Family Road Trip Essentials {+ WIN a Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT Car Seat}

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Brought to you by Maxi-Cosi Australia & Nuffnang

Road trips can be a practical and cost-effective way to travel with your family while creating fun memories at the same time. There is nothing better than packing up the family and hitting the road to explore, but before you head off on your road trip, make sure you have these Family Road Trip Essentials covered.

ONE

SAFE CAR SEAT

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A safe car seat is one of the most important essentials when heading off on a family road trip. For the last few months, Miss 2 has been testing out the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT car seat for me to review.

What I love about the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT car seat and why I highly recommend it:

  • Easy installation. Installing the car seat was so easy and it only took me minutes using the ISOFIX system.
  • Comfortable. One thing I’ve noticed about this car seat is how miss 2 sits in it. The seat is deep, and she sits snug back into the seat.
  • Extended rearward facing option – One of the many fantastic features of the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT is the option to rearward face up to 30 months.
  • Easy to wash. All the covers of the seat are easily removed for washing.
  • Safe and stylish at the same time. The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT comes in a range of different colours to match your car interior.

The Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT is Maxi-Cosi’s safest car seat, so you know your baby is protected when you’re on the road.

Some of the key features include:

  • ISOFIX compatible soft latch system, for safe and secure installation.
  • GCELL next generation, crash-absorbing technology for enhanced side full body protection. This helps reduce the crash forces much like a bumper does for your car.
  • Air Protect Side Impact Protection cushions significantly reduce the impact of side impact collisions through the controlled release of air.
  • Extended rearward facing up to 30 months.
  • Forward facing up to 4 years or until the shoulders right the highest height marker.
  • “Cool Baby” wicking fabric that keeps little ones cool during summer.

Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT

TWO

Entertainment

Pack the fully charged iPad, portable DVD player and headphones. If your kids are anything like mine, they will get bored easily. Pack lots of extra new activities to keep them busy.

Activities that are interesting and easy to pack:

  • Magnifying glass with some leaves or sticks
  • I spy bag or bottle. Check out Pinterest on how to make your own.
  • Easy child-friendly crosswords
  • Colouring books with invisible ink
  • Travel packs with new toys

THREE

Food and drinks

I recommend packing a cold bag for up front and a bigger esky in the boot. I keep the cold bag up front so the snacks and drinks are easy to access and pass back to the little ones.

Easy snacks to pack:

  • Whole pieces of fruit or cut up for younger children
  • Individually packed chips or crackers. I generally buy a large bag and divide them up into snack-sized Ziplock bags.
  • Water in non-spill cups or pop top style drink bottles
  • Sweet treats to prevent any meltdowns (whatever works, right?)
  • Pre-made sandwiches cut into bite-sized pieces or squares for older children
  • Yoghurt pouches or fruit pouches

FOUR

Potty

I can’t tell you how many times we have used our potty in the boot when toilet training or heading on a road trip. It makes things a lot easier without the need of finding a public toilet. We pull over to a safe spot and use the potty in the boot, and rinse it out with a bottle of water once done. Don’t forget to pack some WetOnes or toilet paper.

FIVE

The Essentials Kit

I always keep this kit stocked up in the car at all times.

  • Spare set of kids clothes with underwear or nappy
  • Baby wipes
  • Medical kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sick bag
  • Plastic bags

GIVEAWAY

 

Win me

Prize: 1x Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT car seat RRP $549.00

To be in the running, simply answer the following question below: What is your one road trip essential, and why?

One entry per person. Competition opens at 6:01 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (“AEDT”) on Thursday 24 March 2016 and will continue until 9.00 pm AEDT on Thursday 7th April 2016 (“Promotion Period”).

The winner will be contacted by email.

Terms and conditions 

 

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159 Comments

  • Our one essential travel item is the travel packs i make up for each child which have healthy snacks, water and small toys eg threading beads, quiet books, mini magna doodles and books to keep them busy

  • Sense of humour.
    Because when you get lost, the baby’s nappy has leaked & the 6 year old has run out of battery on the iPad.
    You pull up your socks, have a huge chuckle and get back on the road.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Congratulations! You’ve won the amazing Maxi Cosi EURO NXT car seat. You definitely need the sense of humour on a road with kids.

      I hope you love the car seat just as much as I do.

  • Imagination.
    Road trips with children can be tough, the “are we there yet”, the crying, the boredom for them, the itch to move. Pack plenty of imagination to share with your children, make up stories, create fun little games, make up songs and dreams. Anything to keep them from being bored!

  • It’s impossible to have one road trip essential but we cant go without the ipad, as it provides games, movies, can take pictures and entertains all ages for hours which is great when stuck in a car

  • My one travel essential is my phone! Google maps saves many arguments about the best way to go! Also handy for taking quick pictures without getting the camera out 🙂

  • For long trips my ideal essential is a co-driver. While it’s not always possible that extra pair of hands to buckle car seats, hand out snacks, check the map or sing along can make all the difference.

  • It would have to be the iPad. They can do so much on them ie draw,games and movies and it keeps them entertained for a long period time and no fights as they each can do their own thing.

  • Our road trip essential would be a car service ? To make sure we can travel with out trouble .. & the iPad can’t leave with out the iPad!

    • My one road trip essential as of April (when our first bub is due) will be a safe car seat to take her home from the hospital.

      My other essential is lots of rest breaks to stretch my back during a long trip and a decent music playlist!

  • Great article. My road trip essential is wet wipes. It’s amazing how many disasters can be fixed with wet wipes.

  • My number one road trip essential is snacks! For the love of god always pack snacks! Boobs and snacks for my little girl ( just turned 2) and snacks for my big boy (3). I like to start out with good intentions and give lovely healthy snack options but, as the restlessness (or, desperation for us parents) sets in we all know I’m going to start using the packet of lollies as tiny bribes for some peace and quiet and for goodness sake to stop the fighting.

  • My one road trip essential up until recently was the 12th Man cd collection on our IPOD as it’s the only thing my husband and I could agree to listen to ( I strangely love it even though I hate cricket!) With the arrival of our first baby this will now have to be replaced with some kid friendly tunes!

  • Mine would have to be food and water. Living rural where there can be hours between towns you never know what might happen.

  • My one road trip essential is definitely the ‘goodie bag’ for my daughter! This contains a water bottle, crayons, paper, reading books, stickers, small toys & snacks! Now let’s not lie here some of the snacks are a treat 😉 makes the trip a happier one! Would love to win, we just had a loss & are TTC again so it would be well used & loved <3

  • I have an extremely fussy 11 month old little girl who hates travelling in the car! Whether it be long distance or just to my local Kmart she hates the car. Because of this I don’t get the chance to go on road trips very often but I have found that her iPad and the abc iview ap have been a lifesaver in making the trip more enjoyable for myself and more tolerable for her 🙂

  • Definitely an awesome playlist on my iTunes! Worst thing ever when the radio stations are out of range & there’s nothing but the sound of whinging kids ? Haha!
    The kids and I love to sing at the top of our lungs on road trips so that’s at the top of the list for us 🙂

  • Before we go on long road trips I make up a treasure hunt with pictures of road signs, landmarks or animals we might see on our travels. The kids enjoy keeping a keen eye out for these things and crossing them off their lists and I love that they are taking in the countryside as we travel. Win win!

  • Plenty of snacks! Keeps the kids quiet and occupied (especially grapes). It even keeps the partner happy! Happy fam, happy ma’am!

  • My one essential item would be snacks for the car to keep little ones happy and incase we get stuck somewhere they won’t be hungry. Great article 🙂

  • Our essential would be our children and having a lovely time especially the youngest baby in the family to have a beautiful cosi-euro to ride away the hours in …

    Happy baby wonderful time for all ..

  • An open mind!
    Getting away with kids takes lots of planning, something that I thrive on; however, having a child has made me realise no matter how much planning, things can always go pear shaped. Keep an open mind to change things at the last minute & go with the flow…. It is a holiday after all. As long as your with your loved ones, that’s all the travel essentials you need.

  • A spare tyre in good working order, and all the kit you need to change it. Waiting for the RAC in more remote areas is no fun, let me tell you!

  • Some fantastic answers! My road trip essential is definately towels. They are super versatile, clean up sticky fingers, car sick, wet pants, spilt water bottles, use as blankets or a pillow for a nap, put them over the seat to stop it getting dirty, hang from window to stop the sun coming in or use as a picnic rug for lunch breaks.

  • Our travel essential is definitely some music with a good beat. Our son is a little dancer and loves anything he can wiggle to in the car 🙂

  • A good book! When the kids finally fall asleep (3yr old and 6 month old) its the only way i can tire myself out for a nap too! We’re currently short one car seat so the bubs one is constantly moving between my car and my other halfs (both work opposite hours) so i would really love to win!!

  • My one and only road trip essential is a portable DVD player for my lil one. It keeps her entertained for hours on end 🙂 It’s a lifesaver!!!!

  • FOOD! With 2 boys and a Hubby the only thing that gets us through is food. They couldnt care less if they didnt have ipads and entertainment, as long as there is food we are all good haha.

  • First aid that I put together. Including the usual aspects and then things like teething gel, panadol, paw paw and a few healthy sweet treats!

  • My road trip essential is a super size muslin, can be used in so many ways! Blanket if kids get cold, roll it up as a pillow, hang from the window as a sunshade, wipe up spills, spread out as picnic blanket, cover up when nursing… Always use these when out and about!

  • A lunch box each for the kids and full drink bottles (plus extra) and colouring books/paper and pencils to keep them occupied – my kids seem to ALWAYS be hungry/thirsty and its definitely accentuated during long car trips! I can also always count on pencils and paper to occupy them both for a good period of time being the artistic children they are! 🙂

    (And of course a full tank of fuel!)

  • fully charged kids iPads!!! They have always been a lifesaver in my many road trips to my parents house. Awesome distraction technique, no “are we there yets?” And the added bonus of the kids making their own adorable videos on the way which provides laughs galore when I find them later on

  • My one road trip essential is time. Time to take in all the beautiful things you see along the way 🙂 nothing better than admiring the simple things like animals and views!

  • iPad with aps and downloads of kids fav shows and music / snacks/ hand sanitizer for sure, garbage bags to throw junk you collect to throw and I always add a pair of thongs just in case there is a beach we wanna walk in passes by 🙂

  • Portable DVD players WITH HEADPHONES!!!! Definitely needed on long trips so parents can save some sanity with a bit of silent time by the kids ?

  • Definitely travel sick bands as anything over 1.5 hours my little girl doesn’t handle well and then plain snacks so we don’t overload her tummy (plain rice cakes, carrot sticks). We keep away from heavy items & big meals to ensure we get to our destination safely and happy. 🙂

  • The most essential item on a road trip with kids is taking their ipads to keep them entertained on a long trip.

  • A comfortable & safe Carseat! Bub is due to move on from her maxi cosi capsule very soon and we are looking forward to making our own wonderful roadtrip memories as a family 🙂

  • Would have too be stop every once and a while and let the kids play not just too stop fights but memories

  • Being able to laugh
    Lots of things happen on road trips that would normally have you pulling out your hair but when confined to a small area with others you need to be able to laugh it off and move on. Some of my favourite childhood memories have happened on family car trips

  • The essential travel item is a mirror for my 4 week old baby girl to see herself and entertain her and for me to be able to see her in my rear view mirror to ensure shes safe and happy in her rear facing seat.

  • Our one road trip essential is snacks! The only way our daughter can last 4 hours in the car is with snacks lol we chop up some grapes and apples and she has her portable snack tray and we put on a dvd and she watches and eats and then falls asleep

  • Pre-recording of mummy singing lullabys on the iPhone- mummy singing is the only thing that keeps my 4 month old calm and entertained on short and long car rides.

  • Snacks!
    Our family road trip essential is plenty of snacks. With two always hungry growing boys snacks make for a happy road trip.

  • Our Road Trip essential is a full packet of wipes. So handy for everything and anything and for every family member.

  • We can leave home without snacks. My daughter is quite happy to sit there eating her snacks while telling me all about the scenery. Its a great way to explore our beautiful country

  • Baby wipes.
    From cleaning grubby fingers to giving the car a wipe down, they are good for more than their actual purpose

  • Patience! My two year old loves to listen to the same song the entire road trip! Twinkle twinkle little star! As long as it keeps her happy we grit our teeth and bear listening to it on repeat for the entire trip! It is very cute though hearing her sing and do the actions 🙂

  • My co driver so I can relax and enjoy the ride. Ha ha no they are really just there to help with the munchkins. Makes it easier if there is any kind of melt down from the back seat. 🙂

  • Music, because when miss 9 month old gets sick of being in the car but your just so close to your next stop, sometimes a good song might get you through.

  • portable dvd player with lots of movies for the kiddies, snacky food for both kids and parents. pre made cds for the parents to keep sane on the journey and portable esky to keep all food fresh

  • My essential travel item would have to be our DVD players in the headrest, keeps the kids happy and quiet for a long time!

  • A car seat 🙂 can’t take the bubba without one.
    We are using an old hand me down car seat because we can’t afford anything flash like the new ones these days, your car seat looks so safe and it’s great is rear facing for up to 30 months to keep bubs safe
    Love the idea of the cool fabric as my bubs sweats like there is no tommorow haha

  • We always make sure we have all of the kids music ready to go and lots of fun games planned with plenty of healthy nutritious snacks along the way. Thank you for such a great article too. I never thought about taking a potty what a fantastic idea thanks. ?

  • GOOD MUSIC! it makes the long trips more enjoyable for everyone. My little one loves listening to music.?

  • MUSIC
    Living smack bang in the middle of Australia means the scenery doesnt change often.
    It takes a minimum of 12 hours to get to the next city so some great music to sing along to to help stay entertained is a big must.

  • Food! Food! Food! When the older boys are eating, they can’t be asking questions (yay!) and my 17 month old seems to have hollow legs, so keeping him eating means keeping him happy! When he’s hungry he squeals, so much so that instead of Felix, we’ve started calling him Squealix 😉

  • Travelling with a 3 month old we would not have coped without the emergency bottle of formula (thermos of warm water, bottles and measured powder)
    Those moments when driving, lost in peak hour traffic in an unfamiliar city with a baby screaming cause she’s decided she needed milk NOW we’re made a bit easier with a quick shake and feed in the car

  • Our road trip essential is food and water. We can always entertain our toddler with songs but if all else fails food will get us another 30 minutes before stopping.

  • A maxi cosi car seats are my travel essential as I have 2 allready and they are so comfortable and easy to use. The kids sleep and play the whole trip which makes traveling a breeze?

  • Our essential road trip item is the portable DVD player. Hours of entertainment. Plus lots of stops for coffee, snacks and toilet breaks.
    Good luck all ?

  • Car friendly toys- ones that are easy to pass to bub whilst driving and not too noisy- we don’t want to distract dad while he drives. Our road trips have been to the RCH in Melbourne but we are off on our first beach holiday at the end of April- Miss M is going to love the beach!!

  • EYE SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE… SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH.. M…
    Family interaction car games, who doesn’t love a good game to get everyone guessing or singing

  • If a perfect sleeping child isn’t possible then snacks & water to last 5 trips, nothing worse then a hungry and thirsty toddler ?

  • My one essential item on a road trip is my Husband, aka my driver! He’s the DJ with music, the mechanic and the reluctant yet always willing companion in mindless games for hours! Wouldn’t leave home without him! 🙂

  • Imagination! As a kid we played lots of games, sang lots of songs and I have great memories from road trips – I can’t wait for our little girl to be old enough to do the same when we’re on big trips!

  • We haven’t been on a road trip with our son yet but our essentials used to be old school music to sign along to and plenty of junk food… now i would say the #1 essential would by the Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT!!

  • Music!! Everyone in my family is happier with Music! I find also it brings us all closer together to sing along and learn each persons favourite song.

  • A safety check of the car to ensure the car is ready to take on the adventure ahead on the open road! Thanks to hubby 😉 !

  • My one road trip essential for my 10 month old is ‘clip clop’ her Unicorn toy. Keeps us all entertained and sane for our roadtrips to our country holiday house. She isnt a fan of the car never has been. So a new comfy booster seat would go along way!

  • Our travel essential is our goodie bag, we pack them with colouring, craft, stickers and snacks as a travelling treat.

  • My one road trip essential is books for my daughters. They love reading and looking at all the pictures so it’s always a must to pack lots of story books in the car for them

  • baby wipes you need them for everything 🙂 cleaning the mess , babies bottom, hands etc along with bubs spare clothes :)’

  • A road trip is not complete without our thermos and travel mug so we can have a coffee without even stopping! Need to keep the buzz going to keep up with our babe x

  • Watermelon! Sounds strange but it has so many benifits. A treat, hydration, sugar hit, has anti-inflammatory properties that help the muscles for the adventures to come or that long trip home and most of all it always makes you feel good. Give it a try on your next trip!

  • Our road trip must I’d having a goodie bag full of new things my son has never seen/played with before whether it’s just a new sticker book, colouring books, toys, snacks etc 🙂

  • Square cloth nappies. Can be used to mop up spills and messes, cover up little legs if it gets a bit cool, keep the sun out of eyes and darken windows for nap time, Something to chew on for teething baby… Endless uses!!

  • Our travel essential is my 3 year olds notepad and crayons. She loves being able to draw what she sees as well as keeping her occupied. I love giving my kids freedom to create and express themselves and this is a perfect way to share it with us as we travel.
    Our youngest is 8 months old and he is nearly outgrown his maxi cosi ap capsule and our other seat is well out of the safe 10 yr life span and we are in need of a new one 🙁

  • My essential road trip essential is a dummy cause you can guarantee bubs will wake for a feed 5 Min before or after the next town /place to stop.

  • with a 2 week old baby, our Maxi Cosi Capsule is the essential item plus a clear idea of where we are going. First car trip out with baby we got lost and spent each minute wondering how much longer we had until baby was ready for next feed.

  • My most essential road trip item is Snacks. Food definitely helps keeps bubs happy and the car trip a bit happier and peaceful for everyone!!

  • A boot load of imaginative games, willingness to go with the flow making up fun games, and the patience of a saint!!

  • My essentials are a positive attitude and a camera with the family on any road trip. Appreciate every moment. X
    R

  • My essential when road tripping is a drink for everyone ! Kids get juice and mum and dad get the relaxing cup of goodness that is coffee ?
    As soon as the car starts rolling everyone is happy!

  • Our road trip essential is comfort! As long as every one if comfy we’re all happy to drive a little further together. 🙂

  • I’m a realist – so it’s FOOD!! It’s nice to have all the warm and fluffy things like imagination and family and friends but when travelling with little people one of the truly essential things you need is food! It keeps them satisfied, busy, quiet, and settled.

  • Our essentials are activities, snacks, drinks, snuggies, bibs, nappies, travel cots, formula, clothes, car seats, bottles, steriliser, dummies. We don’t travel light ? … Desperately need a new car seat, love my maxi cosi…

  • The one thing you need for long road trips is the sandpit bucket in case of car sickness! Doubles as rubbish bucket and you can use it at the beach too when you arrive 🙂

  • My one travel essential is USB charging cord.
    Because guaranteed your phone is going flat when you need to play some tunes for a sing a long, take photos of the sights, video funny family moments, search for a public toilet, use the maps when you’re lost, find a good place to eat, use it as a torch to find lost toys, look up last minute accomodation or call for help in an emergency.

  • Baby wipes! They are good for absolutely anything and everything. They even come in handy to clean the car when your little ones are asleep and your road trip becomes a little boring!

  • The most obvious thing would be to make sure that you have a safe Carseat for your little one. And of course that would have to be the Maxi-cosi seat.
    Our second most important item would have to be snacks. Especially for our long road trip to Victoria 😀
    No snacks = very grumpy and hungry Kiddies.

  • Our kids- trip wouldn’t be the same without the constant chatter and the tantrums of not wanting to get back in car. But can’t beat looking in mirror at there smiling faces 🙂

  • There are lots of important things that we require to make a big road trip go smoothly, but my one main road trip essential would have to be safety. We stop at least every two hours and always make sure our car has been recently serviced and is safe and ready to go prior to leaving. Most importantly of all though; that my most precious cargo, my 18 month old, is content, comfortable and safely strapped correctly into her extended rearward facing car seat, with all the safety bells and whistles including; ISOFIX, GCELL and air protect side impact protection, to keep her as safe as she possibly can be. The stylish Maxi-Cosi Euro NXT would certainly make sure of this, not only on our next holiday but all year around!

  • Snacks!!! my kids are always hungry, games we can make up but food i need to keep them occupied and full (helps them sleep too)

  • About to have my first child. Essential will definitely be a car seat for the new bub! Or we’ll be staying in the hospital!

  • CHARGERS! For ALL devices. Cameras, iPads, Phones and portable gamers. Nothing worse then getting half an hour down the road and one’s entertainment goes flat, the you have to listen to them trying to share, arguing about who’s turn went longer or better yet trying to interfere with what ever is keeping the littler ones quiet. We have 4 (11,10, 2 and 2months)

  • As my 2.5 year old says “long drive DVD mummy” the portable DVD player or some other electronic device saves my bacon from boredom!

  • A car charger!! Everyone knows that the phone is a lifesaver when the kids are grumpy, but you don’t want to do the mistake I often do and be left with a flat phone. Never take it out of your car!

  • Safety! No matter how long we are in the car for this is one essential and priority for any trip. We make sure that the kids are safe, buckled up back and front and that we lead by example wearing our seatbelts at all times too. Maxi-cosi is the best in safety and we wouldn’t have anything less!

  • Frequent stops. Not only good for mummy and daddy to stretch their legs and recharge with much-needed coffee, but wonderful for kids to play and make memories (and new friends!) in new destinations.

  • Best road trip need is good old music… No need for new flash technology.. Enjoy the scenery play some eye spy and crank the tunes that the kids can sing to. #oldschoolmumma

  • Lots and lots of snacks, are essential for a successful trip,
    They keep little tummies full, like carrot sticks and dip.
    It also helps to keep some chocolate hidden in the dash,
    It keeps mummies and daddies sane, when you have your own little stash.

  • One essential is to plan your stops along the way, especially for long drives, to keep everyone entertained, refreshed and importantly to keep the driver alert.

  • My GPS! Driving with kids can be so distracting so the navagation helps a lot. That way we all know mummy won’t get lost and we can have a stress free journey hehe 🙂

  • My one essential road trip items is to have several little “suprises” that I can pass back to my little one to keep her entertained. Little toys, containers, bangles etc.

  • I never travel without a box of tissues (also a good substitute for toilet paper) and wet wipes. They will save the day in a sticky situation (and you can guarantee they will arise when travelling with kids)

  • Our road trip essential is my daughters lion. It’s her sleep toy and we definitely wouldn’t go on a long trip without it!

  • UGG BOOTS! Yep, you heard it here first. They are comfy, instantly create a feeling of clam, relaxation and keep those tootsies warm! Perfect for long road trips to make you feel maximum cosy.

  • Snacks!!! Multiple varieties of snacks…..all separated in a plastic fishing tackle box. The little ones love it (and the big ones too because it’s all sealed up again when back seat fighting begins)

  • I’ve found for long trips, get e.g. a 10-CD talking CD from the library like Harry Potter. They kids will be SPELLbound for hours!

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