By Alex Perdikis
The best family road trips are fun and give you and your children a chance to create lasting memories. Road trips can also be stressful, particularly if you haven’t planned ahead.
Here are 5 great road trip accessories to take on your next family adventure. If you’re lucky, you won’t hear “Are we there yet?” Well, at least you won’t hear it as often.
1. Activity Cases
Activity cases are perfect for the younger set. Cases can be individually customized to hold each child’s interested, whether it’s puzzles, stickers or coloring. Use brightly colored carrying cases filled with coloring books, crayons or colored pencils, puzzle books and other age-appropriate items to customize your own cases. If creating your own activity box for your children is too time-consuming, ready-made activity cases are available for purchase.
An additional tip: Purchase new activity books and games exclusively for the family road trip. New goodies hold the children’s attention longer, which is a huge plus for you.
2. Travel Games
Remember the games you played in the car when you were a child? I Spy and License Plate games were big when you or your parents were young.
“You can find updated versions of many popular games from the “old” days that help keep the children busy and your stress level low.” — Alex Perdikis
Bingo, scavenger hunt and travel game packages are just a few of the options available.
3. Car Organizers
Organize your car and all the games, books, wipes, toys and other road trip essentials with pocket organizers that hang over the front seats. Organizers give your children easy access to their activity cases and ensure other essentials are within reach.
4. Install Seat Covers
Seat covers may sound like an odd road trip must-have but think about it. Your children are in the back seat with food, drinks and assorted other items. What could go wrong? A seat cover protects your seats from spills, crumbs and other messes, they’re washable, affordable, and many come with pockets for storage. After the trip, remove the seat covers for an easy clean up. You can put them back on for every day seat protection or save them for the next family trip.
You don’t want to get on the road and suddenly realize you forgot the baby wipes. Make a list ahead of time of must-have necessities, so you don’t forget when it’s time to pack up the car.
Road trip necessities include:
- Plastic bags for trash
- Wet wipes for baby
- Cleaning wipes for cleanup
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Bottles of water
- If you’re traveling with a baby, extra diapers, formula and other infant essentials
- If you’re taking the family pet, remember food and bowls
- Emergency contact list
- Medical information, including current medications taken by each member of the family, allergies and emergency contact information
- First-aid kit
- Proof of car insurance and insurer contact information
- Extra pillows and blankets
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Roadside car emergency kit
- Spare set of car keys
Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.