Road Trip Must-Haves

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A successful road trip with kids takes planning ... and a few fun items to keep them happy! Here are a few of our favorites.

Click. Click. Click. Everyone’s all buckled in and ready for the ride. A ride you’ve been planning for a while now. A ride that will take your family on an adventure to remember. So, before you buckle in, did you pack some items to make that adventure a more pleasant one for your child?

Riding in a car for long periods of time can put a lot of strain on a child’s patience. Gear up for the meltdowns by having your tablet charged and at the ready. Yeah, we know. There’s a lot of hype about the harm of too much screen time for her. But, armed with the right apps, she could be having fun learning, too. But, if you do opt to have some movies loaded, you’ll want something to house your tablet at the right spot so she’s not constantly looking down, which could cause her some neck pain and a few complaints. So, we suggest the iBolt’s TabDock2 ($39.95), a tablet viewer that conveniently connects to any headrest, allowing kids to watch or play on tablets from the back seat.

tabdock2_idea2

This handy little tool attaches to the bars of the headrest to the seat in front of him. The neck of the item moves in several different ways to get the best eye-level viewing for him, too. Don’t worry about your tablet size (well, unless it’s a giant one!) as the part that attaches to the corners expands to be compatible with all 7” – 10” tablets.

Keep in mind the volume of the tablet at this point because it is right behind the front passenger’s head. To make it a little quieter — or so you can listen to your own music — consider allowing her to use headphones or earphones … like the ETY·Kids Safe-Listening Earphones ($39; ages 4 and older).

Ety Kids

These earphones come in three colors (black, pink and yellow) and are created with kids’ ears in mind. They are engineered for safe sound output while maintaining good sound quality and allowing you to not worry about restricting the volume setting on the player itself. They also come with detachable ear pieces so that you get just the right fit for your child (warning: choking hazard).

Well, now that you’ve got her all fixed up with something to watch, the next thing to think about is her dozing off. Parents everywhere have had the hunched over child in the car seat before. They look so pitiful when that happens. So, help her to not get in that position with the use of Bubble Bum’s Sneck ($14.99).

Bubble Bum Sneck

The Sneck is a travel pillow system with multiple uses. It’s made with micro-bead pods and cozy material allow kids to nap without getting a kinky neck and easily attaches to the headrest with a Velcro strap so it stays in place allowing kids to rest without having to reposition the pillow. Really, if she wants to, she can fold it, roll it or bundle it up and use it however she wants. However, using it on the seat belt provides optimal use.

After she’s rested from a quick nap in the car and the tablet is of no interest to her at the moment (maybe because it’s battery is depleted — wink, wink), then you had better have some games, snacks and other fun items to entertain her. But, don’t make it hard on yourself. It’s difficult to keep turning around to find something to hand to her, right? Well, with the use of Bubble Bum’s Junkie ($39.99).

Bubble Bum Junkie

The Junkie is an all-in-one in-car organizer and activity station for kids is an expandable and harnesses to the center backseat with the use of the seat belt. That way, you have all his snacks and drinks conveniently placed beside him. If you have two kiddos, there are even two retractable activity trays built right in as well as another option to hold a tablet (so it’s between them and not in front of just one child, which can start an argument). There are also two cup holders and a removable tote bag featuring an insulated compartment to keep items cold.

With these items in place, you’re sure to have a more enjoyable time on the road. Now, about that potty break …

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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