wants to bring something, a toy or a stuffed animal, on every single car ride and drops the item every single time. I’m thinking that on a road trip, many things will fall. The Snack and Play Travel Tray has a flat surface with a two-inch wall around it and two large side pockets. It’s made of soft, durable nylon with soft foam reinforcements that will fold on impact. It is ideal for toys, snacks, and colouring. Available online from starkidsproducts.com.
4. Kiddopotamus Cradler Adjustable Head Support for Newborns to Toddlers, US$6.05
My kids don’t often fall asleep in the car in town, but on road trips they do. I’ve looked in the rear-view mirror, paranoid about their neck position, wishing I had something better than a pillow to prop them up with. Enter the Newborns and Toddler Head Support System, which provides correct neck support for a sleeping child. It attaches to the headrest or back of any car seat or booster seat, but can only be used with a forward-facing child. Available online from amazon.com.
5. Kiddopotamus Deluxe PiddlePad, US$6.05
I don’t have a potty-training child at the moment, but I have had to clean a urine-soaked car seat a time or two in the past. The PiddlePad is waterproof and holds up to one cup of liquid. The soft velboa fabric is absorbent and machine-washable. Available online from amazon.com.
What item has gotten you through a long road trip with kids?
Jen Wilson is a married mother of three super-awesome children—two girls and a boy—who range in age from 0-10. She enjoys photography, organizing, reading, TV, and sarcasm. She drinks her coffee black and dreams of one day owning a dishwasher. You can also find her on her blog, JenWilson.ca, where she has been writing about life in Saskatchewan since 2004.