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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Be Prepared For Your Next Family Road Trip

Family Travel Tips

Can you say holiday road trip? Here are a few tips that can help create lasting and hopefully happy memories as we hit the road for the holidays.


Today, when it comes to entertainment options, vehicles offer more opportunity to plug accessories in than ever before. For passengers who love to watch videos, pick up a copy of classic travel game Are We There Yet? This enjoyable DVD brings travel games to life in both interactive and musical formats. The best thing about this DVD is you don’t have to take it on the road if your vehicle is not equipped to play DVDs. Just learn the games at home with your family, then play them on the road.

To encourage your kids' visual stimulation, pack a basket full of fun (and quiet) options. Books (both hard copy and on tape), brain gym activities using pen and pencil, and low-maintenance art supplies such as Crayola’s Wonder Line of markers and paper will keep them entertained for long periods of time. For those who like to tinker, pack lap desks with a sturdy working surface and don't forget physical items such as Legos, and travel size board games for a little friendly challenge.


Both parents and kids alike will benefit from getting out from behind the seat belt and into a wide-open space to have some fun. While stopping at a rest stop, play a game of family tag to get the kinks, and cranky pants, out of the car and back in stride. Recent studies say that children need 60 minutes of exercise every day, so plan your journey to include two to four stops and bring a fun surprise along. Pack chalk for hopscotch, jump ropes for a jumping contest, and bubbles to amuse your little ones.


To save both time and money, pack a picnic to enjoy along the way. Bring nutritious and healthy options to be offered on a schedule, just like at home, and not as an activity to keep boredom at bay. Pack individual serving snacks such as apples and carrots that offer the crunch of chips but keep the mess to a minimum, and protein-packed sandwiches such as peanut butter and jelly to keep everyone satisfied until you reach your destination. If you choose not to picnic on your exercise break, pack enough of each passenger’s favorite in individual bags and small shapes to make eating a cinch.

You might want to consider bringing a portable cooler that you can plug into your car. Stock it with bottled waters, naturally stain-free for both car and clothes alike. To minimize spills, choose both child-friendly and adult sizes with pop-tops.

Got a sweet tooth? Share the love but not the sugar—but don’t underestimate the power of a Tootsie Pop when all else fails to induce the quiet game for your chatty kids.


Let's face it, the reason we travel with our families each year is to take a break and get away from the stress of our daily lives. Driving can be a relaxing time, thanks to the hum of the highway, seeing new and learning about new things while lulling us into a calm state a mind. Do not presume that you have to have an activity for every moment of the trip. The fact is, too much stimulation and distraction can be unsafe for the driver and bring on an untimely case of road sickness for the weaker stomachs in the clan.

Designate a time for rest in your day, just as you would at home. Bring along a CD of relaxing instrumental music designed specifically to relax you. Play this CD around noon to encourage a nap out of anyone who might want one. Don’t be surprised if your older kids nod off first. Just make sure your driver has a fresh cup of coffee at the ready to overcome the pull of the peace that emanates from the speakers.


Stock your vehicle with basic survival items to keep you fresh and comfy as you travel. Include tissues, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and a small first aid kit with Benadryl for sudden allergic reactions and Pepto-Bismol for upset stomachs. And finally, see to it that you have strategically-placed receptacles for those unpredictable messes that might happen on your journey. Take a look at Smart Mom Solutions™ Smart Mom Sak, a parent-friendly air sickness bag designed to keep liquid messes of any kind contained while you travel with your family.

Schools, parents and communities can learn more about driver education and safety at America's Driver License Headquarters Try a Free DMV Practice Test online!

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