Sometimes the best things in life don’t mix (pizza and pineapple, for example), but when it comes to your family, choosing family or travel simply isn’t an option. We want to show our loved ones the world, see the joy on their faces, and share irreplaceable moments with them from birth to when they have children of their own.
The ideals are flawless, but the execution is often lacking. Kids have shorter attention spans, and typically don’t like traveling in cars for extended periods. So, for the kids to remain happy and the adults to remain sane, it’s vital to keep them entertained.
If you’re planning a road trip and dreading sharing a confined space with loud and messy little…angels, this article might just be a lifesaver. Read on to unearth some of the most essential product for surviving a road trip with kids. You’ll be glad you did.
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While this product does not fall into the entertainment category, it can prove to be one of the investments you’ll ever make. The semi-darkness and protection from the sun that these kinder Fluff Sun Shades provide can help keep your kids happy, healthy, and potentially help them settle down to nap. Wouldn’t that be a blessing?More: 9 Best Pet Carriers for Travel on Amazon
The ability to play a movie for your kids as you travel down the road is one of the best chances to buy an hour or two of semi-quiet. The DBPower Portable DVD Player does just that in a conveniently-sized package. It features a rechargeable battery, car charger, SD and USB compatibility, and a screen that can be rotated and flipped. It’s truly an essential road trip survival product.
We could have chosen just about any DVD collection to feature, but nothing tops Scooby-Doo. Not only does this set feature every episode in the series, the DVDs come in an awesome Mystery Machine box. The goofy antics of Scooby and the Gang are sure to keep your kids entertained for hours and make you feel pretty accomplished as a parent—after all, if you’re showing them Scooby-Doo, you’re raising them right. Picking up the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?: Complete Series isn’t nostalgia, it’s good parenting!
If you’re too good for mindless animation, consider something like the Charlotte’s Web Audiobook. This kid’s classic—which has an animated movie counterpart, by the way—is sure to engage your children’s imaginations and keep them hooked on every word. It’s age-appropriate, but also an undeniable classic—truly the best of both worlds!
For an engaging road trip game aimed at a younger audience, check out Asmodee Spot It! On the Road Game. It encourages symbol recognition, quick thinking, and constant attention, making it a great way to keep youthful passengers entertained. It’s the perfect fusion of classic gameplay—like Bingo—and real-world engagement with your surroundings.
If the previous game is a little too involved for your child’s age, you can introduce them to the concept with the Briarpatch Scavenger Hunt Card Game. A simplified version of a symbol recognition game, this collection of cards features only one image per card, allowing your younger children to stay focused in their search and the task at hand.
While you may want some peace and quiet while your kids watch a movie, listen to an audiobook, or enjoy some music, adult headphones are typically too large and too loud for children’s delicate ears. That’s where CozyPhones shine. Not only are they extremely soft and comfortable with several adorable animal choices available, they also feature volume-limiting to ensure no little ears are damaged.
When your kids finally fall asleep, a wave of relief washes over you—until you glance toward the backseat. There they are, fast asleep, with their heads drooping toward their chests unsupported and bouncing with each bump in the road. To help support their heads and necks, the BCOZZY Kids’ Travel Pillow provides a cushioned wrap-around style neck pillow specifically-designed for kids. Now they can be more comfortable and you can have a little peace-of-mind.
Day-to-day life doesn’t stop just because you’re on a road trip, and neither does the necessity of potty-training. What does change is the cleanliness of the restrooms in which you find yourself. Enter the Gimars Portable Potty-Training Seat Covers. These cute reusable seat covers feature non-slip design, allowing your child to safely do business on a clean surface even while on the road.
Not all the time on a road trip is spent in the car. There are also hotels, motels, cabins, and maybe even tents. In cases where there isn’t enough space or an age-appropriate sleeping option, you need something quick, convenient, and lightweight on which your child can sleep. The Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed meets all of those criteria and includes a fitted sheet and travel case for easy storage. It’s the perfect spot for your young one to curl up and have sweet dreams!
For an activity book that is easy to transport, doesn’t require messy markers or breakable crayons, and can be reused time and time again, look no farther than the Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! This awesome activity book utilizes an easy-to-grip refillable water pen to reveal the contents of each page. When the water dries, the pages go back to white—ready to use again the next day!
This durable seat cover features a universal-fit design that acts as both a kick mat and organizer that is sure to make your life easier and your kids’ ride more enjoyable. The EPAuto Backseat Organizer puts coloring supplies, toys, food and drink, and cleaning wipes within your reach, allowing you to adjust on the fly and keep your kids happy!
Children under school age present a different set of challenges for families on-the-go, meaning that different solutions are required. Instead of games or coloring books, for example, they may enjoy the colorful spinning animals and accompanying music that the Tiny Love Meadow Days Take-Along Mobile offers. It’s a simple and portable mobile that is sure to entertain your baby and keep them laughing.
Crayola is a brand people recognize, and for good reason! They make high-quality art supplies that have entertained generations. The Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Washable Markers build on that tradition by providing small, easy-to-use, easy-to-pack markers that are vibrant and—did we mention—washable. Your kids will have hours of fun coloring with these fantastic markers and you can rest easy knowing that any stray marks will wash right off.
Air mattresses are versatile, compact, and pretty comfortable, making them ideal for those situations where an extra bed is needed. Your young ones are just too small to justify a full-sized air mattress, though, which is why the hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed is so great. Not only is it kid-sized, it inflates in under 30 seconds and features built-in bed rails to make sure your child doesn’t roll off the mattress in the night. It’s durable, comfortable, and most importantly, safe.
For a clean mat for your child to lay and play on regardless of where you are, consider picking up the Infantino Pond Pals Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat. It provides four colorful toys that are hangable for your child to reach for and bat around, as well as a soft-touch mirror for them to play with and explore. It’s easy to fold and pack, ensuring that it won’t take up too much of that precious trunk space on your road trip.
With easy-to-read maps of each state, fun facts about each state, activities to do in various places, crazy attractions, and tons of activities, the National Geographic Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas is full of engaging information, amazing photographs, and fun activities. Your kids will feel like they are included in the planning of the trip, learn a lot about the country, and be entertained for hours. This is definitely a road trip survival essential!