Need Car Trip Ideas!

Updated on December 13, 2012
D.Z. asks from Chardon, OH
12 answers

Hey Ladies! We will be traveling for the holidays, taking an 18 hour car ride down to FL. We will be splitting it up by visiting some folks along the way. However, I have two daughters, 8 and 4. I want the car ride to be organized, smooth, and fun!

What can I do to prepare for this long ride and make it as painless as possible for us and our kids?? Any ideas on how to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, splitting up the drive (hopefully it's an overnight stay) will be
the best solution.

Then bring a DVD player for each child (borrow one if you have to).
That way there is no fighting (worst thing in the car for me) over what
movie to watch.
Get them each a new movie.

Also, stop often for potty breaks & to stretch out their legs.

Bring new toys for each of them that they've never seen to keep them
occupied. Bring them out once they start to get cranky.

Play road games like "I Spy" and "How Many Orange Signs can you find" etc. You get the idea.

Have lots of snacks in the car.

Stop often to let them stretch their legs & break up the monotony (sp?).

Have a safe trip.

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answers from Charleston on

* Pack each girl their own "lunchbox" or cooler with juice boxes, snacks, sandwiches, etc... Place them within THEIR reach so you don't have to try to pass things out.

* Keep "treat" items such as candies or cookies in your reach, and reward good behavior at every gas stop.

* Get a lap desk for both girls to use to color, play puzzles, etc...

* Charge your gaming devices, pack them and extra batteries in bags to place beside them.

* Rent or bring some dvd's and a portable dvd player for when they get stir crazy. Make sure you bring the headphones so you and your husband don't have to hear it too. :)

* Google some car games to play as a family


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

While planning the route.. Look for parks and playgrounds along the way. The girls can play for 30 minutes, have a snack, go potty.

. Get a Rubbermaid bucket and have boxes or bags with different types of activities in them.. One for drawing, one with riddles, funny hats, masks..
One filled with books on cd, books, children's magazines..puppets, flashlights, glow sticks, jump rope, ball, dollar store toys, craft store kits..

Let them take photos with your camera.. Buy new children's music CD,s. borrow a video player for the car..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

One of the car games that I still remember was from our family trip from VT down to DC/VA. First we had to come up with a list of all 50 states from memory (my sister and I were 7 and 12). Then we used that list to check of license plates from each state. When you make a long enough car trip, it is amazing how many states' license plates you see! We also checked parking lots whenever we stopped.
I have seen car Bingo along the same lines- you could buy the cards or burn some extra time by having your girls fill in blank grids with things to find. It will definitely help to have lots of things like DVDs and handheld games, and snacks and treats are a must, but I think it makes the trip more fun if you pay attention to what's outside the car as well :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

We took LOTS of road trips growing up. We had no DVD or Gameboys and still everyone survived and had a good time. We would sing songs, read aloud from classic books (The Hobbit was a favorite).

Also we would play the alphabet game: You look for the alphabet in the road signs you passed in order. One letter per sign. Pausing at drivers request due to traffic.

We also had coloring books, comic books, cards, and the Navigator changed every once in a while (learned how to read a map that way). Dad was also a big History and Geography nut so we would talk about the area we were in and what was neat about it.



answers from Dallas on

Take lots of snacks and activities that can be done in the car and if you don't already have one invest in a portable DVD player. That is a very long time and they need entertained. When my kids were that age and we took a long trip with out one it was insane! They got board of the other stuff within the first 2 to 4 hours and it was hard on us all. It was not till we got the DVD players that we had a peaceful trip. Now we have two. One for each child that way there is no fighting about what they want to watch. My mom told me I was crazy till she went on a trip with us and figured out it was God sent to have them!!!!

Good luck and God Bless!



answers from Houston on

If your kids like word searches, crosswords, or other activity kinds of books/ can rip out the pages and put them in plastic paper protectors then in a 3 ring binder. Use dry erase markers and they can do them over and over, and trade with each need for duplicate books, everyone can do all of them.

You might also give them each a map of your route with your planned stops marked, along with your estimated travel times so they can easily follow along without asking "Are we there yet?" LOL!



answers from Miami on

We drove from Ft. Lauderdale to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over the summer with NO electronics. My children are 6 and 2. We kept to our usual schedule in terms of waking and sleeping as much as possible. (Up early and on the road, snack in mid-morning, lunch, naptime - yes, I instituted "quiet hour" for the 6 year old and everyone except the driver got a nap! - mid-afternoon snack, dinner, etc.) For the car, we sang, played the radio and CDs - got some great kid CDs that we borrowed from the local library, read books, played car games (roadsign Bingo was a huge hit!) and had a present bag for the worst of times. We stopped about every 2 hours or so, usually at a highway reststop where EVERYONE was to run the wiggles out!!! That included Mommy and Daddy. Diapers, potty and back on the road. Each child had their own "present bag" that they did not know about in advance with items from the Dollar Store or grocery. If it was super hard to get back in the carseat, we did presents but no more than 2/day.

We had an awesome time and will be driving to DC this winter. It should be easy and we plan to go straight thru - 17 hours should be easy after the UP!

Have a safe and fun trip! C.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Three little words - books on CD. These have saved my life. I have driven across two thirds of the country and back with a then 8 y.o. and 5 y.o., and thanks to the boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia, they spent most of the trip immersed in storyland.

Another key to success is to plan one "out of the car" active experience per day of driving. Visit a museum, or farm, or state park where you can hike, or even just stop in some small town and give the kids a half an hour of running time in the local park.


answers from Lansing on

When I took my girls on a long car ride. I got them each a clipboard and some new markers. Then supplied them with pictures and plain paper to color on. I also gave them a bunch of stickers. Then I would also pack the car with snacks.

Aside from bringing a DVD player with some new movies.


answers from Grand Forks on

We have a portable DVD player we bring with us on trips. It's great for in the car and also useful for rainy days when we get to our destination. They pack a few books and they also have ds's and an ipod. We pack lots of snacks and make lots of stops at playgrounds and washroom breaks.



answers from Detroit on

Have fun! 4 and 8 are a good age.
Our are all under 7 (5 of them). I don't like road trips!
We don't have any electronics (by choice) so we just talk, etc. But it's still tough traveling with babies and toddlers.

Sing, tell stories, listen to the radio. (I get sick if I read in the car).
And most importantly, buckle up safely for this long trip. Make sure the 4-year-old is in a 5 pt. harness carseat with straps very tight (and no bulky coats in the carseat). The 8-year-old should be in a booster so the belt (most notably the lap portion) fits on the upper thighs and not near her stomach, which could cause fatal injuries from the force of a crash.

Stay safe, and enjoy!

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