By Jen Wilson
We bought a new van on Monday of this week and took off on our first-ever family road trip on Tuesday. We also sold our old van on Monday, and as I was clearing it out I noticed how, well, gross it was. The floor, the car seats, under the car seats (*shudder*), all gross.
We were nervous about letting three kids into our new vehicle with snacks, but road trips just don’t work well with kids if snacks are not allowed. We chose some crumb-free options (cheese sticks, trail mix, grapes, veggies) and hoped for the best. We set up a couple of garbage cans, planned to give the toddler one piece of food at a time, and gave the girls strict instructions about where their garbage was to go.
If I’d planned ahead a bit more—we may or may not have bought the new van at the last minute after going back and forth about it—I would have purchased the following keep-the-brand-new-van-clean items:
Prince Lionheart Two-Stage Seatsaver, $30, amazon.ca
The Prince Lionheart Seatsaver has two stages that grow with your child. Stage one, the bottom tray, is used alone and works with all rear-facing infant seats. Stage two, the back, attaches to the bottom tray to use with forward-facing toddler and booster seats.
Prince Lionheart 305 Backseat Kick Mat, $20, amazon.ca
The kick mat easily attaches to the back of your front seat, and protects it from your child’s shoes.
Canine Covers Custom Rear Seat Protector, US$320, autogeek.net
Now, if you want some super-hardcore protection, this is it. It’s technically for protecting your vehicle’s seats from dogs, but it would work great for kids, too. It covers your entire back seat, with space for the seat belts to come through. And if you want to protect your vehicle’s floors as well, the CoverAll (US$130, autogeek.net) attaches to the bottom of the Custom Rear Seat Protector for all-over everywhere no-mess loveliness.
We’ve made it to the halfway point of our trip (distance-wise), and right now I’m really wishing I’d gone with the third (and fourth) option(s). Kids are messy creatures, even with the most diligent instructions!
How do you keep your vehicle’s interior safe/clean/protected when you travel with kids?