This post contains affiliate links.
Travelling when you have kids is inevitable—but there’s no reason it has to be painful. If you plan ahead, you can make sure that everyone is happy for that special road trip. Since we have quite a few traveling experiences under our collective family belt, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the important items I’ve learned never to leave home without! Here are a few we love for traveling with kids:
Toys are non-negotiable for kid travel, especially travel that involves long car rides. The Lay-N-Go is a personal activity mat that transforms easily into a travel satchel. Kids can use the mat to play on in the car or the beach, then close it up for easy clean-up! You could even use it as a placemat for eating while en route to your destination. The material is durable and water repellent, perfect for the messy whiles of traveling kids!
Kindle Fire Tablet for Kids
I’m still not sure how we all survived epic road trips without these! Having the opportunity to give kids a distraction as you navigate the way to your vacation is a blessing for traveling parents! Amazon’s Kindle Fire will let your child watch movies, play games, and be quiet in general. It also comes with a kid-proof case and a worry-free two-year guarantee: if they break it, return it and Amazon will replace it for free with no questions asked.
Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, a nap is almost always in order (except for the driver, of course!). There is something about the constant motion of riding that lulls one to sleep, especially over-excited kids. Sure, you could stuff a pillowcase or grab a large pillow off your bed, but those are often difficult to maneuver in the small space of a car or plane. Travel pillows, such as the Critter Piller Kids Neck Pillow, are perfectly designed to be cute and comfortable for the travel-weary.
Snack Cases/Sippy Cups
There is nothing so frustrating as arriving at your destination, only to find the reek of spilled, rotting milk on the upholstery and cheese crackers smashed into the seat. Preparing ahead with travel-friendly food storage products helps parents avoid a headache (and actually enjoy vacation). It’s no secret we’re fans of Nuby, and they make fantastic items for traveling families. The Snack Keeper is great for little and big kids alike (especially for safeguarding those pesky goldfish crackers!). Nuby also makes great sippy cups for every age: with Clik-it FlexStraw Cups for older kids and flexible Clik-it Easy Grip cups for younger kids. All offer leak-proof technology. Your upholstery will thank you!
Headphones (For Kids)
It’s inevitable that kids and parents will disagree on what to listen to in the car. Kids want their music or games, and parents want…well..silence. Headphones keep kid-sounds contained. eKids makes kid-friendly (read: durable) headphones. They are comfortable over-the-ear devices that kids don’t have to put inside their ear (a common worry for parents).
Headphones (For Mom or Dad)
And Moms? Moms just need a little peace a quiet. So she definitely needs some headphones to retreat into her own little world in the air or on the road. Yurbuds are fantastic for listening to music stationary or on-the-go because they don’t fall out! We don’t care whether you are listening to music or just drowning out the cacophony of family noise, as long as you enjoy yourself!
Where will you be traveling this year? What are your must-have family travel accessories?
This post originally appeared on Real Mom Media on May 23, 2014.