It’s inevitably. Eventually, some time in your life you will end up on a road trip with your kids either out of necessity or pleasure. Hopefully, it’s the latter. Because who wants to be forced into a 14 hour road trip with three kids? Not this girl! Just think of all that whining (I’m sure the kids are whining too!).
My family has literally been on dozens of road trips lasting three or more hours. Our recent one, two weeks ago, was four hours driving through a tropical storm. Furthermore, we have a 14 hour two day trip coming up in a few days! And no, I haven’t even started packing. I’m one of those people who work better under pressure and we’re all running around naked because we’re out of clean clothes.
So when we were forced to downgrade to a vehicle that doesn’t fit our family (don’t get me started on that debockle); a lot had to change. Our rule used to be: what fit in their backpacks could travel with them in the back seat. However, do to the unfortunate downsize of our car; backpacks aren’t permitted in the back seat. Kids barely fit!
With all those trips under our belt we have experienced our share of Pinterest failures. So I’m here to share some winning pin worthy tips to help make your road trip of any length more comfortable and successful!
1. Back Seat Car Organizer- Ya know, those hangy things with the strapies that go on the back of your seat to organize kid crap, your crap or car crap. With three kids in our back row there clearly will never be enough cup holders, pockets, nooks or crannies to keep their crap contained. And more kids means more crap.
2. 4 USB Plug Car Charger- Don’t mom shame me when I say that I love the invention of iPads. Those suckers keep our kids quiet and a quiet ride is all I can ask for. I know the minute their batteries die because the whining, complaining and “are we there yet’s” start. Heaven help me if I don’t have a spare charger. Luckily, the car that I have a love/hate relationship does have a plug for a USB adapter. Buy one! Not only that, spend a few extra bucks and get one that has enough USB ports or each kid that can reach it.
3. Backseat Car Cover- When we were going through our car collecting our belongings after the accident, we removed the car seats to pitch, and found enough food under them for three meals! It was disgusting and this mama had enough of allowing food in the car.
However, there is one exception: road trips. Nothing keeps kids quiet more than electronics and food. So in order to try and protect my leather and make for a easy clean up; I purchased not one but three different back seat covers. Why? Because I had to keep returning them for issues.
When purchasing a back seat cover keep these things in mind:
- Opening for the latch system (if you have car seats).
- Opening for a middle seat belt. This was the biggest reason for returns. I could find only one that had a way for our daughter to use her belt and moving seats was not an option.
- Make sure your car seat can have something under it! Certain brands do not recommend towels, blankets or other things under the seat.
- Washability. Yea, sorry, but after living in our car for two weeks the last thing I want to do is dry clean or hand wash only. Do people not realize how dirty kids get?
4. External USB Charger- Where there is a will there is a way. Somehow they will forget a charging cord, break a charging cord or not share the charger at all. With all the electronics we run as a family, there was bound to be a time ok vacation where we need a quick charge.
Buy a external USB charger and you will thank yourself. I can’t tell you how many times we’d be walking around vacationing and I’d run my phone battery down taking photos and video. Pick one that can hold at least two charges. It might be a little bigger and heavier but it will save you and your sanity in the long run.
5. A trash can- It’s always the most over looked item for us. Cramped in our tiny suv the last thing I need taking up space in my car is crap we don’t need. Here is our easy diy trash can that slides under the front seat not taking up space and keeps all the smells contained until we can empty it!