Trip Essentials: My five necessary car items

Five Necessary Car ItemsClassic A 2011

So now that we have talked about individual back packs for the boys on trips, let’s talk a bit about what I have found is necessary to have in the car during a trip.

1. Technology. Kids are so strapped in these days (five point harness, facing backwards, and so on and so on), they literally cannot move hardly at all. You have to have movies, video games, iPad, etc. in order to survive any car trip longer than an hour. We borrow a dual DVD player and use that in addition to our iPad and A now plays a bit of Mario on my husband’s old DS.

Two essentials is that I have a CD case for the DVD’s (no numerous chunky DVD cases to store) and I’m planning on purchasing this iPad holder. Oh and headphones for A when J is sleeping and we don’t want to hear the DVD playing.

2. A snack bin. I bring a large tupperware with lid that I put snacks, a roll of paper towels, napkins, a few sets of plastic cutlery, and a small baby wipes package. I always opt for neater snacks (no cheese goldfish, cheez-its, etc.) and if we are traveling in the warmer months I don’t bring chocolate stuff that will melt. Our favorites are Nature’s Own cashew bars, Nutragrain bars, Aunt Annie’s Bunny Grahams, Welch’s fruit snacks, and Cheerio’s. And I always have to have chocolate chip cookies tucked away and M&M’s (I put them in a cooler in the summer)…that’s from growing up with traveling with my parents!

3. A throw blanket. This serves so many purposes. First, it’s great if someone is cold in the car they can use the blanket. Second, if you are stopped you can throw it over the car seats in hot weather to make sure the buckles don’t get scorching hot. Third, you can also throw it over the stuff in the car so it isn’t visible that you are traveling.

4. Garbage bags and container. I use an old sanitizing wipes container that I have washed out, and fill it with plastic grocery bags. Every time we make a stop we collect up all the trash in a plastic bag and throw it away.

5. Toy/reachable snack container. I love these Circo bins from Target. They fit perfectly between the boys’ seats and we already have many of them. I fill it with a coloring book, A’s color wonder marker and pad set, a few books, the boys’ little toy laptops, and a small open plastic container of reachable snacks that A can open on his own, and for J I have a baby snack container that A can grab out and hand to them.

I also put in there straw thermoses* for each of the boys (I like the thermos funtainer brand…they keep things cool for several hours). I usually pick up a few dollar items to put in there for surprises for the boys. I make sure I don’t over fill the container because once we hit our destination I use it to throw any loose items from the car that we need in the hotel.

*Just as a side note, don’t bring straw pressurized containers on a plane ride. We learned that the hard way with A’s juice, when the air cabin pressure made the container overflow.

EXTRA: One of the other things I have learned from riding with the boys is to make sure I can easily move the items between the boys seats so I can quickly move back there from the passenger seat if there is a major meltdown. I try to not stack up too much in between them…only the toy/snack bin and the throw blanket.

And one more…I always, always take non-drowsy dramamine. Having to turn around, read, etc. in the car, I need it!

Next up….what I always bring for the hotel!

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