Think about this: when you look back on on your family vacation, you want to smile, not wince. And one thing that can make things really nice is having everything you need right at your fingertips.
"It's important to have things easily organized: you remember where they are, and that you can leave them in the car," said Kathleen Huddy, textiles director for the Good Housekeeping Institute.
The Good Housekeeping Institute tested products that can help. It loved the High Road Backseat Organizer. At $34.99, it was tops in price and perks. "Lots of different compartments for water, French fries, CDs, videos and best of all, convertible top where your kids can play with their toys in the car and they don't go rolling into the seat," reported Huddy.
But if you're going to be near water, you need something that can go into the drink and not sink. Try this Aqua Pruff tote bag, under $50. "You can really pack this bag full, and it will still float," said Huddy.
And for games the whole family can enjoy: bocce ball. Easy to play and tote. A set from LL Bean was the least expensive at $99.
Roger that with cool two-way radios. The institute tested three models: the Motorola, at about $100, the Uniden, about $60, and Xact at around $40. The institute actually found its sound too tinny, but it loved the mid-priced Uniden. "The major reason we chose the Uniden over the Motorola was cause the Unidens were about 30 to 40 dollars cheaper per pair than the Motorolas and the performance was almost equal," said engineering director Gary Zukowski.
And when the day is done, and everyone else is asleep, curl up with a good book and clip-on a reading light from Rayovac. "This light directs right at what you're reading, so you don't have to spread light and keep someone else awake," noted Zukowski.
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