I went on a long road trip with the kids. It’s the first really (really!) long trip I’ve done on my own and the kids were great travelers! We did a bit of just about everything on this trip — visited family, met up with friends, visited a number of historic sites, went camping, hiking, boating and swimming! We traveled more than 2,500 miles!
Since I was the lone driver, snack provider and entertainer for many hours of the day I really tried to make sure I had things well organized! ED got a travel desk for Christmas and we made sure to have it well stocked with paper, crayons and that sort of thing. I actually hung it in front of DD since she could manipulate it a bit easier than ED. We got ours for 50% off, I’m not sure it’s worth the full price on Amazon unless you do extensive car travel. I was glad we had it as DD did some writing every day and ED colored and did sticker books. They also played a lot with the magnet set (Cutie Pets) that I threw in.
I also have a set of felt board pieces I store in a ziploc bag and a piece of plain felt so the girls could make their own scene. I stuck in some patches because those also stick nicely on the felt. I don’t have a picture from this trip, but here are some old pictures of the felt pieces and patches we have. We have flower, dragon and butterfly patches and then all kinds of felt pieces (different shapes like triangles, rectangles for making houses, trees, etc. etc.)
I also had a car organizer for the front seat to help organize snacks and drinks for me to pass back when necessary. We have a big organizer for the back that helped organize the bags we had. I found it easier to pack everything into small separate bags than bigger bags since it was just a car trip. The labels I put on the bags made it SO easy to find things! I used the handles to tie the bags closed, but when I needed to grab a change of clothes for someone or find bits of our camping gear it was easy to find everything.
We listened to a lot of CDs on our trip. We had a lot of fairy tales downloaded onto CD from storynory.com. We love Natasha’s voice and the kids love all those stories. Those are free to download and are really lovely. If you have older children (ages 5-10) I highly recommend the Greek myths.
We also listened to the Story of the World most every day for a half-hour or so. The stories are really engaging for my older two, but to be honest they always put ED (age 4) right down for a snooze! I highly recommend these CDs for ages 6 and up. I think ED would respond better to the book if I read it aloud.
For the first two days we spent long, long days driving on the highway. After that we traveled on country highways and loved driving through the small towns!
The kids really loved driving through farm country. They were fascinated by the endless fields of crops, loved seeing dust devils, farm equipment, hay bales and all that! Arkansas and southern Missouri were quite dry and we saw a lot of field fires as we drove along (no pictures of the black fields though).
This is the time for family trips around the country, what recommendations do you have for traveling with kids?