Both of my children spend hours in the car on a weekly basis, and lucky for me they have always been great travelers. Living an hour from most stores and doctors, 3 hours away from my side of the family and 15+ hours away from my husband’s family equals thousands of miles put on our vehicles every year, especially during the summer. With summer just a couple of months away we already have a number of day trips planned, including a visit to the White Mountains, and possibly a trip to the Cape.
Although the kids are used to spending time in their car seats, it doesn’t mean that they do not get restless and bored. Each trip I make sure to pack snacks and activities to keep them busy, especially for the trips when we are in the car for over 10 hours. Having snacks and drinks in the vehicle allows for flexibility and limits the number of stops we have to take when someone gets hungry, it also cuts down on the amount we spend eating out. If we’re traveling during lunch or dinner time, I often will pack individual lunches in a reusable container and store them in a cooler. I also preload the iPads with Disney movies and a couple of fun new educational apps, and make sure that it is fully charged for the trip. While the kids enjoy time on their iPads, I do set limits and have a bag with activities that includes coloring, word search, and Go-Fish. I SPY, and the alphabet game are also quite common now that they both know their ABCs.
Summer Road Trip Essentials:
- Snacks– bring along an assortment of snacks and drinks. Reusable containers work great for providing a variety of foods, leftovers can be saved.
- Reusable water bottle
- Playlist or CDs – convenient for traveling through areas with spotty radio reception. If your vehicle is compatible, create a playlist on your phone and sync to your speakers.
- Activity bag or backpack
- Crayons & coloring book
- Card games – Go Fish, Phase 10, UNO
- Small LEGO on-the-go kits
- Small toys – race cars/dinosaurs/dolls
- Mini first aid kit- we keep one in the car 24/7.
- Portable DVD player & movies, or tablet preloaded with movies – don’t forget the headphones
- Charging cord for electronics.
- Ziploc bag – to seal dirty diapers if there is no trash around, also can be used as a barf bag for those unplanned moments.
- Safe & comfortable car seat
These reusable containers are used daily in our house, not only are they great for packing the children’s school lunches, but we also use them when we go on trips for in the car, or a day at the park. I often use them for sandwiches, salads, cheese & crackers, and make your own pizza. Sometimes I’ll add a little treat like the s’mores dessert in this container that contains graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. I try to stick with finger foods that won’t cause a big mess.
The reusable containers can also be used for small activity kits. My kids are big into LEGOs so for our last road trip I created little LEGO activity kits filled with a variety of LEGO pieces.
Like many families, we spend the most time in the car traveling in the summer. As the summer season quickly approaches, an estimated 37.5 million American drivers will hit the road with their family in tow. Car seat safety is the most important component of keeping children protected during travel, and thanks to the launch of the Diono Radian RXT, parents can have peace of mind while driving long or short distances. Both of my children currently use a Diono Radian RXT in my car, the 8 year old is using it as a high back booster, the six year old as a five point harness and Diono recently sent a Radian RXT for baby boy #3 for when he joins us this summer. At 17″ wide, the Diono Radian RXT can fit 3 across in most mid-size vehicles, including our Chevy Impala.
The Diono Radian RXT was built with premium materials and has a steel alloy frame, aluminum side walls, and energy absorbing EPS foam. It is designed for rear-facing children (5-45lbs), forward facing with a five point harness (20-80lbs) and as a booster (50 to 120 lbs / (40 to 57 inches). The Radian RXT is the only car seat that you will need as it is good for 10 years and can be rear-faced for infants and toddlers, forward-faced when the child is old enough/weighs enough, and used with a regular seat belt when the child is ready to use it as a booster. We just recently changed our 8 year old (53 lbs) from the five point harness to the booster mode, and our six year old (46 lbs) will be in the five point harness for at least another year before we switch him to the booster mode.
Our Radian RXTs have been used for countless trips including two trips to Michigan (30+ hours round trip each) and not once has either child complained that they were uncomfortable. Their favorite feature is the cup holder, one cup holder is included, but each seat can accommodate up to four cup holders, two on each side. The additional cup holders can be used for snacks, crayons or small toys, and are convenient for road trips as they allow for easy access.
What are your must-have products when traveling with children?