Road Trips and a Giveaway

Road trip....a word that could cause stress or anxiety in some people. But I LOVE road trips. always have, even as a child.

I love driving.

I love seeing different parts of the country.

It is relaxing to me.

Even with my kids.

I am blessed to have great little travelers but I have also learned a few things along the way to help make our road trips a little easier.

1. Preparation. I talk to the kids and let them know how long we will be in the car. We set goals for how far we will make it without a stop. If someone needs to stop we will but we try to make our goal. It is like a little game for them.

2. Snacks. I rarely buy individually packed snacks. But for our road trips, I buy a variety of individually packaged snacks to keep in the car. The kids are excited about having their own snacks and it prevents us from purchasing snacks at convenience stores along the way. I also keep a little secret stash of suckers, M & M's, and other favorite candies that I throw out every once in a while after a long stretch of driving, as a prize for a game we have played, or because mama needs some sugar!

3. Games. We play the typical road trip games such as keeping track of the different license plates, trying to find all the letters of the alphabet on signs and billboards, and I Spy. The kids will also come up with games along the way, like trying to decide what a certain cloud looks like or creating a silly story that we all build upon. I will sometimes copy maps so they can track our travels on a map. The kids will take along card games, and puzzle books such as word searches, mazes, and dot to dots. You can also check out this website for some other great ideas.

4. Ipods, Leapster/DS, DVD player. There are only so many Wiggles songs or Alvin and the Chipmunks this mama can listen to in a day. I am very thankful for ipods so the kids can listen to their own music without disturbing anyone. The kids do take along their leapsters/DS and I throw in our DVD player. Honestly, they don't use them that often. I love having the DVD player in the car if we need it but I am usually amazed that we don't pull it out. If they ask, I will generally let them watch something but if they don't ask and they are enjoying the trip I don't volunteer it as a choice.

5. Adventures in Odyssey and Jonathon Park. This is by far our favorite activity on a road trip. We love to listen to the stories on Adventures in Odyssey or Jonathon Park CD's. Before any long trip, I will invest in one or two new CD's just to change things up. But it wouldn't matter if we had new ones, my kids will listen to the old stories over and over again. They are mesmerized by them. It isn't just the kids, I love them too!

I have an Adventures in Odyssey CD to giveaway to one of you! Just leave me a comment about how you survive {or avoid} road trips with your kids.

I will draw a winner on Sunday.

* this is a cd as a gift from me to a reader. i am not being paid by focus on the family to talk about or giveaway the cd.


Janelle said...

I love road trips, too! Where are you going?

My #1 roadtrip tip is to have ZERO expectations. The ages of my kids...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If we need to stop and stretch, we do and we try not to get huffy about it. The vacation begins the minute we leave the driveway.

One thing my husband likes to do is look at the route we are taking and see if there is anything fun to do along the way...like a great park, or a cave, or nature center. Something. Anything to break up the asphalt!

Have fun!

Alana said...

Great tips! We take road trips quite often since all of our family lives far away. I love books on tape and to rent/borrow movies they have never seen before. We also have a little road trip activity kit that I bought awhile back that has u.s. trivia, state flash cards, etc. It has a fun CD with it, too. Have a great trip!

Shawna said...

My husband loves to drive, so I let him! This way I can take care of the children as needed. I first off try to have very little expectations and a good attitude...find humor in everything! Being that most of my children are little they tend to sleep most of the way. My older two like to watch out the window, sing praise songs, or chat. We do have to stop a lot since I am usually nursing or pregnant (bathroom breaks), but we just go with the flow.
Oh, and Josh and I enjoy listening to Odyssey as well!

The Addington Family said...

I remember listening to Odessey CD's when I used to babysit in college. My kids are still pretty young but we love to sing praise songs (at the top of our lungs of course) on long and short road trips!

Simply Sara said...

We would not survive road trips without our portable DVD player. Seriously, the best invention ever.
The kids only get to watch a movie if we are taking a long trip, and that makes it a special treat :)

When we were little my parents used to make Bingo cards with pictures of various things to cross off (cows, horses, barns, different road signs, trailers, and silly things like three trees in a row, or 10 red cars ect) I remember LOVING that game.
My kids are a bit young for it, but we will definitely be using that game in the future :)

Oh, and Odyssey. My six year old LOVES odyssey (although I think my hubby might love them even more! He used to listen to them growing up.)

Stacey said...

Well Ross doesn't do very good when travelling so I don't have any suggestions to offer, but I'd LOVE to win this so that maybe we could do some road trips without going nuts! I've never even heard of this so I'd be way excited to win & check it out!

Thanks - Stacey

Kym said...

Our trip planning is very similar to yours. I pack some rest stop fun and get the wiggles out play. It can be jump ropes, squirt guns, a ball to toss or the like. This really helps. Although Manda and Jenna are often happy doing cartwheels. The adults also enjoy the stretching breaks and play time. And Odyssey is our family's all time favorite trip entertainment as well :)

Denise said...

sign me up!

thankfully all 3 kids love to read now. trips have become a lot quieter as a result.

Lynn said...

That's what I get for being behind in my blog reading. Ugh! I missed this one!

I hate road trips....but I would have loved to win the CD. ;o)