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A Few Tips to Enjoy the Ride!

April 11th, 2007 by tisner

Are we there yet?

"Are We There Yet?"
Traveling with kids by car

It seems that "Are we there yet?" has been issued a 100 times already and you have been on the road for only 2 hours of a 23 hour drive to your final destination.  I know that only too well.  I have experienced being the child bored out of my mind and now as the parent.  I have now the joy of older children and they have iPods, DVD’s and the laptop computer to keep them occupied.  The best $500 investment years ago was the behind the seat DVD player with headsets. 

If you are planning a car trip this summer with the kids, here are a few suggestions, on things to pack in the car to keep you from going crazy. 


  • For each child buy a bunch of little trinket items and wrap them up (I wrapped the stuff in two different types of paper to make it easy to grab something for each when I needed  a surprise)  I usually go to the dollar store and get things that the kids are always asking me for.
  • Invest in some paper towels, but even better bring 6 or 8 kitchen towels for the ride, they come in handy for clean ups, make great placemats in laps for eating in the car and if you have the terrible spill, they work so well.
  • Have a clean washcloth in a baggie with you.  Each time you stop rince it out and you have something to clean sticky fingers.  A container of baby wipes is also a great resource to have on these trips — I still bring them and my son is 11 years old!
  • A huge stash of plastic bags — sounds silly but you will generate garbage on the way and what better way than when you fill up gas rid the car of any excess garbage.
  • Make sure you bring some windex and paper towels, windows get dirty
  • A pillow and blanket for each child, if you are lucky they will take a long nap during the trip!
  • Bring a laptable for each child, bring crayons, coloring books and lots of paper for them to draw as they go by.  Note if you are going to travel anywhere where the car will get hot when parked, colored pencils a smarter option.  Magic Markers just a bad idea, the caps never stay on and something always gets stained.
  • Create coloring sheets of the trip and things that they might see.  Help the kids create a memory book by keeping the sheets in a three ring binder, as they color them, they go back into the binder.  At the end of the trip you can use these sheets to add to the photos you take to build a memory book.
  • Snacks.  Bring lots of them, and invest in the individually wrapped items or put items in the small baggies for the kids.  Juice boxes put in a cooler frozen solid (with a couple that are not).  Kids get bored they want to eat.  Don’t forget carrots, celery, grapes and apple wedges are great snacks too for the car!

In case the DVD player dies on you there are some options that you can do to keep your kids busy.  Trust me, these are things that you can use even in your everyday run around town:

  • Play I am thinking of a person — basic game you come up with a person, it took my kids 2 years to figure out when I started the game that Santa Claus was the person I always started with.  The other players have to ask yes/no questions to figure out the person, the winner comes up with the next person.
  • Play I am going on a picnic game – using the letters of the alphabet you name items you would bring on the picnic — appple, banana, candy, donuts …  As the kids have gotten older we have changed the paramaters, I am going to the zoo and I saw Annie the Avark, Becky the bat, Charlie the Chimp…. which then eveloved to going to the zoo and I saw Annie the Amazing Arvark perform acorbatics, Becky the brave bat fly through the bat cave, Charlie the charming chimp create colorful crafts… and the game has now evolved to all sorts of levels that the kids think up.
  • Using road signs, or store signs, or billboards going through the alphabet search for words systematically going through the alphabet — Ace Hardeware, Bob’s Big Boy, Checkers, Dunkin Donuts, Exit three miles….
  • Starting your trip put a piece of paper with all 50 states on it, and check off the state license plates that you see.
  • Create stories with the kids about people they see in other cars.  This one always amazes me with the kids.  They will take a look at a couple with a baby in the car and they will come up with a whole story about how they are heading to visit family because Aunt Sophia is celebrating her 89th birthday.. 

Hope these suggestions help with your next car trip!

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Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

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