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We recently took a 16 hour road trip with our 3 kids and the rest of my family, including my parents and 5 siblings and their families, to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The longest drive that my two younger kiddos have ever endured was 6 hours, so I was understandably a bit nervous with how they would do. In preparation of the trip I put together a Road Trip Travel Bag for each child.
For the younger two I put their electronics in a small bag that could easily fit at their feet in the car. I then added some other items, such as coloring books and crayons, a printable Road Trip Activity Book, travel Spirograph, a printable US Map that I laminated, a blank notebook, some flashcards, peel and stick stickers, regular stickers and paper, and a dry erase board with dry erase markers. Just little items they could pull out throughout the trip to play with. On top of these I also added a new movie in each of their bags, as well as brought some of our household movies along.
My teen also had a bag with her electronics, a printable Road Trip Activity Book, a word search book, a clipboard and notebook. Since she was joining my parents in their car, I also packed her a little surprise snack of Twizzlers Twists. I picked them because a) they don’t melt in a hot car and b) they are a low fat sweet. I got a sweet little text from her on the ride with a picture of her munching on a Twizzlers Twist with a “Thanks Mom!”. PS – We also brought these puppies to the beach to snack on because they don’t melt!
I was so impressed with my kids on this trip. You know how there are times where your kids truly surprise you and you take a moment and go, “Huh. I guess I am doing something right after all!”? That’s how I felt after this trip. They were just so darn good throughout the ride. There was no fighting or bickering, they enjoyed playing with their new items, they chose movies to watch 1st pick, and they really had fun playing the license plate game. I definitely recommend packing up a travel bag for your children. It doesn’t have to cost a bunch of money, just small token items that will keep their attention for a little bit. Keep the bags out of sight until the day of the trip so that everything you put inside is new and exciting!