Road Trip Tips

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We’ve been on many road trips. In the last year and a half we’ve driven 86,000 miles! This includes a drive from Florida to Alaska and back! Some of my on-line friends have asked for tips to help with long car trips, so I thought I’d share some here.

One of the best things I have found are books on CD. These really help pass the time. Our favorites are the Focus on the Family Radio Theater. You can often check out books on CD from the library, just make sure that the labels on them won’t cause the CD to get stuck in your CD player.

We also have played travel games like…

-Travel bingo, a game with game boards that have pictures of things you would typically see on a road trip ( a pick up truck, a red car, a barn, a traffic light, etc). You can buy these, print them from off line or make your own

-Travel scavenger hunt. This is much like the game above but instead of trying to get bingo you try to find every item on your list. I made this game for my kids on index cards with pictures. As they found an item they gave the card to me.

-The license plate game. See how many license plates you can find from different states.

-Animal list. We made a list of every different type of animal we found (living or dead, lol)

-The ABC game. Find each letter of the alphabet on signs or license plates, in order (although not in all on location) until you find them all. This can be done as a group or as individuals as a race.

-Animal guessing game. One person thinks of an animal. Then the other family members take turns asking yes or no questions in order to figure out what the animal is.

-I spy

The above games are especially good for kids that get car sick as they are all looking at things outside of the car. You can also play the following games if you bring a shoe box or other small box to hold discarded cards or dice.

-Crazy eights

-Phase 10

-Uno

-Go fish

-Yahtzee

Arts and crafts projects can be done in the car as well. I’ve worked on hand sewing a quilt on some of our road trips. Our kids like to color on sticky notes, play with stickers and when I’m really desperate I give them rolls of masking tape to play with! One of the best craft items for kids are the Color Wonder markers. Unlike crayons that melt when left in a hot car, or markers that loose their lids and bleed into the upholstery , Color Wonder markers only mark the special paper that comes with it.

A few new toys can go a long way in keeping boredom away on road trips. The dollar store is a great place to find these. I’ve also picked up party prizes at Walmart like paddle balls, sticky hands, and mazes.

Snacks of course are a road trip necessity. With so many hours on the road, we get tired of gas station junk food. Instead we like to eat the following…

-dried fruit

-fruit leathers

-nuts

-crackers

-string cheese

-apples

-pears

-grapes

-bagels

-banana and pumpkin bread

-rice cakes

-mini carrots

-bell pepper

-celery sticks

One final thought on road trips. We’ve found that taking a break to visit point of interests, play at a

play ground or go to a museum are well worth it. Even though adding a stop makes the trip longer, it feels much faster with a break in the middle. On our many road trips we’ve taken time out to visit national parks, a presidential museum, children’s museum and other museums, see a bug collection, play at parks, walk near rivers, dip in a hot spring and view wild life. These added stops have given us many great memories.

Our road trips days are over for now and we are all glad to have a break from the car. Still we have enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time together as a family, meeting new people and seeing new places. With just a little planning road trips can turn from a chore into a wonderful memory making adventure!

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