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Thursday, June 21, 2012


School is out and many families are packing up the kids and hitting the road. Here are some tips from travel editor Serena Brower. -- AP

Are we there yet? How many of you have heard that at least a gazillion times? That long car ride to the shore, the mountains, or Grandma’s house can create lots of headaches for mom and dad unless you plan ahead.

If you’re one of the millions of families who doesn’t have a video player built into your car and can’t afford a portable system, it’s wise to think ahead and pack lots of diversions for the kids. After all, how long can anyone play the license plate game? And Punch Buggie will devolve into a backseat brawl within five minutes.

If your kids don’t have their own iPods, invest in one for each child and load it with audio books and their favorite music. The audio books are great for kids who get carsick reading in a moving vehicle.

For kids who like to color and draw, provide a lap desk and a supply of crayons, colored pencils, paper, and coloring books.

Are your kids competitive? Supply a Rubik’s Cube to each and see who can solve the puzzle quickest.

Remember Mad Libs? They’re still around and come in all different themes, including Star Wars.

And don’t forget lots of snacks!

Great tips, Serena! Readers, do you have any to add? Post a comment to enter the drawing for a book from our guest author on Friday. -- AP


Penelope Marzec said...

When our kids were young, we would make a game out of memorizing all the state capitols. We would do crossword puzzles together, too.

Fortunately, none of our kids got carsick and they could all read while the car was in motion.

Kathy said...

Speaking of travelling, I am checking in from Queechee, Vermont, while on vacation.

Although my kids are grown, when they were small, I found a bag of junk food usually kept them quiet. Bad for their health but good for my ears. They don't seem any worse for it now that they're grown.

Anonymous said...

When my brother and his wife visited with their four kids we had a ritual when they left for the hours-long trip home. Before they left we would have the kids run races outside around the house with a prize for the winner. These kept on until everyone had a prize before they all tumbled into the car, exhausted. They napped half the way home.

boots9k at wowway dot com

jenny milchman said...

In a few weeks we set off on our annual cross-country road trip with our kids, one of whom just finished second grade, the other kindergarten. This year our route will take us from NJ to OR to Naples, FL and back to NJ two months later. I can hardly wait. In addition to the 'bookstore tourism' that is one purpose of our trips, there's something about our family being contained in a tight capsule of car, that's wondrous. After six hours or so, do the sillies sometimes hit, with the result that my husband and I risk getting hit in the back of a head by a stray doll or toy car? Sure. But that's a good reason to stop for ice cream. And the hours spent watching the wonders of this country roll by, kids ensconced in a book or a game, will never be forgotten.