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Make Car Travel a Little Easier

I remember when I was a kid traveling in our car, I always wanted to know, “Are we there yet?” And I did not want my brother on my side of the backseat. This was before car safety seats—when you could curl up in the back seat with a book or toy. And if I dropped something on the floor, I could just pick it up myself. Now that I am the parent, I know what it feels like to hear, “Are we there yet?” seventeen times before we’ve even left Rhode Island! I dream of sitting up front (when my husband drives) with a hot cup of coffee and a pile of magazines—and no interruptions.

Even if “no interruptions” is a fantasy, here is how I try to at least minimize the interruptions.

Stock the backseat bucket with new books from the library that the kids have not seen yet.Dinosaurs
Restock the CD player with music, or audio books that everyone will enjoy or load up your iPod with your kids favorite music for them and listen to your own favorite music up front!
I prepack a travel bag of goodies (to keep up front) with things like magnetic playsets, toys, puppets, etc., that the boys have not seen in a long time or are new for the trip. When everyone is getting a little cranky or bored, I pull out surprises from the travel bag.
Load up on snacks – water, crackers, carrots, and sandwiches. I try to avoid bananas or anything too mushy that I will be living with and smelling for the next month.
Bring a change of clothes, diapers (if necessary), wipes, and plastic bags (for car sickness or soiled clothes).

Magnetic playsets by Imaginetics are great for traveling. Find themed sets such as, At the Farm, Dinosaurs, Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony and more at Creatoyivity at 808 Hope Street, Providence, RI.

Click on comments below and share your travel tips.

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  • Another great toy store is Brainwaves in Narragansett….they have items you will not find anywhere else. Also, another great website with Beach Games/crafts is Sandkidz.Com

  • I don’t know how my parents stayed sane during the countless road trips with us 4 kids! The games my siblings and I would play(!)… we would terrorize each other, especially if one of us was trying to sleep!

    We always brought along a lot of paper and markers/crayons to keep ourselves occupied, too.

    Great list!

    Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

  • We like the game where you pass a notebook from passenger to passenger, and each person gets to add details to a collective drawing.

    This is not a good one for the car sick.

    We’ve also had good luck with downloading books (the Redwall series by Brian Jacques is great) on to an MP3 player–this kept a 4 year old quiet the whole way to Prince Edward Island (12 hours!)