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10 Must-Haves for Road Trips With Kids

It's almost time of year! The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means everyone will be traveling to grandparents' houses, aunts' and uncles' houses, and a lucky few will even being going on vacation! Over the past five years, my husband and I have developed a rather comprehensive "must-have" list when it comes to traveling down with our kids. It goes a little something like this:

  1. If your car does not have a built in DVD player, you can find inexpensive ones at any big box store.  This is the first thing we pack and set up the night we hit the road. It is worth the investment.
  2. DVDs! We always buy a new movie for the trip.  This creates a build up of excitement.  However, we also bring all of their favorites and take turns picking out the next movie.
  3. I pack a backpack for each child with lots of fun crafts, stickers, activity books, crayons, markers, etc... I hate for them to watch TV the entire way down, so this provides some quiet entertainment and they never know what they will find in their backpack. It is always a surprise.
  4. Melissa and Doug have an awesome product called Water Wow.  They have different kinds/themes for a  wide variety of ages.  They are reusable, mess-free, and fun.  Win-Win!
  5. Download the Chick-fil-A app so you can find a restaurant on the way to your destination and one on the way home.  Yummy food, clean restrooms, indoor playgrounds, and child-friendly--what more do you need?
  6. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. It seems like a snack makes everyone happy, so we always buy plenty of snacks for the road.  From Goldfish to Cheez-Its to the occasional gummy bear--you must keep the troops fed.
  7. Baby wipes are a must.  Even though we are past diapers and pull-ups, baby wipes always come in handy.  We still buy a case whenever we make a Costco run.
  8. They have some wonderful, inexpensive travel games on Amazon think Tic-Tac-Toe, Mad Libs, Connect Four, Spot It, and Hangman.  Most of these have magnetic pieces which are perfect for on-the-go.
  9. We also Google (my best friend and travel helper) either a park or an ice cream place to stop at halfway to break up the trip. Just getting out of the car for some fresh air or a treat perks up everyone's attitude.
  10. When all else fails and everyone has had it, we pass out the iPads/iPhones and let them go to town.  Once we get where we're going we don't need electronics, so we figure the extra time in the car is fine for the day.

So, there you have it. Our 10 Must-Haves for surviving long car trips with kids. I know all of you creative moms have more, so please send them my way. I would love to add some extra ideas and entertainment for our upcoming trip. Happy Traveling!

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