Cool Traveling Gear for Cool Kids (and Babies)

A lot of my posts recently have been reflective on my childhood, or summers in my childhood. I’m not sure why this is going on, but when I began thinking about how to title this post on cool gear to bring along for your kids on road trips, I, again, thought back to the road trips my family and I used to take every single summer. We had a minivan that was ahead of its time then. It had a tube TV, was pimped out with blue velour seats, and was our family “fun mobile.” Along with watching Kid Songs VHS tapes on our 8-hour long trips to the Midwest to visit family, we kept ourselves entertained by counting cars, singing songs, and telling knock-knock jokes. It was simple then.

Now that I have children, I’ve come to yearn for more road trips. We took our first when my second daughter was 10 weeks old and another just a month ago. I’ve come to learn through both these experiences that there will be vomit and tears and tantrums, but also a lot of fun. We did it and you can, too, oh, weary parent. You can do it…with the right entertainment. I mean, sure you’ll count cars and have “silent” contests, but, trust me when I say that cool gear can save the day.

Here’s some gear ideas that may prove as perfect for your child as they are for mine.

Ohio Travel Doodle Sketch.

My toddler loves to draw…usually on herself and our living room walls. She’ll refrain from these habits, however, if given the right “tools” to restrain her “craft.” That’s what this doodler does for us. It gives her a chance to do what she loves on an acceptable medium that, literally, can keep her entertained for hours. I love that it’s compact and durable and very affordable. (Amazon; $12.)

Califone Panda Headphones.

Because hearing Little Bear play over our SUV’s speakers for more than two hours is unbearable, we got our toddler these cool headphone by Califone. What’s great about these headphones is that they have built in volume control that prevents my toddler from turning them up too loud. ($14;

 Mosaic, Mo Travel Puzzle.

Photo Credit: Land of Nod

This puzzle is intended for children that are three and older but it works out just fine with my two year old. At only $6 bucks from the Land of Nod, this is a perfect carry along. ($6;

 Zoli Travel Snack Dispenser.

Photo Credit: Land of Nod

The Zoli Snack Dispenser is awesome. It easily slips in my diaper bag, is dishwasher safe, and each compartment holds a decent amount of snack. ($14.99;

Interactive Laptop for Kids.

Photo Credit: One Step Ahead

My toddler loves gadgets, so this laptop by Kiddieland is a huge hit. If you’re a parent, you know that no piece of colorful plastic can ever be as interesting or captivating to a baby or toddler as, say, an iPhone, but this one comes close…kind of. While my toddler knows this one is not as “fun” as mommy and daddy’s toys, she enjoys the sounds and that it lights up when you press buttons. ($29.95,

BenBat GoVinci Trolley.

And this is how my toddler carries all her cool gear around. Along with being a cool looking piece of luggage, this trolley can be doubled as a drawing table and mobile art display. I got mine in pink, but it’s also available in blue and green.($60;

Lamaze Mortimer the Moose Baby Toy.

Yep, other than a blanket, her car seat, some burp cloths, a snack dispenser, and the milk bar (also known as me), this is pretty much the only toy I bring to “entertain” my baby for…ten minutes. This toy has it all for my nine month old. It’s a rattler, a teether, and all kinds of fun. I just attach this to her car seat and she squeals with delight, every single time. ($11.57,

What gear do you bring along for your kids on road trips to keep them entertained?




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Jessica lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband and two girls. Once upon a time, pre-motherhood, she did many things as a “serious-looking” woman who managed to successfully balance a reality TV addiction with a career and academic pursuits. She's now a serious-acting woman whose primary job is raising her children. She writes, reads, fantasizes about minivans, and takes midday naps. She enjoys (among many other things) dancing to 80s music, photography, laughing out loud (at, usually, inappropriate moments), and writing about writing, being a writer, and becoming fearless on her blog Jessica F. Hinton

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