New Travel Must Have Items

One of the recent perks of my blog has been the opportunity to discover new products for traveling. Some of the following items came to me by way of media contacts and some items I sought out myself, hoping to fulfill a need. In either case, I thought I would share new items I have packed for all of my summer travels (we’ll be on the road for six weeks this summer!)

1. Car Seat Protectors: When I purchased my new Chevy Equinox in December 2017 (read out why I love it here), I wanted to purchase seat protectors, but couldn’t find a match for my car. Then I read about Diono travel organizers and inquired about ordering a set. They are a perfect fit for my SUV and hook underneath the front seats. There are plenty of pockets and space to store everything from electronics, sunglasses, and wipes to coloring supplies, snacks, and sunscreen. There are two types: one style with two top pouches and a screen that protects the seat fabric from muddy shoes and one style with 8 pockets (some of which are mesh) for more storage. Plus, if I need to store the organizers, they collapse flat. And on the note of traveling in cars, safety is of utmost importance to me. Years ago, I obsessively researched car seats, because I knew car seats would be one of the most important items my husband and I would purchase for our children. I recently came across this article rating  convertible car seats, and I found it helpful in the process of choosing the right car seat for your child. If you have an infant, this article on infant car seats is similarly helpful in research, advice, and recommendations. 

2. Spruce Electronic Wipes: I think I first read about these wipes in Real Simple magazine last year and I bought a small package of them. They’re individually wrapped and pocket size, so they take up virtually no room in my purse or backpack. I just ordered the “office supply” bundle with 100 wipes and plan on bringing the whole bag for our trip. Each night at the hotel, it will be a relief to wipe off the day’s germs.

3. Keeping my kids busy can sometimes be a challenge, especially when we’re in the car for more than five or six hour stretches. We try and minimize screen time, so I was excited when the publishers of Screen Free Fun offered to send me a copy of Shannon Philpott- Sanders' book. It is filled with interactive activities for families. I love the section entitled Put a Fun Twist on Local Travel, which has dozens of activities that can be accomplished while traveling (yes, even locally to the dentist office) and challenges kids to try new experiences.  There are over 400 ideas (many of which involve community service ideas which I also LOVE) , so I don’t think we’ll run out of options! You can order the book here

4. On a recent trip to the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, I discovered a bunch of scented items for the car. The company sent me a set of Charming Scents car charms to freshen up my car. I especially like the design- they look like sterling bracelet and can easily hang from the gear shift or out of sight with a hook on the side of the door. Pink Sands is my favorite, but I'm hoping they start making Macintosh and French Vanilla soon.

5. A few years ago, one of my friends got my hooked on the natural oil thieves. It smells wonderful and is suppose to do wonders for your health and ward off germs and colds. I usually dab the soles of my feet each night before going to bed. However, I didn’t want to bring the bottle with me and risk having it break and spill all over my toiletries. I recently found out Young Living makes a travel size spray bottle, and I find it so much easier to use. I have two bottle ready to go for our trips and plan to spray everyone’s feet at bedtime.

6. Speaking of health obsessions, keeping my teeth cavity free is another top priority. But I can’t travel with my electric toothbrushes and I always get grossed out by grimy toothbrush caps. So when the Doctor Plotka’s company sent me two of their Mouthwatchers toothbrushes, I was happy to test them out. They are so compact and the design of the brush head makes me feel like my whole mouth is clean. I ended up buying a toothbrush for every family member. Color coding makes it easy not to mix up everyone's toothbrush.

7. My camera comes with me everywhere. I rarely take photos with the camera on my phone (ironically, the photo of my camera here is a rare exception). With the purchase of my camera, I was given a bulky case that takes up most of the valuable real estate in my backpack. I usually resort to putting the camera in a ziplock bag to protect it. I knew I needed a better plan for the frequent traveling I now do, and found this great case by Op/Tech USA. It’s made out of neoprene and, since it’s a soft case, it molds to fit the camera. It’s super light weight and will keep out sand and liquids.

8. I channel my inner, self-proclaimed reporter when we travel, and still take notes by hand (I can barely type a ten word text to my husband). I’ve been using leftover notebooks from my children’s school supply bin, but they’re bulky and large for the backpack (again, backpack space is priceless). I was recently placing an order on Shutterfly, my favorite place to go for prints, stationery, and personalized gifts, and discovered they also carry notebooks in the perfect size, 5” x 8”. Bonus: you can create your own cover.