Where has the time gone?? There are only a few more weeks of school left, which means Summer is on it’s way!  Summer is such a fantastic time to connect as a family. The school year, with it’s busy schedules and chaos, makes it difficult to eat dinner all together let alone have fun, connect and make memories!  Summer brings with it a sense of relaxation and the hope for adventure. Whether you plan on travelling near or far, enjoying local “staycations” or blockbuster epic trips, there are some essentials for families who travel.

Since we have quite a few travelling experiences under our collective family belt, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the important items I’ve learned never to leave home without!  Here are a few we love:

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Lay-N-Go Lite

Toys are non-negotiable for kid travel, especially travel that involves long car rides. The Lay-N-Go Lite is an 18-inch personal activity mat that transforms easily into a travel satchel. Kids can use the mat to play on in the car or the beach, then close it up for easy clean up!  You could even use it as a placemat for eating while en route to your destination. The material is durable and water repellant, perfect for the messy whiles of travelling kids!


Portable DVD Player

I’m still not sure how we all survived epic road trips without these!  Having the opportunity to give kids a distraction as you navigate the way to your vacation is a blessing for travelling parents!   Portable DVD players, like this Philips 9-inch widescreen, is big enough to enjoy a show and small enough to not to be a travel burden. Now your biggest worry for vacation is which DVD’s you’ll pick out for the ride!


Travel Pillow

Whether you are travelling by plane, train or automobile, a nap is almost always in order (except for the driver, of course!). There is something about the constant motion of riding that lulls one to sleep, especially over-excited kids. Sure, you could stuff a pillow case or grab a large pillow off your bed, but those are often difficult to maneuver in the small space of a car or plane. Travel pillows, such as the Travel Friends Pillow from One Step Ahead, are perfectly designed to be sleek and comfortable for the travel-weary.


Snack Cases/Sippy Cups

There is nothing so frustrating as arriving at your destination, only to find the reek of spilled, rotting milk on the upholstery and cheese crackers smashed into the seat. Preparing ahead with travel-friendly food storage products helps parents avoid the headache (and actually enjoy vacation). It’s no secret we’re fans of Nuby, and they make fantastic items for traveling families. The Snack Keeper is great for little and big kids alike (especially for safeguarding those pesky goldfish crackers!). Nuby also makes great sippy cups for every age: with Clik-it FlexStraw Cups for older kids and flexible Clik-it Easy Grip cups for younger kids. All offer leak-proof technology. Your upholstery will thank you!


Headphones (For Kids)

It’s inevitable that kids and parents will disagree on what to listen to in the car. Kids want their music or games, and parents want...well..silence. Headphones keep kid-sounds contained.eKidsmakes kid-friendly (read: durable) headphones. They are comfortable over-the-ear devices that kids don’t have to put inside their ear (a common worry for parents).


Headphones (For Mom)

And Moms? Moms just need a little peace a quiet. So she definitely needs some headphones to retreat into her own little world in the air or on the road. Yurbuds (find them at Best Buy) are fantastic for listening to music stationary or on-the-go because they don’t fall out! . We don’t care whether you are listening to music or just drowning out the cacophony of family noise, as long as you enjoy yourself!

Where will you be traveling this year? What are your must-have family travel accessories?