Product Review: Some "MUST HAVE'S" for a road trip with children…

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Since we just got back from our road trip to FL and made it back in one piece, I thought i’d write on some great products that i found helpful when traveling with children. I have to say, my hubby was NOT happy about the amount of money i spent on “STUFF” for the trip….but some things were necessary in my book. SO, i bought them and just didn’t tell them or show them to him till we were loading up to go! HA!

Of course the absolute “must have” for a long road trip is always a dvd player. Whether it be one you put in the middle of the two front seats or just a portable lap dvd player…this was the biggest life saver for our trip. Along with that you must always have tons of DIFFERNT dvd’s to watch. When our first child was born we did many road trips back and forth to KS to see my husbands parents. We had ONE DVD…Barney. We played the same one over and over again. I can still recite it to you word for word! We finally decided to break down and buy some more dvd’s for this trip. We had a total of 9 dvd’s and we made sure that a few were longer than 1 hour. The girls LOVE animals so i made sure to get a couple that included animlas: Milo & Otis and “The Jungle book” were two of their favorites. We also bought 6 dvd’s of different “wiggles” shows! Those were a big hit.

Another must have is a pillow and blanket for each child. In place of an actual pillow, a fellow MOM friend of mine, suggested i purchase those neck pillows for the girls since it would be such a long trip. I bought them and they were really great because they helped the girls keep their heads from drooping when they fell asleep in their car seats. You can buy them at target for about 12.00 – 14.00 each. DO NOT purchase the cute kiddy ones though, i bought the cute little pink piggy ones the first time and ended up taking them back as my hubby pointed out that the nostril of the piggy was sticking out and was going to end up poking them in the head the whole time.

Another product i ended up buying at Babies R Us, was a little table like thing that goes over their laps for snacks, drinks and anything else you may want to put in front of your child(17.00 each). There are many different kinds…some hard plastic, some were flexible plastic & padding underneath that is comfortable on their legs. The girls loved the one i bought for each of them and it was very easy to secure with two little clips(one on each side of the seat). It was also pretty stable and we’d snap it on when it was time for a snack or drink. My almost 4 year old also kept her’s in front of her so she could draw and color some, while watching the movies. These were a great investment and we’ll be able to use them over and over again.

We also broke down and bought one of those plug in ice chests at Walmart for 50.00. This was a great investment for us because we were on the road for 12-13 hours at a time and i wanted to take milk for the girls. Having one of these plug in ice chests guaranteed that their milk would stay cold and we didn’t have to deal with ice or melting ice/water on the trip.

I also bought some fun new things for the girls. I went to target and bought about 10 new books at the dollar section and that way they had “NEW” toys and books to play with on the trip. Some of those water pens that you fill with water but it will only work on one certain kind of paper. That way if you have younger children..they can still play with these because the pen has water in it and drawing all over the car won’t hurt…it’s only water! :)

Most importantly, we bought a really cool “on the go potty” for our, almost 4 year old. This potty was actually a life saver. We had a couple of times where Hannah would have to potty, but we really didn’t want to make a big stop(get kids out, let them run around, etc.), Instead, we’d pull off of the highway, find an empty parking lot and pull out that potty. She’d potty, i’d put her back in her car seat(while the whole time the car is running, my hubby is in the front seat and the movie is still on to distract the other two kidos). Then, once she was done, we just knotted it, and put the potty back in the back and kept moving. This took a total of maybe 3-5 minutes total. The alternate, which is getting out at Mcdonalds or a truck stop, takes much longer…and to be quite honest…i hate germs so the potty is much cleaner for me. No chance she’ll touch a dirty toilet, a dirty germy knob to a bathroom door, or anything else that has to do with germs for that matter. The really neat thing about this potty is that you can use regular trash bags and or bags from the grocery store & you can take paper towels to put in the bottom to absorb the potty. If you are interested in the potty…they have them on Amazon.com for 50.00 each. I actually carry this in my car all the time now…just in case of emergency and i don’t have time to haul all 3 girls into a bathroom…i can pull over somewhere and let her potty in the back of our suburban. Here is a link to the potty: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-L1496-Potty-On-the-Go/dp/B000K7IF1O/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1212715290&sr=8-2

I hope this product review has shed some light on some things you should keep in mind when YOU go on your next family vacation with multiples. ALL IN ALL, going to Florida was a great idea and we all had a BLAST! I’m already dreaming about our next vacation hopefully a bit earlier in May, as going the last week in May makes for some loud partying college and high school kids :) It wasn’t a big deal since i’ve been there…but once you have children you really savor the peace and quiet you don’t get at a hotel when there are tons of kids partying it up and coming in to sleep when your kids are waking up in the morning for breakfast! HA!

Lastly, what would a post be on must have’s for road trips without a couple of cute pics of our first family vacation as a family of FIVE!

Hannah at the splash pad

L-R Sarah & Sam

Check out the view from our balcony…i truly think Panama City Beach, FL is georgous! I think FL will be our yearly vacation spot for the next few years. We really saved a ton of money driving, v/s flying…and who wants to fly with 3 kids, when your out-numbered anyway? O yeah and the luggage…OH the luggage for 3 kids plus to adults is CRAZY!

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3 thoughts on “Product Review: Some "MUST HAVE'S" for a road trip with children…”

  1. Great post! I have sworn by the DVD player!! Our twins are 4 years old now, but when they were babies and were facing backward, they would do good travelling in the car for the first 15 minutes or so, but then would start crying terribly. I guess it was cause they couldnt see us. It made our 2-3 hour road trips to see our parents NOT FUN at all!!! Once we got the DVD player, problem solved… I cannot say enough about how amazing an investment it has been!
    The travel pillow and blanket is a major necessity for us as well. We wouldnt be able to make it out of the driveway for long, overnight trips without it. I dont have the pillow you mentioned, but am going to look into it as the one we use now is just a standard “travel pillow” from WalMart and does nothing to help keep their heads from tipping over. We had a travel potty on the go as well and have made the same “pit stops” along the highway as needed… much quicker, easier, and safer than public bathrooms. WalMart has a plug in ice chest cooler?!?! What?!?! I will be buying that ASAP. We just got back from a trip to the mountains and with the 100 degree temps we have been having here, it seemed that we went through bags of ice every 50 miles or so to refill our coolers in the car. That will definitely be our next investment~ thanks so much for your post! PS- Florida looks amazing… I hope to go someday… what beautiful water!!! Looks like you had an awesome time!

  2. Brenda,
    GREAT post!
    I had wondered if there was such a thing as those trays! How awesome that they do actually make something like that! Would come in handy when we make the trip from NJ to IL….UGH!
    I SWEAR by the DVD player too! Ours was broken on the trip I took to PA and boy, what a horrible drive! The babies were just BORED. :(
    Debi

  3. Great ideas! Love the pictures too. Another great idea, that we got, was a Magic Doodle!! We drove to Florida from NJ back in Feb with a 18 yr old and an almost 2 year old. The Magic Doodle kept her busy for hours! We always pack blankets, pillows, the DVD player, movies, and a cooler. I like the idea of the one you plug in.

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