Wandering the World: 10 Ways to Make your Roadtrip Kidtastic
After traveling with 5-6 kids for long (and short) roadtrips and have come up with some tricks of the trade that have made our lives so much easier! Want to learn the magic? Read on and you can click on the image to find it directly on Amazon...
Slip On Shoes
This would seem like such a simple and obvious thing, but you would be surprised! Typically, our kiddos wear flip flops, crocs, natives or slippers while we travel. Each prefers something different and a lot depends on the length of the trip and the weather. Slip on shoes mean more comfort while in the car, but you don't have to spend 20 minutes finding, putting on and tying shoes for a quick potty run.
AC Power Outlet Inverter
This is a power outlet that plugs into your cars cigarette lighter and allows you to use regular plugs in the car. Most of the time it is used for bulk charging of multiple kindles. But we have had wonky iphone car chargers, plugged in a TV, etc. If you are pulling a camper, your camper electricity should also work if your car is running and they are hooked up to each other.
Kindles... one for everyone
With the launch of Amazon's new $50 tablet, there is literally no reason not to. Even better, you can buy 5 and get the 6th free!! We love ours, allowing kids to play games, read books, listen to music or audio books. They are amazing! We also love Freetime. Each kid has a rugged case (worth it!!!) to protect the kindle and their own over the ears flip headphones. It is totally worth it. Even if we are discouraging screen time, there are times when it just gets you where you need to go.
These are so awesome! They are tin cases that have designs on them and come with a bunch of magnet pieces. This paper dress up dolls for the 21st century! They come in boy and girl and non-specific designs and are awesome travel toys. They pack up small, are self contained, don't get lost and can be used even during a dinner stop. Win Win!
Water Bottles, Bento Boxes & PipSqueezes
While reusable isn't always the best on a roadtrip, we think these three things are worth their weight in gold! We LOVE the Contigo water bottles. They don't spill, are easy to use, even for the baby and easy to clean. The best part is that they last forever! Bento Boxes are perfect for left overs to eat in the car, snacks on the go, and your picky eaters who just want what they want. No spills, no leaks and keeps food cool too! The PipSqueezes are our kids favorite thing ever. They are reusable food pouches. Our breakfast resistant kids love their morning smoothies in these! We make big batches and then freeze them. They will last in the cooler for at least two days or longer. And then they get a decent breakfast. They are super easy to clean (even in the dishwasher) and are a good portion size.
Hanging Toiletry Bags
You might think this is obvious, but we aren't using it like you might think! We use them in the car. The zippered pockets are perfect for pencils, markers, scissors, notepads and other fun stuff. Even little toys from Dollar Tree! The bigger pouch on the bottom can hold diapers, tablets and chargers, snacks, whatever your kiddo may need! They hang on their hook or the seat in front of them and work perfectly. They can also be packed up easily for the longer stays in the camper or hotel.
Coloring and Good Markers... For You!
Seriously. Trips with kids are stressful and crazy and sometimes you just need a moment. This particular coloring book is my favorite for travels. The quotes on the back and the inspiration on the page are always appropriate. These particular markers aren't super high end, but they work great for this and will travel well in their little roll up!
Shower Caddy & Mesh Dryer Bags
While you may wonder why you need these on a roadtrip, I promise they will make your life easier! We load up the shower caddy with the things we use every day. Shampoo, Conditioner, brush, toothpaste and brushes and then any medications taken on a daily basis. This is our "hotel" bag for when we are just stopping over for a night and continuing on. It is the easiest way to keep our belongings contained and easy to transport when we arrive in the middle of the night!
When packing for a trip, I pack everyone's clothes in Mesh dryer bags with different colored labels. Each dryer bag has an entire days clothes. So shirt, shorts, underwear, socks and pjs. Then I put one set for each person in a bag. This bag is the only bag we have to take into the hotel! I even include diapers if needed for the baby. You get in and out in no time at all!
You might wonder what in world you would need a waffle maker for! But if I had to downsize to only one appliance, this might be the winner! With a simple plug in the wall (or an outlet at a rest stop, I can make my entire family any number of breakfast, lunch or dinner meals. Eggs and hash browns, quesadillas, grilled cheese, pizza, cinnamon rolls... all can be made with a waffle iron. This particular one below is even better since it has a flat and waffle surface.
These are the perfect way to get through that post dinner, twilight driving time. Kids aren't quite ready to sleep, but it is too dark for much else. We break open those glowsticks and pass them out! They aren't bright enough to distract the driver, but fun for the kids. Even the baby is happy for a while.