So, you’re going to be stuck in a car for an extended period of time with your kiddos, – who’s idea was that? Even though you may instantly regret the once brilliant idea of a family road trip – I’ve got you covered with some must-haves to save your sanity. In no particular order I give you:
1. A portable dvd player : The cons of letting your children watch too much tv should be thrown out the window. This device will save your sanity. It may give you zoned out kids that don’t want to pay attention to the scenic views out their window (that was bound to happen anyway) but the silence will be heavenly. If you’re really concerned, find some educational dvds – but, don’t leave home without one.
2. A Boogie Board: This was by far the hottest item during our road trip. Our children played with them just about non-stop and we may or may not have played with them too! The stencils add to the use of this drawing board and it was a big hit and still is post trip. Also your kids will get a real hoot out of saying “boogie” every time they are using or talking about it – enjoy!
3. Snacks, a lot of snacks : You are asking for torture if you don’t pack a variety of snacks in a quantity large enough to feed a small horse for a week . Your children are bound to use the dreaded “S” word about every 10 minutes and if you don’t deliver, well, we all know what will happen. Just be prepared.
4. A new toy : Keyword here is “new”. The novelty and interest of having something new to play with will last about 30 minutes longer than an “old” toy (if you’re lucky) and trust me – you need all the 30 minutes you can get. Pick something you’re confident your kids will enjoy and it should occupy them for a few minutes.
5. Colouring : Pack a lot of colouring books and/or paper but do not – I repeat, do not – bring markers, unless of course your favourite past-time is cleaning it off your children and everything in arms reach in your car. Stick with crayons or else add magic erasers to your packing list.
6. Books: Bring your favourites and maybe a couple of new ones. Look and find books occupy them a little longer – so bring one if you can. Also, if you have a child that can read – bring books at their level so they can read to the younger children, leaving you to save your voice for yelling at your kids to look at the skyline to their left to have them look to the right way too late and say “what?!?” You know what I mean.
7. Games: Travel games, travel bingo – if your kids are old enough to play these then pack away. If your kids are too little, stick with games like I SPY. Your neck is going to be sore from turning around every time they say “Mom”, so you don’t need to strain it more by directing them in a game they aren’t old enough to play. Age appropriate is best.
8. Magnets: Magnets are always fun – whether the classic letters or characters, this will occupy them for at least part of the trip. We brought metal tins for them to stick to and also to contain them when they were ready to move onto the next thing. Check out your local dollar store (or $40 store) for some great options.
9. Medicine: And by “medicine” I mean your entire medicine cabinet. You might think I’m joking but you will thank me when you’re in the middle of nowhere and your child starts complaining their tummy hurts and you are able to save them from vomiting all over your car. Or when your head is pounding from a change in elevation or backseat bickering and you need some relief. Save yourself the headache and over pack.
10. Ear Plugs or a Car Divider: This item is for the parents only. When you are at your wits end consider ear plugs or a privacy divider (like they have in limos), it could save the entire trip from disaster. Joking! Or am I? But seriously, if someone invents a privacy divider for everyday cars – I want shares!
There you have it! I hope at least a few of these items help you in preparing for your family road trip, save your children from boredom, and give you some sanity! Safe travels!
*Note: This is not an ad and I am not sponsored in any way by any of these products. These opinions are my own and you should always use your own discretion and follow the directions, warnings, age suggestions, etc. on the product packaging.