Gone are the days when you could keep the kids amused with a rousing game of "I Spy" while on the road. And the threat to "go home right now!" has the same hollow ring as back in the day. Here are 10 products that will take the edge off getting there with children and make things easier once you arrive .
Sasha's mini Bucket Bag is perfect for keeping kid-friendly items within reach on the plane or next to the car seat; it comes in a range of colors and cost s about $35 at Howda Designz (howda.com). Or stuff everything into the clever Skyway backpack with zippered compartments and a detachable lunch box in sky blue or pale pink ($25 at ebags.com ).
If your car doesn't have a DVD player, you can purchase a portable one for $100 or less. Double-screen units like this road theater system with twin 7-inch screens by Axion that you can strap to the seats of your mini van are about $180 at Target.
Juice Pal holders can be used with most standard juice boxes and pouches and have great little handles. Plus, you won't get showered if your kid gives it a squeeze. They cost $3.95 each through the Leaps and Bounds catalog (800-477-2189) or at leapsandbounds.com.
The Snack- Trap by Made for Mom keeps cookies contained, even if your tot drops the cup. About $5 each at Babies "R" Us and
Motion sickness relief bands are a drug-free way to keep nausea at bay. Sea-Bands knitted wristbands are made by a Rhode Island-based company and cost about $10 at many
Keep bigger kids entertained with travel games. Klutz offers a wide range of kid-friendly on-the-go activities. Their Kids Travel Backseat Survival Kit for $20 is available at bookstores and at klutz.com.
Lilly Gold's Nap-Sac is a diaper bag that opens out into a safe changing station and can be used as a bassinet for infants away from home. It costs $80 and is available in red, black, or a camouflage pattern from tripleplayproducts.com/napsac.asp.
Keep track of your children with the Giggle Bug toddler tracker. The cute little red or yellow bug clips to your child's backpack or clothing; press a button on the separate fob and the bug emits an 85-decibel beep and its eyes blink until you deactivate the unit. It has a range of 75 to 100 feet and runs on 3-volt coin cell batteries. It costs about $20 at Safe Beginnings (13 Alexander Road, Billerica, 800-598-8911) , Bippity Boppity Baby (86 Main St., Nashua, N.H. , 603-886-3282), and at Familyonboard.com (800-793-2075).
Once you've gotten to your destination, how do you haul your little ones around? The Sit 'n Stand LX stroller from One Step Ahead is a streamlined two-seater that uses about as much space as a standard stroller. The front seat can hold an infant's car seat, and the back one converts from a jump seat to a standing board. Each seat can hold up to 45 pounds. It costs about $130 from onestepahead.com or through the company's catalog (800-274-8440) .
The Pronto mini-changer by Skip Hop makes it easy to grab everything you need for a quick diaper change without having to haul a big bag. It unfolds into a wipe-clean changing pad with a built-in pillow, and has a zippered mesh compartment for diapers and wipes. It costs about $30 at Magic Beans (312 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-264-2326 ); $30-$38 at babystyle (Atrium Mall, Chestnut Hill, 617-796-8982); and $30 at Redenvelope.com. ( For more store locations, visit skiphop.com ).
Lylah M. Alphonse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.