Six ways to survive a long road trip with kids

The Dreaded Road Trip

Pre-Trip Thoughts

According to Google, our road trip will be a minimum of 7 hours and 45 minutes to go to Boulder, CO. I know better, this painful road trip will be at least 10 hours.  I’m regretting not buying a plane ticket for myself and meeting my family in Denver, CO.

What really happened…

I worked 30 hours in 3 days immediately prior to leaving. The night before we left I was scrambling to pack my clothes, let alone some elaborate road trip entertainment plan. 

Husband, “should we bring movies for the car.”  Me, “Absolutely!”

This is what we were able to prepare ahead of time.

  1. I went to the library and checked out the last 7 books of the Never Girls that my daughter hadn’t read yet. Here is a link to amazon, I highly suggest going to your library. My 7 year old devoured this series.
  2. I packed 2 car bingo cards for the ride and a few crummy prizes. Here is a car bingo link. I bought mine at the dollar store for, you guessed it, $1 a card.
  3. I had bought a rubber band ball for $1.50 at the hospital gift shop, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought it.
  4. My husband made, “I want to stop” cards. (Is he insane? Worst idea ever!)
  5. We also had some old magazines from Highlights, Ranger Ricks, and National Geographic from a friend.
  6. We packed waters, ham sandwiches, snacks and we sliced every single vegetable and fruit we had in the fridge. (Waste not, want not.)

How awful was it you ask…

  1. My daughter read 6 out of the 7 books we brought from the library.
  2. The kids LOVED car bingo. The only way one kid could win is if they both won.  So after one won they then had to help the other kid find their items. This made the game last longer and there was no whining.
  3. Half way home I gave my son the rubber band ball since my daughter was engrossed in her books. He was enthralled with every aspect of it. He made a rubber band rope, stared at it for a strangely long time, tried taking it apart and putting it back together.
  4. The stop cards were a hit. The kids used them to stop at the Military Museum, ice cream twice (if you ate ice cream you had to turn in a card) and a park. They surprisingly didn’t abuse the cards.  I see them in the back staring out the window with their card tight in their tiny hand.
  5. Magazines were briefly looked at. My neck is still sore from turning around to see a picture that is “so cute!”
  6. Our only food stop on the way there was ice cream.  If we wanted to order something we each had to put in a “I want to stop card.”  The road snacks got us through with minimal “I’m hungry” coming from the back seat.

The kids did not use any electronic devices the entire car trip.  No phone, no movie, no games… The surprising thing is they didn’t even ask.  This is the most successful road trip we’ve had to date.

See trip post here.

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