Thursday

What I Learned While Driving 2,496 Miles With Three Kids, a Crammed MiniVan and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

{Giveaway below}

*UPDATED with Winner* 
Congrats to Tasha! (please email me!)


Our big road trip of the year is over. The last suitcase is put away (but the laundry is never done, right?) We had a wonderful time and I'm getting plenty of use out of my home traction device. Thankyouverymuch.

Here are a few things I learned on our trip and thought I'd pass along with the upcoming Christmas holidays:
  • Bring a cooler in the car with drinks.
  • Tuck snack food into a box or bag for munching while riding (but not while driving...did you know this is the cause of 80% of traffic accidents?)
We stayed in a very fancy hotel the night after the cruise (courtesy of my smashing hubby's win from his company!) As soon as we walked in the door, this greeted us on the counter:


Snacks, expensive snacks, courtesy of the hotel. $8 for a bottle of water? $4 for a bag of M&M's? No thank you.

(I covered the whole box of food with a box, so little hands wouldn't be tempted!)
  • Pack plenty of water
  • Make sure you prepare for spills with a roll of paper towels
  • If your traveling for more than one night, pack a separate bag with a change of clothes for everyone so you don't have to drag in ALL of your suitcases (this helped us so much)!
  • Never, ever under any circumstances, buy your child a noisy souvenir.

You're welcome.

Thanks to Viva, a lucky reader is going to win a $50 Visa gift card for their next trip (or Christmas or whatever you choose!) Just share a travel tip in the comments!

This post was sponsored by Viva Towels. For fun, fork-free recipes – including videos – and snappy entertaining ideas, get over to the VIVA® Diva Café

203 comments:

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Melissa said...

First commenter! Woohoo! My travel tip is to have a designated bag or small trash can for garbage. It will help keep your car clean during long trips.

Wanda said...

My travel tip?
With kids.....stop at Rest Stops for some fun! We bring along our frisbee (we also usually have pets along) so everyone can run around for a few minutes.
We even pack lunch sometimes and eat there. This gives everyone a refreshing breath to continue the journey!

We also bring plenty of movies and video games....now my kids are all teens with ipod's! They enjoy sleeping and texting these days! :)

O Mom said...

We drive fairly often back home to visit the family, about 300 miles,so I have this down. I always go to the $ stoer and buy a few new fun things to break out right when the kids are about to lose it, it distracts them long enough to get them back in a good mood!

Bailey's Leaf said...

When we visited Boston, I sent consumables ahead. I didn't want to be caught in the trap of hunger setting in and only having the hotel vending machine as my hunger quieting tool. Thankfully, my FIL could send them ahead at no cost, so we had a nice box-- including bottled water, diapers and wipes-- waiting for us when we got there. (To note, we were near Logan Airport and there were no stores around anywhere. I was so thankful I sent the consumable items ahead!)

Jill said...

We always bring along an empty big gulp cup or small bucket; for the "throw up or gagging" that always happens.
Last month my 5 year old had surgery and they gave two really cool "buckets" that fold up and have a bag attached. I've stashed them in the van already.
You never know!

christina-defining moments said...

My travel tip? Benadryl! Kidding (sort of;) But those lap trays are great for coloring, snacks, etc!

Anonymous said...

My travel tip is to have baby wipes handy as well as a little trash bag by each of the kiddos for them to put wrappers, etc in.

Joni
lookin4ws@yahoo.com

Amy E. said...

In October we took a road trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Although it is only about 3 hours north, the climate is much colder. I dressed the kids in pants and t-shirts, but made sure to put jackets, hats, and baby blanket at the very top of the suitcase. As soon as we got there, we were able to pull those out and go for a walk in the woods without having to unpack. Thinking ahead about what you'll need first and packing in that order really helps.

Carla said...

I always take along a notepad with fun pens/pencils for the kids. It is amazing how long they can entertain themselves drawing, playing tic tac toe, passing notes, etc.

laura said...

that roll of paper towels has saved us, too! along with a big trash bag tucked away somewhere. also, we've learned not to rush our potty or meal stops. if the kids feel like they got a *real* break from the car, they're much agreeable when they have to get back in!
kyrie24 at gmail dot com

Abbie said...

Traveling with young children can be hard. We have found a portable dvd player is a life saver. Also we buy the kids one or two small new toys that we give them when we leave.

Laura said...

My tip- brand new dvds the kids have not seen and our laptop for viewing.

Carrie said...

Portable DVD players are worth their weight on gold! We also like books on CD. Junie B. Jones is a favorite!

Hulse Family said...

We're just getting ready for a looong rode trip. My travel tip is a car organizer for the kids. I bought one that is supposed to be used as a center console. Its going between the two carseats. It has a place for files that will neatly hold coloring books, magnetic books, and books to read. I bought some of those cups that hold mini oreos and teddy grahams at the Walmart checkstand. I emptied them, decorated them, and now they'll be filling the cupholders (carseats already have their own) complete with crayons, little princess toys, and snacks for each of my girls. Then there is also room for misc stuff.

Shelly said...

Something that I have started doing is getting some coloring books and crayons, and a magna doodle to travel with us... because busy todlers don't seem to pester their sisters, as much ;) We also have a portable DVD player with two screens that I love having with us... even if they request to watch Tinker Bell's movie three times in a row, that's OK, they're happy ;)

Shelly
shell_anna@msn.com

Tina said...

Hello, I am new to your sight - I found you at quesarsara. My tip would be to hide some of the toys. I took a trip to Montana (10 hrs one way) with my 1 year old and I saved some toys for halfway through the trip and some for the way home. That way she got new toys to entertain herself and did not get tired of everything all at once.

Tina
mrslefebvre@hotmail.com
littlelefebvre.blogspot.com

jennibell said...

My tip is books on tape. My kids would rather listen to those then watch a movie. No kidding. Try them out from the local library, then as you run out of titles there (we did) we found it was worth it to buy them -- Odyssey series is a favorite. We've also gone through ALL the Harry Potter books (kids are ages 6, 7, 9, & 11) and many classics. I find they'll even listen to some of my Karen Kingsbury books (of course all aren't appropriate for their ages but we started with the 911 series and we've decided to introduce them to the Baxter family now).

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

1.Make your kids a book of games they can do. maybe not coloring unless you want to pick up their mess but a pencil and some mazes or w/e, depending on their age worked for us when we were young. Maybe some stickers etc. With resources on the internet now its probably a lot easier these days to do.
2. Pack some of your meals, in addition to the snacks. Saves money.

Whitney said...

I have flown several times with our one year old and wow - it's exhausting! My tips, learned the hard way:

-bring the smallest stroller you have/can find. It's really difficult to navigate one (esp through security) when you're alone with a child.
-those moving sidewalks? Use em! My son loves them and if I can watch him, he's safe. Totally wears him out.
- pack light light light. I never do this and I always regret it. Also, if relatives give you extra gifts, consider shipping them. It usually works out to something else to haul cross country.
- your carryon should be a backpack. It's more ergonomic and leaves your hands free (and is roomy enough to store lots of baby food).
- He loved the new toys idea. I bought some wooden beads and made a necklace out of them. Babies like what you wear, right? Wear it! Then he'll be interested.
-

HG said...

So simple, but bring a trash bag for dirty clothes. It keeps everything seperate, and you never have to do the sniff test. Ew!

Kim said...

Make sure everyone is dressed comfortably and have easy access to slipping shoes on and off so when you do make a rest stop there are no stragglers. I always make sure I have a small pillow and blanket for each, small toys, books, drinks, snacks. They each have their own zipper bag to keep up with there stuff that is always within arms reach. And a must have is more than one seperate bag for trash so its easy to scoop up all trash and drop it off at the rest stops.

Sarah said...

Those are great tips and ones that I will remember when we take our next road trip.

My tip...pack your own food if you will be traveling during a mealtime. I usually make some tuna salad or chicken salad and have everyone make up their own sandwiches with toppings. You can save so much money this way and it's a lot nicer to get out and stretch your legs at a rest area than in a parking lot at a restaurant.

jmberrygirl said...

Tavel tip--Bring your own pillow! I also keep disposable toilet seat covers in a zippy bag for those gas station stops.

Sharilyn said...

Apples and Bananas make the ultimate healthy snack food while traveling. BE sure to have a trash bag for the peels and cores! I would love to win the gift card!

Tristan said...

My best tip is a big supply of Crayola's Color Wonder Markers and their coloring books and paper. The markers only mark on the special paper, so even the 18 month old is safe to color to his hearts' content.

A bonus tip - buy them with the printable 40% off coupons from craft stores like Hobby Lobby and save for trips or church!

A second bonus tip - the plain Color Wonder paper can be printed on! Print out your kid's favorite animals or characters before the trip right onto the color wonder paper for them to color.

Laura said...

My travel tip: Drug the children. It's not as horrible as it sounds. ;)

Amy said...

My car travel trip would be to leave while you're kid is still asleep!

Mary K said...

My travel tip is to have good music!

Emily E. said...

My travel tip is to not stress! Things go wrong on vacations, often with very little you can do to prevent them. so the best you can do is just roll with the punches and make the best out of everything. Plus, kids sense stress. ;)

Kate said...

I have a medium square tupperware container that I pack full of all basic medicine, thermometer and first aid supplies.

Also, I make sure everyone wears slip on shoes. We all kick them off and get comfy, but can quickly slip them back on at rest stops, etc.

Thanks for the giveaway, hope to win :)

shana said...

Traveling with little people is a stretch for me. We have 5 kids -- 7 people total in the family -- and a 7 passenger vehicle. Before we take even a shortish road trip we need a bigger vehicle. Those 3 kiddos in the back are so squished and miserable and so is everyone else who has to listen to the bickering. Thanks so much for the giveaway and your tips are also excellent! Thanks!
Blessings,
Shana

Kelly said...

Pack games for kids to play, the ABC game, license plate games, ect. only last for so long, there are specialty books on things to do with the kids so they don't DRIVE you nuts before you get there!

Biteofpunkinpie said...

my best tip is when your kids get a bunch of christmas gifts, go through them and weed out a few that are travel appropriate (a few books, travel sized magna doodle, little self contained doll sets, etc.) and put them away for your next trip. my kids get plenty of toys, so they never miss that i've weeded out a few, and when we do go on the road, i have something 'new to them' to pull out to keep them pretty occupied.

thanks for the great giveaway! it would definitely come in handy for us as we prepare for our youngest's birthday and christmas!
...here's hoping!

shaunta said...

here's my best travel tip...check out thrift stores for some of those 9X12 pans that have lids. They are the PERFECT kid trip thing. Just fill the pan with crayons, paper, puzzle books, little dolls, cars, whatever. The pan makes a great lap desk with the lid on, and keeps everything neat. (YEAH RIGHT! But it's worth a try.)

Rhonda said...

My travel tip would be to get the cute trash bags for the seats. I leave mine up all the time and they are cute! Just the liner is plastic the rest is in leopard print! They will help with the mess. Oh, you cannot have too many wet ones in the car either!

Peterson Family said...

I always bring a spiral notebook for each kid and colored pencils. They will bring their DS and other toys but then they get bored with that. They can either draw or write about the trip. And sometimes I will even give them homework, like draw the coolest thing you saw today! They really get into that!

We don't leave home without our notebooks!

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS, always pack wipes in all places...suitcases, care, back pack, etc.
June
Kennlaff@comcast.net

--Amie-- said...

mine would be baby wipes and a tube of Tide to go!!! Oh yeah, and a can of WD-40!!! Because you can do almost anything with WD!!!!

Carolyn said...

WET WIPES WET WIPES WET WIPES!!!! Someone in my car always feels sticky from an overfilled drink, a piece of candy or an eaten apple. Wet wipes can save the day!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

My travel tip...bring socks for the car ride. Remember your tip a few days ago about wearing socks for a good night sleep? It works in the car, too! :)

And, as a former flight attendant, here is a tip for all of you air travelers....PLEASE wear shoes to the bathroom. You see, sometimes planes hit a little turbulence and, well, men sometimes miss...if you know what I mean. ;) WEAR SHOES!!!

Michelle said...

I do the one night suitcase, too - a live saver! For trips in the car, I stockpile cheapies and freebies like stickers, coloring books, cheap toys or games or activities and haul them out for the trip - new to them and keeps them entertained. Well, that and the DVD player.

cmomgo said...

we bring our metal water bottles and pack 1/2 gallon bottles to replenish them with. This way you're not using tons of plastic bottles on your trip.

blessdtwice said...

I've only done road trips but here are a few things that have helped.

Go to the dollar store and create "goodie bags" for each leg of the trip. Pull them out at each rest stop so there is something new at each long leg of the trip.

Window markers by Crayola- these are markers designed to mark on glass. Let the kiddos mark up thier car windows, clean off and repeat. Also the dollar store will often have clings that the kids love to stick to the window (NOT stickers, but clings!)

Suckers.

Beach towels- they can double as blankets if someone is cold, go over carseats to block the sun, or in a real emergency, I have pulled over on the side of the road in a traffic jam and used one as a privacy shield when a child absolutely HAD to go tee-tee and there was no way to get to an exit.

Vicky said...

This would come in so handy!

vmccarville@hotmail.com

Deann said...

My travel tip is to have wipes handy, oh, and a nice supply of DVDs to pop in the player at a moments notice.

Heather said...

My travel tip is to pack along some Ziplocs, extra trash bags, and some extra TP. You just never know when you might need some of these things...

Amy Lynn said...

Plan bathroom stops, so nobody is unclear about when the next time they can go is.

amanda said...

Pack anything the least bit gushy (sunblock, toothpaste, applesauce cups) in its own ziploc bag. If it oozes it won't get on anything else. Also, bags for your toothbrushes and hairbrushes. Don't want to get anything on them (or hair on anything else, for that matter).

Meredith said...

Travel Tip? Portable DVD player - don't leave home without it!

Merry Christmas!

kristie said...

Make sure everything that needs batteries either has a car charger, or that you have backups (we use rechargeables) - batteries are way more expensive on the road!

Eos Mom said...

I know this is a Viva post but I'm totally serious--travel with paper towels! We just went to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and they didn't have paper towels in their house, none, nada, can you believe it?! So my hubby went to the grocery first thing and bought a bunch and that helped so much while we were there and then we took a roll for the drive home. I'm never traveling without bringing paper towels again!

Also, pack a towel. That helped a ton too.

Bloggin' Mama said...

I pack a backpack for the kids to dig thru while driving. It usually includes Color Wonder books and markers, forgotten toys from the bottom of the toy box, a few books and other things they want. It helps us limit the amount of useless junk in the car but also gives them something to do when they're tired of watching movies.

Tonya said...

Great tips that I'll totally use next time we travel far!

My travel tip:
Leave in the late evening so the kids sleep through most a big chunk of the driving time.

Anonymous said...

My travel tip would be to bring washable markers and the kids can write on the windows. Also a dvd player with dvd's they have not seen in a while never hurts. You could bring small inexpensive toys that are wrapped and hand them out every so often for good behavior. Example a box of bandaids (kids love to stick these all over)
Tammy thetaylortribe@comcast.net

deanna said...

I normally have kids pack books and notebooks, pens, crayons etc in a bag to take but I heard recently a tip that I will apply on our next trip... use a plastic tote to store coloring books, books crayons`etc in the car under the seat. that way they don't get stepped on or thrown around the car and if you keep some there they are special when you go on trips and not the same old stuff.

Rebecca said...

Great tips! I read through a bunch and then jumped to the comment form because I want to share mine...maybe it's been mentioned.

Our teens hate the road trip. I can't figure out why, because since childhood I have loved packing up a bag of books, word games, etc., and having that uninterrupted time to do my own thing.

So they are all too willing to get up at 3 a.m. to be out the door at 4, and then they promptly return to snooze mode for the first half of the regular 500-mile journey we take to my parents' home.

Another fun thing I did when the kids were 2 and 4 was wrap up 30individual gifts (times two!) - one for each expected hour of an extended road trip - and dole them out each hour. The gifts included snacks (granola bar, juice box, piece of candy), new toys (doll, book, action figure), and things they already owned but had forgotten. I coordinated gift wrap so that they would have the same type of gift at each time. Or, you could number the gifts. It was a hit and a few of my friends have used the idea through the years.

Pamela said...

We gave our kids a roll of coins (you decide the denomination) and every time they asked "how much longer" we took a coin away. They got to keep whatever was left to spend any way they wanted...souvenirs, candy, etc. It was a great motivater not to ask every five minutes.

pscole3467 at gmail dot com

Nancy M. said...

My tip is to bring along some surprises, like little dollar store toys or games. This helps to keep the boredom at bay and the "are we there yet's".

barbara said...

dont leave home with out the potty seat . . . trust me on this one. . . try taking a freshly potty trained 2 yr old in a gas station bathroom . . . not fun

Kristin @ Blue Skies said...

When packing, roll your cloths instead of folding them. You can save space and fit more in a smaller bag.

Kris said...

I like to leave fairly early in the morning so the kids are well rested after a good night sleep. Portable DVD players and movies they haven't watched in a while are good as well as a new book or coloring book. We also try to have a designated seat for each of the kiddos, so there is less fighting over who sits where. When the 6yold falls asleep & leans to the side it is easier for the other two to handle as opposed to the 10yold, so he usually gets the middle!

taradon said...

Stop at a park for lunch/dinner whenever possible, whether you've packed your own or stop to pick up fast food on the way to the park. The kids can play on the playground for a while to get all of those wiggles out before getting back in the car for another stretch of the road trip.

smdrm said...

I you're traveling by car, take maps of each state and big city you're traveling through. If there is a interstate tie-up, you can easily find if there's an alternate route.

kg4rmt@arrl.net

Paula said...

When our kids were young and we were taking a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house about 15 hours away, I printed out 15 clocks and colored in each half hour and then the whole clock after each hour. When the young ones asked how much longer, I could show them how many had been colored and how many were left. It gave them a better sense of time passed and time remaining.

Elastigirl said...

Instead of packing 15 movie cases in the car, I fill up a small, zip-up CD carrier and load it with the DVDs we're taking. It's easy to pass to the kids for them to select their next flick, and it doesn't take up as much room in the car.

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

Our musts for any drive over an hour is comfy clothes, water, healthy snacks, gum & the Nintendo DS.

But Momma said...

MP3, DVD players were our saving grace on our 6,000 mile road trip! They each had their own. The hubby and I could listen to what we wanted on radio and they could listen or watch what they wanted on their DVD players or MP3 players. Which I made them use headphones for. To be honest the hubby and I spent most of the time riding in silence or having lovely adult conversation. Or laughing hysterically listening to our kids sings the words they THINK a song is saying. too funny!!

LStewart said...

The driver should take a good long nap in the early evening then when it's bedtime for the kids, load them in the car and head out. Travel at night while the kids are sleeping. Less stops and the roads are usually less crowded.

Alissa said...

Something my brother-in-law did for himself while growing up: "To {insert name of place here} And Back Survival Pack" which contained all sorts of stuff he liked to keep him occupied--books, crayons & paper, candy/snacks, etc.

The Bertone's said...

Having traveled nearly as far with 3 young kids. My tip is to pack plenty of coloring books, paper, travel games, books and a Dvd player (for absolute emergencies) to keep them occupied. Glad to hear you had a blast!

Jaden Paige said...

My travel tip may be a bit faux-pas for some people, but it totally works for us! On a long car ride, bring along a portable DVD player and some car DVD games/ favorite movies of your kiddo's. My toddler doesn't get nearly as antsy if she can watch her favorite show! :) Thanks for the chance, we could all use an extra 50 bucks this time of year!

Anonymous said...

Those are great tips, but along with the paper towels, I carry a pkg of wipes! Great for cleaning snacks off little faces and hands! :)
That Visa card would be such a blessing for my next trip! In less than 2 weeks, I leave for AFRICA!! I can't believe it! Oh, and my bday is Saturday. It's the last one I'll be having. Thankyouverymuch. :)
Thanks for the giveaway!

Heather T

triplett dot heather at gmail dot com

Kelly said...

My son (2) doesn't get a lot of sugary snacks, but when we drove to SC from IN this fall, I loaded up on fun stuff like fruit snacks and gummy bears and yogurt covered raisens that he doesn't get very often. When he would get whiny, I would distract him w/ a new treat! oh, and snack trap cups are great for little hands!

Melissa said...

Ship the gifts. Just ship them. That way they arrive already wrapped and you don't have to spend time wrapping them and strength hauling them when you just want to collapse at your hosts' house.

kpmattingly said...

We make sure we have snacks packed and the dvd player with head phones for my son!

kp said...

pack your little training potty. not only is this essential for those potty training family members, but it can come in handy for desperate family members too!

Chrissy said...

On super long road trips, I bring a little "present" for each child that they open every hour or so. It is usually something like a coloring book, a snack they don't get at home or something else from the dollar aisle. It keeps them entertained and helps count down the hours!

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said...

We often travel to visit relatives who have long done away with high chairs, so we bring along a nylon belt so we can "strap in " our rambunctious son during meal times!

tamara said...

Try to travel at night if at all possible. It makes for a quiet van. Or audio books can keep an older child busy. My 3 year old loves to listen for the beep!

Tina said...

scavenger hunt/blackout type board games..each child has a board and has to find all the pictures on the board..first one to find them all wins...also dvd player and books, and mp3 players. happy traveling.

Jennie said...

Make your kids a crayon holder--different color for each kid. Here's great instructions: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2007/04/25/on-a-roll/

Give everyone a new coloring book and you're all set!

ashe_nelson@yahoo.com

Anna @ FryeFamHappenings said...

I haven't read all the comments, so hopefully this isn't a repeat...but BUBBLES! Mine are all 4 and under, and this works for all of them. I save it as a last resort after we have exhausted snacks, games, songs, etc. It is a welcome breath of fresh air. The baby watches, the older two can blow and pop the bubbles, and the baby can chew on the wand when we're finished ;) I love those no-spill bubble containers...amazing.

Mary said...

Pack a green cleaner like 50/50 vinegar water, to go along with those paper towels, in the event of an accident or spill.

Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

My travel tip is to pack a whole bag of "clean up stuff" for the car, including extra clothes. I have one who gets carsick, so I have disinfecting wipes, extra clothes for both of us, an extra car seat cover, etc.

Kerri said...

Travel tips: take along drinks and snacks so you don't have to stop and spend extra money, have hand sanitizer and baby wipes handy. And of course a portable dvd player for kids so they don't get bored.

kerri.calloway@gmail.com

Sharon said...

We tend to do a lot of driving in our travels, and since it takes a day to get out of Texas (at least the direction were headed) that's a lot of time to plan for. We invested in some portable DVD players. We have one with dual screens and another single one so the kids don't, well--not as much, fight over what to watch. My BFF and her family tend to read books to the kids in the car. We may have to try that next time. The only problem is everyone being able to hear.

I'm glad you guys had a great trip!

Cheryl Wade said...

I have adopted many of the tips you shared and still use them even though my son is 18. We keep a bag of snacks handy, a trash bag, and a cooler of drinks. Nothing is better in July than getting back to the car after a Braves game and having an ice cold bottle of water. We also pack a light meal to eat before we go into the game. We can then spend our money on something else like an ice cream or frozen lemonade.

Angie Kerr said...

We always pack our own pillows for each kid (4) and blankets. No fighting over who has more blanket, etc. And when we get to the hotel, they each have their own comfort items from home which help them sleep!

MommyNeedsCake said...

We drive a LOT with our kids and since they always wanted to pack everything they own, we needed a way for them to manage their stuff. So each child has a backpack, and they can pack whatever they want in it to take in the car, but everything MUST fit in the bag. Once this was hugely successful, I started pre-packing their snacks and drinks. They can eat or drink what they want, when they want, but when it's gone, it's gone! Now I no longer have fabric burns on the back of my arms from reaching around to the back seat every 2 minutes :-)

Carri said...

I always pack a pillow and blanket for the kids to use in the car. I also have wipes on hand to clean themselves in sticky situations.

The Halbert Home said...

We always keep a traveling toiletries bag packed so we don't forget something trying to pack it the day before we leave. And we always bring a bag of snacks so we don't have to pay crazy prices at the gas station.

BentoForKidlet said...

My travel tip is when flying, pack all essentials and a change of clothes in your carry on. Lost luggage happens more than you might think and getting it back can take a very long time. Not having a favorite item for your child or clothes to change in to can make a fun vacation a nightmare

shannon said...

I got both of my kids magnetic dry erase boards with he magnetic alphabet letters and numbers and this keeps them busy for hours. they are 5 and 3

Shannon

Laanykidsmom said...

We bought giant ziploc bags (5 gallon size?) for each child, wrote their name on it, and that was what they used to pack their entertainment for the trip. It fit books, crayons, Leapsters, stuffed animals, etc. yet the van did not get cluttered with all their stuff.

Anonymous said...

My travel tip..have a tv in your car!!!
bac71861@aol.com

Superchikk said...

If it's a long car trip, buy a portable DVD player. It's a bit pricey, but SO worth it!

Also, we have a couple of "special" toys my son loves, but he only gets to play with on special occasions. Car trips are one of those times. It's like getting a new toy, and keeps him entertained for a while.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the pooch has to come along on the trip as well. I always premeasure their food into a ziploc and for drinks along the way I provide ice chips which keeps the pooch hydrated but at the same time not so much drinking that we have to stop every hour......and of course always always bring old ziploc bags to pick up after the pooch as well as paper towels for those unforseen accidents.....my pup gets car sick sometimes
dianehass@aol.com

Vanessa Washburn said...

*I like to stuff all my last minute items (camera, chargers, the shoes that didn't make it into the suitcase etc.) in a laundry basket. Then as the days go on I can put all the dirty clothes in one spot, making laundry much easier when I get home. Also, everything still in the suitcase goes back in the closet.
*I like to take several cloth grocery bags so I have places to put anything we gain along the way, like gifts from grandpa, or the bucket loads of food my mom always sends us home with.
*My husband no longer fits well in the passenger seat (rear facing car seats take up a lot of space) so he does most of the driving. I make sure I have books and knitting to keep myself entertained. We really enjoy downloading free podcasts and listening to them together (my favorite is the peasant princess series by Mark Driscoll)
*Finally I always keep the middle of the back seat clutter free that way we can pull over on an exit ramp and I can crawl into the back seat to feed our baby girl. I then pass her to her Daddy (who sits happily reading a book) so he can burp her and change her on the changing pad he has conveniently laid out on the passenger seat. He passes her back to me and I strap her in, then we're off!

Bennett Family said...

For LONG trips, I give each child a "survival kit". It is usually a backpack filled with games, puzzles etc. that are age appropriate. There is also a bottle of water and snacks, so they don't have to "share". Gum and fun stuff keeps them busy, the whole trip. They look forward to the bags as much as the trip sometimes. A lot of the stuff in the bags can come from things a around the house too.
tia

Vanessa said...

I bring a little potty chair for the newly potty trained, and plastic grocery bags to line and throw away.

Mandy said...

if traveling by car my tip is to buy a portable dvd player and load up on movies and some headphones - also if you are potty training and need to leave the house - bring a potty chair with you for those emergency stops.

amanda said...

one thing that we never leave home without any more is the boppy pillow...and it's not for nursing anymore. i really hate it when you're on a long road trip and kids can't get a semi-decent nap in the car because they can't keep their heads in a comfortable position. use the boppy pillow to bolster their small pillow under their heads by positioning it (open side facing away from the body) between their laps and the driver's seat, or rear window. it keeps enough pressure on the small pillow to support their heads for a decent nap!

Tasha said...

For kids who are old enough to understand, each gets a roll of quarters ($10). As a consequence for fighting or complaining, they lose a quarter. At the end, they get to spend whatever they have left to buy souvenirs. Even little kids don't want to lose their quarters.

Alex Hall said...

If possible, drive through the night. We just got back from a road trip. It was a 20 hour drive to our destination and I have 5 kids, 7 and under. On the way back we decided to drive through the night and it was sooooooo much more peaceful!

Anonymous said...

Have plenty of handi wipes.
Donna

fixedonHIM said...

For long trips our portable DVD player is a must and we prop it up on a storage bin filled w/ goodies & snacks to eat.

P.S.- Don't forget the headphones...you'll enjoy the ride much more with their ears covered w/ that wonderful sound!! :)

brudcrew said...

I blogged about visits from the road trip fairy here: http://brudcrew.blogspot.com/2008/11/wfmw-road-trip-fairy.html
Our kids always wonder why she never visits anyone else. I guess she just really likes us!

mumologic said...

Keep the car efficiently organized. I have yet to follow my own advice and have yet to experience a road trip where I do not have miscellaneous totally irrelevant crap within arms reach and the essentials packed in the inside pocket of the bottom most suitcase.

Suk Yee said...

My travel tip is familiarize yourself as to where the nearest pharmacy is to your hotel. You never know when you might need it.

sukyee28@yahoo.com

Julie said...

These are great tips. I hope I remember at least a few next time we hit the road.

My tips: We don't go anywhere without wipes and a lightweight stroller in the car. It's easier to push the stroller than carry or drag a youngster who's just too tired to walk.
Also, when possible we pack a picnic meal. If the weather is too cold or rainy for a rest area, we use the food court of a a mall.

Wade's World said...

Our travel tip is to make plenty of potty stops so tht you don't need to have paper towels on hand!! J/K

We always travel with tons of toys and DVD's very handy just to keep our 3 year old entertained. If he's happy, we're good to go!

Jackie said...

Great tips! I posted some things on my blog in August about our trip. We don't travel much, so it was kind of a big deal to be away from home for 4 nights with 4 kids. One of my sons has lots of food allergies, so my biggest tip to share is to pack lots of food. I made many things ahead of time and made sure I had plenty of safe things for him to eat. It was worth the effort and made for a more frugal trip.

~~~Alana~~~ said...

When flying, always take snacks and a change of clothes in your carry on. You never know when you get to spend the night on an airport bench.

Melissa R said...

Very smart. Bring your own snacks at a fraction of the cost of hotel snacks! It is crazy that anyone actually eats those things! Great giveaway!

Ivy said...

earplugs. whether for the plane or a night in a not-so-quiet hotel. if you're travelling with a little one who might be extremely vocal during a flight, bring a few extra sets for the passengers sitting near you... for courtesy's sake.

Kim said...

My kids get car sick - so we always have towels and plastic bags in the car that are easy to get to. I also put a cover over the back of the seat in front of them - just in case its projectile!
Great tips - I always pack the little bag with whats needed.

Kelly said...

My travel tip is to bring a small mp3 player loaded with kid's music. This worked well for my 4 year old on an airplane flight. She colored and listened to music very nicely for at least an hour.

Jennifer said...

I don't get to travel much, but when we do I make sure the kids have mp3 players charged and ready to go. This eliminates some of the haggling over radio stations and CDs to listen to. We also like to listen to audio dramas or books on CD while traveling. It makes the time go by faster.

RLR said...

My best travel tips is small, quiet, new (if you can) toys - books, bendaroos, etc - and plenty of batteries and headphones for the Leapsters! I like all of yours, and frequently use the 'pack a separate bag' tip - which is the best. tip. ever.

Leigh said...

When we have traveled it's always at night so the kids can sleep. I pre pack all snack in individual containers for each of them and of course a cooler for meals.

I soooo need this gift card!
Thanks for the giveaway!!!

stephanie said...

I've never had to travel with children, yet (my girl's just five months old), but I've driven cross-country SEVERAL times and the biggest helps to me were a stocked ipod (for those looooong stretches where nothing comes in on the radio) and handywipes. Good for spills and STELLAR for those OMG I GOTTA PEE NOW times on those loooong stretches between rest stops. ;)

stacief said...

get a portable DVD player...and check out lots of movies/shows. Max and Ruby was a huge hit!

jczellar said...

For cheap-o traveling, look for the mom and pop motels that will allow more than 4 people to stay in a room (ya gotta figure out your own bedding arrangements, but hey...)

Take an electric skillet with tall sides. You can make dinner and breakfast right there in your motel room.

Even with these cheap tips, we keep the travels with 6 kids to a minimum! LOL.

:-) Christa

brudcrew said...

I forgot my best travel idea ever! It got us through a 2 hour traffic jam on top of the 4 hour car trip! Pipe cleaners!! I buy them at the dollar store and we make animals or anything else we can imagine. We then use them to tell stories, pretend to visit the zoo, sing songs (old MacDonald, 5 ducks) etc. So mess free and reuseable. Stock up the next time you see them! Add some beads for older kids and they will be busy for hours.

WaitingOnTwoPinkLines said...

If you can, download children's games onto your phone. & have a car charger. Saved us on an eight hour trip to Florida!
Also, have a few toys that are reserved for long trips only. That way the kids have something to look forward to, and it's not something they play with everyday.

Katie said...

A cookie tray with sides can be great entertainment in the car. Use it for magnets or a place to color that will keep crayons from rolling away.

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

We travel long trips twice a year and I have learned to purchase postcards in every state as we drive through and have the kids keep one for our scrapbook and send the other to family here at home. We also try to learn about the areas we are driving through and compare to things @ home.

We have started driving @ night on the way home, so the kids can sleep through most of the drive.12hrs.

Emily said...

This would be awesome! My travel tip is just to wear slip on shoes when flying. Not only does it help you move through the lines quicker, but you can take your feet out during the flight and stretch them.

Lisa @ Simplified Saving said...

Keep a small container of plastic utensils (think small pencil box) under the seat. These are great for eating the food you brought along (like apples and peanut butter) and they're also great if you stop at a fast food restaurant and they don't give you the silverware you need. This has saved me quite a few times!

grammy said...

Start them young in knowing they can never under any circumstances ride with =out a seat belt. It will be their life long good habit.

Jen Goble said...

books on tape are a great way to pass the time!

Christena said...

always bring a purse that is big enough to carry things that you wouldn't normally carry, like bottled water, a map, camera, tickets, passports, snacks, extra change and saniwipes. But make sure it's comfortable to lug around with you. With all that extra stuff it's going to be heavier than your every day purse.

bonus tip; always make an extra copy of your passport, license, and tickets, and keep it on your person (i have a id holder i wear around my neck, under my shirt, or a "cash belt" for long trips). This way if for some reason your purse gets lost or stolen, you won't be stranded in a foreign country.

extra bonus tip; if you're the type of person who always gets turned around in strange cities (like me), swallow your pride and consider buying a cheap compass and taking it with you. I grew up in Nebraska, where all the streets are perpendicular so when I moved to Florence, Italy (where all the streets are wonky), it never ceased to amaze me how easily I could get turned around. Having a compass (along with a map) kept me from wasting time walking in circles.

Johnlyn ~ said...

We keep a plastic box full of travel things. These are things that my kids only see when we travel so they are more excited to use them! It makes it easy when we travel too, just grab the box and we know the kids will be entertained.

Kristine said...

We always have a trash bag and wipes in the car. We try to pack extra bags - they have many uses.

Check out the library for books on tape or CD. We've listened to some great books while on trips.

Always buy your water bottles before you leave. The ones at the gas station will cost 4x (or more) as much.

Shannon said...

When flying, always have extra clothes, diapers, toiletries in your carry on (just in case). When driving, always have extra blankets, pillows, and food (just in case). Great tips, great giveaway! Thanks!

Carla said...

I think one of my best travel tips right now is a GPS. My mom bought us one for Christmas, I didn't think I really needed it that bad. Now, I really love it! I can't wait to use it on road trips!!! I would love to have the gift card to maybe take a day trip with the hubby and kiddo's!

Anonymous said...

When we travel for longer than a day I like to printaps of each travel day. That way the kids can see where we are and how far we have to go for the day. Seems to help on the are we there yet questions!
Rebecca
Rebecca.s.elwell@comcast.net

Grateful for Grace said...

My travel tip is to keep a box of wipes and a few diapers in your vehicle even if you don't have anyone in diapers anymore. Diapers are the best for absorbing spills (especially in cup holders), of course! The soak much more than paper towels and don't drip! The wipes are for all the sticky fingers and faces. Even Dad's!

Tami said...

When my 4 kids were under the age of 'teenager' i would travel with bags that had each hour of the day marked on them. They were simple brown bags, and some had a snack, some had a book and some had a game or travel toy. So each hour, they got something new. Nothing eleborate in any of them, but they kept everyone busy an hour at a time. I could re-use most of the games for other travel days.

And ya... the loud souvenir thing...definitely!

Dawn said...

My travel tip is from when my kids were little. I placed a clippy type clothes pin on the sun visor. I explained that one side represented home. The other end represented the destination. As we traveled, I moved the pin closer to the destination side, appropriate to our miles traveled. It eliminated the "Are we almost there yet?" question. However, it did generate the "Mom, is it time to move the clip yet???" one instead! Ha!

Di said...

Haven't read all the comments, so hopefully not a repeat... Give your kids their spending $ (amount dependent on age/length of trip) but make sure it's in small increments (quarters or ones). Tell them when you give it to them that they will have to pay you for fights/whining/any other infraction that you lay out in advance. Making them pay is a quick learning tool and nips bad behavior in the bud.

Heather Y said...

My travel tip: Portable DVD player with lots o' DVDs. Our last trip we bought a DVD player specifically for the trip, but forgot our 15+ dvds at home.
10 of which were rented for the trip!! Luckily we found some in our glove compartment.

Dana said...

We always bring a bag with WET paper towels in to clean up oopsies :)
We have a game that we play to help the kids pass the time. It's I'm going on a picnic, and I am bringing.. You must name and item,
then the next person says your item, then adds a new one. Each person must say all the items already mentioned, before adding to the list :)

Thanks for the nice giveaway:)

Dana
d09@goldingers.com

LANA said...

Go to second hand store and stock pile a whole lot of small toys and books for the ride. Recycle these every month or so, so that the little ones always have something new and interesting to keep them busy!

Kittensqueak said...

I always like to bring wet wipes in the car - they are great for cleaning just about anything!

Manic Mommy Meg said...

Lots of entertainment for the kids! Electronics, books, crayons, toys, etc. + Spare batteries for the electronics. Also, take a plastic bag for wet or damp clothes on the travel home. Roll your clothes instead of fold them - makes more room in the luggage. And only take 1-2 pairs of shows!

Thanks for the contest! :)

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

Play doh. Lots of little tubs of playdoh. And a lap desk. That usually works well for us.

Sharon said...

My tip is to take along a small potty for young children...just in case! :)

sehudson2006@yahoo.com

Megan said...

If your children are babies like mine, leave just before their usual nap time. That way they will spend most of the trip sleeping(if you're only traveling for a few hours).

Angela said...

books on tape/cd are great for long trips. The kids (and me) get sucked into the story! Makes the time fly. I always get ours at the local library!

Deanna G. said...

One tip would be to bring along some activity books!

Nikki said...

We put snacks in a shoe box size rubbermaid container. It helps them NOT to get smashed:)

Jennifer said...

I always keep a roll of paper towels in my trunk and a little bag of plastic grocery bags in my glove box. It is amazing how many snack bags, Starbucks cups, etc. accumulate in our car. At the end of the day, I get out a plastic bag and have everyone gather trash. The paper towels are great for wiping up spills and messy faces!

Amy said...

Always pack extra baggies, for toting home everything from leaky toiletries to seriously dirty clothes.

Also... friends of mine went on a road trip, packing an extra bag for the one night in the first hotel. They left the rest of their bags in the car. The next morning, everything was gone. :( They had to buy all new clothes before they could finish their trip, which, of course, seriously hurt their travel budget. So... while I like the idea of a seperate bag, I think I'd take the bags inside the hotel, even if you don't open them.

Christy said...

Bring plenty of ziploc baggies - be sure to put a wet washcloth in one. These babies can hold anything from snacks to soiled laundry.

Innocent Observer said...

My tip probably only applies to large, tight-fisted families, but we travel with our crock pot and/or griddle. That way we can cook meals in the hotel room and save a fortune on eating out. When we traveled by plane last year, our first stop was a thrift store to but said items. We really enjoy having easy, familiar meals when away from home, and honestly if we didn't do this we wouldn't be able to afford any travel!

Monica said...

My tip is to pick the right starting time. We usually start our long trips in the late afternoon. This way the kids get to enjoy the excitement of starting a trip, but then in a few hours (when all the excitement wears off) they can go to sleep during the night. This way you don't have to deal with as many "I'm bored" or "Are we there yet?"

Jessica said...

Travel trip with small kids: learn lots and lots of songs.

kim said...

I guess my best travel tip is a portable DVD player. That has made traveling MUCH easier! I hope I win!

Katie said...

We drive to see my parents every other month or so. We have 4 boys and 2 get car sick fairly easily. We MAKE SURE to bring a couple of air plane bags as well as grocery sacs to help with 'car sickness' if ya know what I mean! ; ) This has SAVED us from having to get our car DEEP cleaned plenty of times.

Nancy said...

My best travel tip is to pack very lightly - most people overpack. Let's face it, most of the time you can wear an outfit more than once unless you are rolling around in the mud or are a very messy eater! The reason they call it "luggage" is that you have to lug it around: in and out of the car or van, into the hotel, in and out of elevators, etc. Coordinate your outfits to mix and match, wear them more than once, and have lighter luggage with less to lug around! You'll have a happier trip, I promise!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Lori said...

I love books on CD, especially if it's a good mystery or adventure. The Westing Game is a great one!

Karen said...

My travel tip isn't one for while you are actually traveling, but before you go. I have found that making a list of things to pack, things that go in the car, even right down to drinks, snacks and wipes, is crucial to a smooth trip. Making the list well ahead of time (when things are calmer and not 15 minutes before heading out the door!) and gathering the things together as early as possible makes for a very smooth trip. Just check your list as you load your vehicle. I have found that I ALWAYS forget something if I haven't made THE LIST first.

runninggal said...

I go shopping at the dollar store and other such stores and create a "Mommy bag". I keep it mysterious so they don't know all the goodies I have in there. It's stocked with fun activity books, fun pens, maybe a chalkboard, a book with string to learn to tie knots, a few Mad Gibs, coloring books, postcards to send back home, an address book, white board and stink-free dry erase markers, math games, books to read, reading games, magnetic checkers....

You get the idea. And I only give out one thing at a time...keeping the future mysteries of the Mommy bag a secret throughout the whole trip - making sure to have a few surprises left for the ride home.

www.runninggalinsights.blogspot.com

Traci said...

Two words : Baby Wipes - They clean up the stickiest of messes in no time flat! I use them for EVERYTHING!!!

Katie Lewis said...

Most amusement parks will let you bring food in - which is a HUGE savings with 5 kids. : ) We normally eat breakfast at the hotel (either a continental type provided or donuts/fruit type things that we can bring with), then we'll splurge on lunch later in the afternoon because we snack on trail mix, crackers, etc that we brought at the park and eat a picnic for an early dinner. Most parks have lockers where you can stow a small soft side cooler and we'll pack sub sandwiches, cookies, fruit and sodas - for a fraction of the restaurant prices. Plus, we can eat at odd times and take advantage of shorter lines while everyone else is fighting for food! :)

Surviving the Smiths said...

I always keep paper towels, wipes, hand sanitizer when traveling. Some of those stay in the car all the time. I also take some extra grocery bags to try and keep trash to a minimum.

Gypsy Momma said...

I love travel tips...and packing snacks accessible to littles but not to momma would help me so. I snack while I drive...bad on many levels.
Blessings,
Amy

Spring said...

I dont' have any fabulous travel trips, because I am a homebody (and a wimp!) and rarely travel with our kids. But the couple times we have flown with the kids (12 hours including layovers and driving) our portable DVD players, magnadoodles, and colorform games (or the new magnet versions) saved us again and again.

aggiemomof2 said...

I haven't purchased one yet but I saw a travel potty that you can use ziploc baggies in. With a recently trained toddler--it's a must have before our next road trip!
sylviarj at yahoo dot com

Tiffany said...

My travel tip is to make sure there is plenty of small games and things of the sort to do in the car. We love the magnadoodle coloring boards and now that they are getting older, Leapsters with games.

Megan said...

My travel tip is...have each child pack a bag with their own toys/items to occupy themselves. Make sure there is plenty in there, and have some extras that you pack for them.
Thanks for the great giveway!

Jeanette said...

I have wrapped inexpensive small fun stuff and I would pull out a new "gift" for them to unwrap every hour. Helps to keep them entertained! We also had a dvd player with headphones for when they just can't take being strapped in a minute longer.

Mrs. Pear said...

Most of my ideas have already been posted, so I will go with one that I don't think has been. My girls love to color, but rather than buy a coloring book and hope that there are some things in there they will like I go to Disney Chanel and Nick Jr. to print the pages of the characters they know. I will also search for: "topic" coloring page. This almost always works to find good coloring pages, and what 4 year old cannot be distracted by coloring...at least for a while!

ibleedart said...

My travel tip is bring a pillow and a blanket, you never know when you'll need it! :)

bethzheart said...

We do as severalpeople have already suggested. Pack a bag for each kid with a few small favorite toys. I pack a bag with some dollar store stuff for new and exciting fun. I bring a (usually library rented) new video for the dvd player for the kids and a book on cd or ipodcast for hubby and me.

Oh, and courtesy of my sis-in-law anything liquid that has a foil cover over the top (like bottles of milk or juice) just push the straw through the yogurt. No more spills!

The Clines said...

Travel tip: When traveling with children, when one person has to go potty, everyone has to try! I don't care if you don't have to go now, you're trying anyway! :-)

Anonymous said...

We often traveled with my Gramma-- and saying the rosary was a staple on road trips of longer than 60 minutes. Somehow, the collective voices soothed even the wildest beasts...

Liz M

Henley on the Horn said...

I travel with Dramamine and readily give it to our 2 children who fight being carsick. We also travel with a hospital vomit tray and plastic bags and paper towels!! We have learned the hard way over many miles in the vomit comet.

Tiffany said...

My travel tip is to travel during the kiddo's nap time! lol

Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

Travel tip: On extended trips, a portable DVD player is worth its weight in gold.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Janis said...

I create a journal/game book for the kids each trip that is unique. You can print off numerous word finds, crosswords, and other worksheets from the Internet for free as well as many coloring pages. I have a binding machine but I think you can take it into an office store and get it spiraled bound for a few bucks. I also include room for a daily journal so they can keep track of how far we have gone- what we did each day and then we keep those so when we scrapbook our trip we can remember what we did each day and any special moments.

Leslie said...

Inside of that handy ice chest, be sure the pack a few energy drinks to help keep the drivers alert and awake! Also, gum can come in handy for that as well.

Heather said...

My best travel tip (especially for car trips) is to pack smart. You can save a lot of time by not having to rummage through the trunk every time you stop at a rest stop and you can avoid some stops if your frequently used items are within reach. My second travel trip - always bring your own pillow, even when staying in a hotel. I sleep so much better on my own pillow.

Anonymous said...

Play the I Spy / Alphabet game, this really keeps my 8yr old entertained. Whoever finds all letters of the alphabet first wins (using license plates, billboards, restaurant signs, etc).
DeLane

bc0105@aol.com

arkie said...

Take rest stop "picnic" breaks. Individual snack bags and bags of their own personal "quiet" toys and books. Small travel pillows for naps. For the older kids, a travel map so they can keep up with the progress of the trip. And NEVER take boiled eggs in the cooler for a snack!

Amanda said...

Stop often at rest stops, take a bag or 10 for trash in the car, and sleep WELL the night before.

pendy said...

Pack each kid's outfits, down to the hair ribbon, in separate zip loc bags. No more wadded up clothing in the suitcase or searching for a pair of socks.

C.C. said...

Wow tons of ideas and many are ones I use as a former military family we have traveled lots! One i didn't see that I have done is have a clip board for each child (i printed travel games, like the states game, tic tac toe, hangman, etc... and covered with clear contact paper the child can use the clip board to hold paper, coloring pages, etc.. or to play one of the gmaes then wipe it off when they are done. We usually have a seperate travel bag for each child with books, MP3 player, and any misc they may want to bring along. Also we freeze several bottles of water and juice pouches and place in the cooler with fruit and cut up veggies, cheese, the little snacks seem to help our car sick kiddo's. Hope these will be of help to some one else.

Christina
http://ohmommaok.blogspot.com

ohmommaok@yahoo.com

Sam said...

My travel tip: if/when flying a baby carrier is a must for any child under age 2. I either use an Ergo or a Didymos wrap and it makes it so much easier to get on and off the plane then using a stroller. Also, always check the airport websites before you fly to find out if any of the airports you are flying through have play areas. These are wonderful(and mostly clean) places to let the kids run and play and are usually equipped with family bathrooms next to them. (I fly from Alaska to Florida often to visit family:-)

Cathy said...

For long trips I make sure my 8 and 5 year old have...

1) Their own water bottle in nearby cupholder.

2) A backpack w/ a spiral notebook and pencil for doodling, books to read, and a couple of small toys.

3) Mess free snacks already broken up into little snack ziploc bags so their handy to toss to the back of the van where we can't reach.

4) And most importantly....
THE DECORATED BARF BOWL always makes it in the vand in case of...well, you know.
:)

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

My tip...make sure you know lots of silly kids songs so you can spend the time singing goofy songs.

Adrienne said...

I have three children and I have them each pack their own "car bag" They can include whatever they want. Books, crayons, knitting stuff....etc. That way they can have no complaints, they packed it themselves.

MaryHelene T said...

I "rotate" toys... and save special sticker books, and travel games hidden away- and only pull them out for long car trips- AND my girls have their own Kleen Kanteens with the sports top for the journey.

Alicen said...

When my brothers and I were young we had "Car Kits". It was a plastic storage container that we got to fill up with whatever we wanted to take along on our trip. It had to fit in that box and we each got our own. Usually it was coloring books and crayons and stencils, a travel trouble game and some small cars or other toys. It always helped keep us entertained.

I agree wholeheartedly about your idea for drinks and ssnackd, they can get so darn expensive on the road! And each stop takes so much time :)

Corinna said...

Well, if you had asked BEFORE your trip, I would have totally shared the "take a cooler of drinks" tip with you! After 4 drives to Disney World I have LEARNED.

My other tip would be to take a mini medicine cabinet with you. Mine has Tylenol and Pepto Bismol always (also childrn's versions), Dramamine for car sickness (me!), a few Band-aids and Neosporin for good measure. If one of the kids gets an upset stomach, no more stopping in the middle of the night at a gas station and paying $15 for a bottle of Pepto! LOL

Corinna

wilma2389 said...

My travel tip is to give each child a roll of coins, nickels, dimes or quarters. Then every time they nag 'Are we there yet' they lose a coin. Whatever they have left is theirs to spend at the destination. Only takes losing a few coins for them to get the idea. Of course, this doesn't work on toddlers.

Chunky & Funky said...

My travel tip (for long trips) is to buy a few items (they can be inexpensive) that your child has never seen before & then pull them out in the car when they are close to melting down. We traveled to FL recently & this helped us tremendously.

Wendy said...

Definitely Dramamine! For my family, anyway, that's top priority. My daughter suffers from motion sickness - we learned this the hard way!

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