I am a bit crazed when it comes to keeping things handy during road trips. With a 3 and a 5 year old it can be tricky as the minute things hit the floor they are out of reach- not to mention the crayons and markers rolling about.
These are the five products I can't live without.
1) The Snack and Play Travel Tray. I reviewed this tray about 2 years ago and it continues to be a favorite travel accessory. The firm foam padding is great for drawing and coloring, the tall foam sides keep everything on the tray and because it is nylon covered it's easy to clean. This is great for keeping items in reach, keeping food from escaping and is safe in the event of sudden stops or, heaven forbid, accidents. The Snack & Play Travel Tray is available from Family Travel Gear for $19.99.
2) A Car Entertainment Organizer. Because we have a mini van things put on the floor tend to be too low for the girls to reach or too far back for me to easily reach. I like this organizer because it sits below the DVD player (attached to the back of the headrests) and has enough room for practically everything- including tissues (we always seem to need tissues). With pockets and pouches galore this is an easy, effective catch all. The Talus Media Organizer is available from Family Travel Gear for $18.95.
3) A dashboard non slip mat. While this may sound simplistic I can't tell you how much I love the clingy mat on my dashboard. It holds my phone, iPod, sunglasses… And keeps them from sliding across the van when I stop suddenly or turn sharply. Not only is it an organizing tool, but I also consider it a safety tool. Amazon has a large variety of these mats beginning at $2.99.
4) A garbage can. I'll be honest, I've tried to “make do” with plastic bags but even adults have trouble getting trash into them. I love this 2 gallon leak proof model for a few reasons: Velcro grip strips on the bottom keep it in place, easy wipe-out cleaning and snap in side supports to keep it from collapsing. This model is available at Amazon for $13.99.
5) A place for food. Long road trips involve food and drinks. We've tried a few different scenarios for keeping things cold, but nothing works as well as our portable mini fridge. (It's also very handy for hotel stays if there is no mini fridge in the room.) The AC/DC lets us plug in in anywhere and it has a handy switch that lets us decide if we want it to warm or cool the items in it. Amazon has a variety of these, as well, the nicest begin at $79.99
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of both Family Travel Gear and Amazon. The items I have listed I do use and recommend but clicking on one of the links and buying a product will cause me to earn a tiny (tiny) bit of money.