Back in my college days, I lived for road trips and count many successful drives to New York and Washington D.C. as some of my fondest memories. Back then, sometimes it really was about the journey, not the destination. Fast forward to my years as a mother with an 8 year old son and 6 year old daughter and they were not the only ones asking over the years, “are we there yet?” As any parent is sometimes painfully aware, hours upon hours in a car with your little ones can make you feel as if you are on the highway to hell. With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks I’ve used over the years to try to maintain some sense of road-trip sanity:
1. DVD’s: This one is probably a no-brainer, but I’ve always found it helpful to rent some new titles from the library or borrow some from friends, in addition to a couple of old favorites to show on the road.
2. Books: My children have always loved to be read to. Even at this age when my son is able to read on his own, he still prefers me to read to him at bedtime. I bring several picture books for them to look at, as well as a chapter book to read on the road out loud I think they will both enjoy.
3. Music: For variety, I play some fast tunes on the iPod and have in-car “dance parties” to break up the monotony of a long drive. Seat dancing is silly and fun.
4. Games: Check out this link at My Delicious Ambiguity for a huge collection of free road trip printable games and activities.
5. Mystery Gifts: Along the way, I pack inexpensive trinket bags for the kids to open. Search the dollar section at Target and choose three or four toys/books to open for each child… spread out over the duration of the drive. One of my favorites this year were these Cut-Crease-Create books from Melissa & Doug. These kept the kids quiet and happy for hours!
What are your survival kit road trip tips? We’d love to hear from you!