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Whether you are trekking cross country to vacation, visit family or PCS, road trips can be a test of patience, love and become a downright game of survival. To ensure you trip goes smoothly and you keep your sanity, you need to be prepared with the three Gs: Games, Gifts and Grub.

Games

  • A large collection of educational print outs can be found here.
  • Road trip bingo here.
  • Fun printables for finding license plates form different states and identifying construction equipment here.
  • Printable activity booklet here.
  • Instead of renting or buying movies to watch along the way, check your local library for movies and audio books!
  • Have a physical activity planned for each rest stop to get the kids moving, and hopefully tired out! For example, pack a jump rope or a stop watch to time short races, this will burn off some of their extra energy.

Gifts

  • Purchase small "gifts" from your local dollar store for your kids to open every hour! This will help the time go by quickly and give the children something new to play with so you will not have to answer "are we there yet" quite as often! (If you are taking a 20 hour road trip, I think a toy every few hours could suffice...or you would need an extra suitcase just to pack the gifts!)
  • Provide your kids with a travel journal complete with new pencils or pens to document all of the details of the journey. This will be a great way for them to remember all off the excitement of a vacation or move.

Grub

  • To drink, skip sugary juices and sodas. The kids do not need to be more hyped up than usual, and you do not want to have to clean up a sticky mess in case a spill occurs. If someone gets car sick, sparkling water or a club soda will come in handy to tame an upset tummy.
  • Easy to eat fruits like grapes and apples will fill them up without a huge mess! Worried about keeping fruit fresh? Try dried fruit (look for the kind without added sugar).
  • To satisfy a salty craving, skip chips that can make a big mess, and dole out some nuts!

How do you manage a long road trip with your kids? Please share your survival tips in the comments!