With Top Products, Road Trips with Kids are Like a Luxury Vacation
With economists predicting a recession on the horizon. Ghastly gas prices aside, road trips are a viable option for families seeking the luxury of a vacation, yet on a reduced budget (and there are ways to have more eco-friendly car-based vacations too). There are some small, easily transportable toys for surviving a car trip with your children – otherwise known as child-distraction objects – but there are also some new products to help make family road trip vacations safer and more comfortable.
Best Family Travel Car Trip Toys and Products
- A portable DVD player’s usefulness cannot be underestimated. Children will watch the same ridiculous video over and over, but when they use headphones, at least their parents don’t have to listen to Spongebob Squarepants forget how to make a Crabby Patty again. The best portable DVD players are worthy investments for road trips.
- Don’t plug your kids into consumer electronics for the entire trip, though; the luxury of time with our family is better if some of it is spent actually interacting with them. Imaginative play is its own reward: My Little Pony, The Littlest Pet Shop, Transformers, Star Wars, and other action figures are all sturdy, easy to take on a road trip and allow parents to eavesdrop on the stories their children invent in the back seat.
- Remember Lite-Brites? They’ve been around for decades, but the newest incarnation is a travel size Lite-Brite, complete with a built-in storage drawer for storing those little colorful plastic pegs. Yes, some will still end up on the floor of the car, but they’re easily picked up. Kids can entertain themselves making colorful designs and (if history is any indicator) flicking the light on and off in an attempt to create a strobe effect. The travel console comes with over 120 plastic pegs, and a light bulb inside, but the 2 C batteries are not included.
- Buckle-Pals are seatbelt strap holders; they work by holding the floppy straps off to the side while children get into their car seats and boosters. It sounds simple, but many parents have been annoyed by groping around for “missing” seat belt straps while buckling their kids into the booster and car seats; this eliminates the problem. Buckle-Pals fit universally into convertible car seats and boosters, and infant (rear-facing) car seats as well.
- BedBugz are inflatable bed rails that attach to hotel beds’ mattresses. These are great for travel since hotels don’t always supply child-safe beds or cribs. Nice and soft, these air-filled bedrails don’t cause the pain or surprise of their metal counterparts. They deflate easily to repack in the morning. BedBugz are available at major retailers, or through ToddlerCoddler.com.
The luxury of time with our families is increasingly rare. Make the most of a family road trip by planning to keep children entertained and safe in the back seat. Any of these best family travel road trip toys and products should help.