Road Trip Survival

We are taking a nearly two week long road trip out to the great Midwest.
We are flying out to Indianapolis
{we aren't crazy!}
and then driving up, down and all around.
Literally hitting four {maybe five} different states.
I've been trying to prep games and activities for my older kids {14, 11, and nearly 8}
While they have Penny a Page, I also wanted them to have some other things to keep them busy.
You know, that wasn't fighting with their siblings the whole time.
So I have gathered a few things that I think will help us,
and quite possibly may help you as well.
I know that we could rely on DVD's and electronics to entertain the kids, but that doesn't make any road trip memories.  I want to go back to the basics and enjoy traveling with my kids.  We bring along the electronics, but only as a last resort.  Here are a few things we will fill up our time with first.
Our family loves the license plate game.
I found a printable version on Prepared Not Scared that I am going to use for the kids x's 3.
I think we are going to make it into a little family competition to see who can 
find the most states while on our trip.  
Winner gets to pick our activity.
Or five bucks.
Thinking they will want the five bucks.
I love playing games, but playing games {even travel games} can prove to be difficult.
There are a few that I think pass the test for playability on a car trip.
Cranium Humdinger is one of them.
You are given a card to hum the tune of a popular song.
Unfortunately, with a broad range of musical interest in my house, I decided to make up our own list of humdinger songs that everyone in the family will know.
20 questions is a fun car game to play.
One person is chosen as the answerer, the others are the questioners.
The answerer chooses a subject and the questioners have 20 questions to guess the subject.
The trick is, those questions have to require yes or no answers.
ABC Game
There are two versions to the ABC game that our family plays.
Photo By:
The first is a billboard version.
We use letters alphabetically to complete the whole alphabet.
You can use road signs, billboards, signs from restaurants and even letters on licence plates.
The second version is a memory game that our whole family enjoys.
It starts with "I went on a trip and I brought a...". 
Each person fills in the blank with an object of their choice for each letter of the alphabet.
You take turns going through each person and the trick is, you have to remember the previous letters as well!
If you can't remember or stumble on remembering a letter, you are out.
The person who can finish the alphabet knowing all the letters wins!
I love the idea of these travel bags from It's a Fabulous Life.
She bought bags at the dollar store, labeled them with each state they were passing through and filled them with goodies that could only be unwrapped once your family crossed into that state.
When my kids were small we did something similar, except I wrapped small presents to be opened every hour on the long plane ride.
One of our favorite audio books to listen to as a whole family {yes, even my 14 year old}
is June B. Jones.
I pick up a few at our local library for those times when we just want to sit back and listen to someone else read to us.
While our journey isn't this long, I do plan on making a road trip map in google maps for our kids to follow along.  They can keep track of our journey and color our route in with a red marker.
I love this idea for a ringed map from Martha Stewart.
The kids can put round stickers on the places that we visit.
And since all three can read, they can check out the road signs and follow the map 
to find out if we are there yet.
Our plan is to not drive more than three hours without a stop.
I always feel like if you see a sign for a scenic viewpoint on the highway, you should stop.
I've never been disappointed.

It could mean that we stop and pose for goofy pictures at various locations, making our own scenic pit stop.

Or it could mean, we stop and get a quick ice cream treat

I think we are going to have a great time!
I can't wait for all the sites we will see, the people we will get to visit and the memories that we will be creating!
Do you have any road trip survival tips to add?
I would love to hear them!


Nicole said...

As a kid, we did TONS of road trips and sometimes there were 2 of us, or 4 of us. Several things come to mind from when it was just the two of us. Several days before the trip, the family went to the bookstore and we each got several new books. The thing is, we could not read those books until we left on the trip. Made us even more excited about leaving. We also each had our own "toy bag". It was a large, long nylon bag with a drawstring bag. We kept our own stuff in there for the roadtrip. We did the alphabet game (roadsign) too (Q was always the hardest! We changed seats every hour (this was before seatbelt laws and when we went camping, we pretty much had one seat that was a bed, so it was a prime seat). We do roadtrips as a family now too but since we only have one kid, I don't have to worry that much about the fighting issue. Can't think of anything else-hope you have a fantastic time!

Erin said...

Great ideas! We are making our gulf shores trip in august, and this time we will have a 4 year old and a 3.5 month old (am I crazy?!) I always prepare way more than I think I'll need for the 4 year old. It changes each year as to what he's in to. He would watch movies the whole time if we allowed it, so I have to be intentional with the activities! Sticker books, activity books, road trip bingo, Snacks, books on tape, card matching game (using a cookie sheet for a "table", did I mention snacks?!

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