My girls and I spend a lot of time on the road. My parents live more than an hour away, and my grandparents, whom we visit three times per year, live on the East Coast. Usually, I try to time these trips with sleeping, and I break up long drives with a hotel stay in-between. (Staying overnight at a hotel and swimming in the indoor pool is a really special treat for them.) However, due to some unforeseen circumstances this fall, the girls and I had to make the whole trip to the East Coast in one day.
I was dreading the trip, and I knew I needed something to make it more bearable for everyone. That’s when I made a glorious discovery at Best Buy: dual drop-down DVD players with head-rest mounts. What is so wonderful about this device? Let me tell you.
1. Our iPads with downloaded movies are now glitchy due to four years of toddler abuse, so they are frustratingly unreliable.
2. My SUV does not come with the DVD player included in the headrests nor does it have a drop-down DVD player in the middle. (Some cars, SUVs, and vans already have DVDs included.) The set I bought at Best Buy came with two DVDs and two car mounts that easily strap on to the two front seats.
3. The girls can watch the same movie at the same time from their own screen if they wish, or they can each watch their own movie. (In this mode, both or one of the girls would need to use headphones.)
4. They can’t press the buttons to mess up the screen since the DVDs are mounted to the front seats. (That was one of the problems with the glitchy iPads.)
5. The DVDs don’t lose their charge since they’re plugged into the car.
6. You can take them out and plug them into the wall at your great-grandma’s house who does not have a DVD player or the internet. Yay! Your daily Moana movie streak can continue without interruption!
7. You can have each of your children pick their two favorite movies for the trip, and combined with sleeping, this will pretty much get you there in no time. In fact, we were able to make the entire trip with only one stop for breakfast and gas!
8. The device is relatively inexpensive. At approximately $150.00, I found its usefulness on our road trip to be is well worth the cost. I didn’t hear a single wail, cry, or complaint. (Note: Those results are not guaranteed; however, you can increase your odds by getting a new movie to accompany the device each trip. If your kids are anything like mine, they will want to watch that new movie over and over and over.)
Q: How do you survive a long road trip with small children?