Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Backwards Works for Me Wednesday...


It's Backwards Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer. I'm looking for travel help. We will soon be in a minivan heading nine hours south with our brood. Well, nine hours is what it takes people without kids to get there. So..... we will soon be heading thirteen hours south with our brood. We do travel a fair amount with the kids, but I am always open to suggestions about ways to make it all go smoother. So, hook me up here. What's your favorite family travel tip?

9 comments:

Edi said...

No matter what you may have heard about kids and long trips - it does not have to be miserable!
When our kids were infants and we had a 17 hr trip - we drove through the night to take advantage of them sleeping through the night.

As they got older - we had to become more inventive, b/c we could no longer drive through the night.

I would pick up some inexpensive toys/books/stuffed animals whatever the kids were "into" at that time (cheaply via the thrift store or garage sales)...sometimes I'd wrap them and then every couple of hours or whenever the situation called for it - they'd get a surprise package.

Now they are almost 6 and 8.5. We still take long trips and what works are: "toy of the day" - similar to the surprise pkg but these are bigger items and only 1 per day (at least for the main item)...again it's not expensive but something the child really likes and will keep them occupied (ie. a new Playmobil character for son) or a Littlest Pet shop for dd (cost maybe $3)...we also do a lot of books on cd (stuff that is interesting enough for ma/pa and the kids too).

Little chalkboards, doodle boards, markers that only work on special paper, books, books, books.

Jamie said...

One friend had been saving Happy Meal toys for a while before their cross country trip and every few hours would break one out. I swear by the portable DVD players. Magnadoodles are great. Books work for a little for mine, but then they start getting queasy. Colour Wonder is nice, until the toddler loses the caps.

Gettysburg Mom said...

My husband and I both are strongly opposed to DVD players in the car right now. We want the kids to suffer, er..enjoy family time together and see the places we're driving through... although it is oh so tempting. My sister says its just over two Disney movies to Maine :)

speedymac77 said...

Nyquil? I'M JOKING!! What would Micheal say? Since he hasn't commented yet, I hedge. I love all of the ideas presented thus far. I would say something that isn't messy, doesn't use batteries (they always seem to go when it's most important) and doesn't have an annoying sound. We had car bingo growing up (look for signs, a purple VW, a bridge...) - it was entertaining at least. Maybe you'll end up with a DVD player on your way home (I'm with you on this one!! Enough with the 'tube!!).

You can always get Rich with a good "punch bug" - that's always entertaining!!

HopewellMomSchool said...

I guess that much Benadryl could get you in trouble!! lol [JUST KIDDING] I survived 24 hours of travel with my two newly adopted non-English speaking kids so here's what I used [I was alone!] in addition to Benadryl. Surprises! Doesn't matter how dumb. Depending on the age--Happy Meal toys, coloring books w/colored pencils, new music cd hair doo-dads. Anything. For that long of a trip I would compromise on my principles and save my sanity. A few dvds won't hurt! Especially in a strange city at rush hour. Older kids--we listen to books on tape.

jen said...

Last year I did a huge post of our travel ideas. We are a military family, and both sides of the family live in different states that are not near each other. No matter where we are stationed, we travel a LOT - by car and plane. Hope this is helpful.

Here's the link to our ideas:
http://learningpatience.wordpress.com/2007/06/17/travel-strategies/

a Tonggu Momma said...

You were so helpful on my site (love the presorted boxes idea), I just had to pop on over and try to return the favor.

new toys, as several people mentioned previously

create some mixed CDs so that you can mix up everyone's favorites for the car ... that way no one goes stir crazy listening to someone else's style of music (don't forget your favorites, too)

books on CD are great, too

lots of healthy snacks in the cooler ... little ones especially love to eat when they are bored, so plan ahead and pack some healthy favorites

breaks every once in awhile ... and run races at rest stops after the requisite bathroom visit

great travel game ideas on this site: http://www.momsminivan.com/

John A. Magee said...

I would think Shea can amuse himself the same way I always did, by tormenting a younger sister.

That should keep the younger sisters busy, too. So the time will pass oh so merrilly....

In any event, I agree that keeping the DVDs out of the car is a good idea. Those kids should have to suffer just the way we did.

Hey, is this the trip to Myrtle Beach with Mom and Dick? If so, keeping an eye out for "South of the Border" signs may be something on that particular route that will kill a bit of time as you get closer.

Tracey said...

FOOD. Lots and lots of snacks that they won't get all sugar-highed on, or have to take bathroom breaks from, either. Clear drinks (obviously), and non-sticky stuff. Cereal, granola bars, etc. Also, Twizzlers seem to occupy them, without making them keyed-up, and travel fairly well. They ARE red, but I haven't had one fall to the floor and get lost yet... They never seem to drop the candy...