Monday, March 19, 2012

travel ahead! car trip must haves from the middle

With Spring right around the corner I begin thinking about Road Trips.  Here are some well tested tricks of the trade for a long distance car ride.
You will not find electronic device other than the car's stereo on our list, sorry just not for us.

Starting with the front seat The Mom Bag, placed at the foot of the front seat parent/passenger: travel plans, routes, hotel info, attractions, map, etc., extra hair accessories, extra trash & zip lock bags, nail clippers, band-aids, pocket knife with scissors, Family Reading Novel or CD's, some form of music library, every ones toothbrushes, gum & mints, pain & allergy medicine along with any other Rx's, extra pens, small note pad, camera, cash & change, emergency info contact sheet (separate from your cell phone contacts), tissues.

Moving to the backseat The Book Bag:
A road map highlighted with your travel course, travel bingo, hangman, Mad Libs, crossword puzzles, mazes, etc. spiral bound note book, 2- multi colored ballpoint pens, a pack of crayons in a zip lock back (in hot climates store in the cooler), colored pencil roll with sharpener, or a small whiteboard with whiteboard crayons/markers & a small cloth, a book with lots of detail & pictures ie Eyewitness Books, a Choose Your Own Adventure Book.
The mini kid cooler, a small ‘drink’ cooler packed within reach of a child in a seat belt with small single serving portions of the following: Water, yogurt, cheese sticks, humus, lean deli meats, nut butter, jam in a squeeze bottle, salsa, ready to eat fruit & vegetables, bagel with cream cheese cut in quarters, plastic spoons.

Dry bag: trail mix, crackers, seeds or nuts, tortilla chips, graham crackers, wet wipes, napkins, plastic plate, large wooden tongue depressors to use as a knife.

The good stuff : One favorite stuffy, a small bag of favorite little loves such as small wooden or plastic animals, paper dolls, toy cars, etc., binoculars, small trash bag, tissues, sunglasses or a hat, an all purpose bandanna, small pillow, lightweight blanket, magnets, Jacobs Ladder, kaleidoscope or a periscope, pocket mirror, a hand lens, a sewing, knitting, or needle point project.

A couple extra travel tips: Dress in comfortable clothing and wear slip-on shoes.  Pack the clothes you will need when you arrive at your destination on top of your bag.  Hotel pool? Swimsuit. Campgrounds? Warm Jackets...
As for family reading we try to start a new book 1 or 2 nights before we leave that way the kids are already hooked & want to hear more.  Never shame a child for needing to stop for a rest stop break.  Get everyone out, everyone tries, & everyone runs around a little bit. And while we are there, plan rest breaks around interesting sights such as a funny little town park, a truck stop in the middle of the interstate, a gas station with a fruit stand.  The week before we leave I research our route listing on the note pad in the Mom Bag all the possible places of interest along the way but I do not share the list with kids. Everyone sleeping? skip it & they won't miss what they don't know.  Kids fighting? Surprise, let's go see the world's largest sprinkler.  Have fun seeing the sights don't be afraid to stop the car and explore along the way. 

Remember to enjoy the ride!
Safe travels :)

...what are we forgetting?


  1. Awesome list/ideas! We have made a few trips from Iowa to AZ and back with our daughter (as well as just mama and daughter from IA to NH). All with out electronic distractions (except, like you, the radio/cd player). Love the idea about the kid cooler. Our must have is a blank journal/art book with some "adult" markers. And audio books. Can't live without audio books.

  2. lol, the funny little things spell check misses but Freud does not! :) Thanks Kristen.