11 essentials to survive your next road trip with kids 

Summer road trips with the family can be long, but these essentials help. (Getty/File)

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Summer is almost here. If you’ve got kids and plans, that can mean long hours together in a small space. Those situations are stressful enough to test any parent’s patience, even when you’re heading somewhere fun like the grandparents’ house or a cottage.

Take some of that stress away by staying organized, entertained and comfortable on the trek with these essential road trip items for families with kids.


When you have lots of stuff to help entertain kids on the road, you will need something to keep it all organized. These organizers clip over bucket seats and offer lots of compartments for snacks, games, toys and even tablets. They also hold small water bottles and are easily accessible during the trip, giving you more peace of mind during those long stretches.
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If your kids are in car seats that don’t allow them to reach a bucket seat organizer, this car seat travel tray is another great way to stay organized on the road. It keeps smaller items within reach (and not on the floor), plus it provides a space for colouring, tablet time or snacking. Grab one in black, blue, red or pink.


Thanks to their compact size and attached stylus, these writing tablets are great for quick travel or just keeping in the car for emergencies. But they’re also handy for long road trips because they’re designed for repeated use. Kids can draw on each tablet at least 100,000 times, cutting down on paper and markers. They’re also fun thanks to the bright colours and pressure-sensitive technology, which lets kids draw precise lines.


There’s nothing worse than falling asleep in the wrong position and waking up with a crick in your neck. Kids may be flexible, but they’re not immune to that stiffness after a few long hours in the car. These convertible neck pillows help, though. They begin as cute stuffed animals to snuggle at the beginning of the trek, but come nap time, they provide extra neck support for an hour or so of sweet dreams.
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Tunes and tablets can help pass time on the road, but sometimes, a fun family game can provide a welcome change of pace. These portable cards provide kid- and adult-friendly questions like “What scares you the most?” or “What words describe you?” that spark deeper connections between parents and kids.


Sometimes, kids just need to fidget a bit of their energy out, and car trips aren’t a great place for that. Providing some simple fidget toys helps because it gives them something to focus on or play mindlessly with, depending on their mood. These tangles are colourful and fun to coil, but they also come apart for a little puzzle action.


Get kids to pay attention to their surroundings while passing time with a simple scavenger hunt card game. These cards are designed for kids aged seven and up and are easy to use while travelling thanks to their compact design and big letters. Play it as a family, or let kids compete against each other in the backseat.
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Everyone needs some quiet time on a long road trip, especially when you’re with your entire family. Let kids escape for a bit into their own world of music, stories or tablets with some headphones. These are designed for kid ears and come with a safe volume control to prevent sound damage. They also have a sharing jack for those times kids want to watch or listen to the same thing.


Unfortunately, kids can get carsick — especially during long trips. Being prepared is part of the journey, which means stocking up on some throw-up bags just in case. This kit is great to stash in the glove compartment all summer long. The cup design helps minimize mess if your kid does feel sick, and the bags tie easily for quick and mess-free disposal after use.


Kids often have to use the bathroom at the worst times — like when no rest stops are in sight. Squatting is also not an option for all kids, and the last thing you want to deal with is roadside splashing. Tuck one of these in the trunk, and you’ve got an instant seat for the whole family. This collapsible toilet holds up to 250 pounds and provides an instant rest stop for kids on the road, at the park or even while camping.
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It’s surprising how much garbage a family can accumulate on the road, and it can be a pain to clean spills and sticky surfaces caused by those wrappers and cups. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in a waterproof bin for the car. This one can hang or sit and doubles as a storage container or cooler. It’s leakproof, inexpensive and keeps messes in check.


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