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The Ultimate Traveling Kit to Help Avoid a Road Trip Meltdown

Posted by on Apr. 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM
  • 16 Replies

The Ultimate Traveling Kit to Help Avoid a Road Trip Meltdown

by Mary Fischer

kids in the car

Let's be honest -- as much fun as it can be to take a road trip with the kids (after you arrive at your destination, of course,) odds are good one or more of your little ones will break down at some point during the trip out of boredom or pure annoyance.

And since listening to whining, crying, and carrying on in general is just about the most deafening sound a parent can hear in the car -- it's imperative for you to make sure to bring along a road trip survival kit of sorts to prevent your kiddo from ever reaching the point of no return.

You know, like our parents did on family excursions when we were kids.

Take a trip down memory lane for a minute. Isn't it wild how different traveling by car is for our children versus how it was for us?

Here's a brief glimpse into how different car travel survival kits look now as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago.

1980s, 1990s kit included:

A travel Bingo kit -- Weren't those the best? It was so cool to drive along and see who could pick out landmarks and signs the fastest.

Coloring book and crayons -- Basically the primitive version of any sort of electronic device.

Junk food -- Candy. Cookies. Cheetos. Anything to shut up the kids for a good 15 minutes or so.

Books -- As long as we didn't get car sick while trying to read, of course.

A walkman -- If you were a 90s kid, of course. Um, walkmans (walkmen?) were only like, the most bitchin' invention EVER.

Clipboard and string -- For making friendship bracelets. Duh.

A journal -- For jotting down thoughts and using your imagination. (Remember that?)

2014 kit includes:

iPad -- Duh

iPod -- Duh

Nintendo DS  -- Duh

Portable DVD player -- For when the battery runs out on the iPad.

Backup batteries -- Just to play it safe.

Plenty of healthy, organic snacks -- possibly vegan and/or gluten-free

Rainbow Loom kit -- If you dare!

More batteries -- Duh

What is your fondest road trip memory?

by on Apr. 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ceciliam
by Cecilia on Apr. 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM
2 moms liked this

What ever happened to just plain old family interaction? When I was a kid we didn't take all that with us with the exception of snacks. What we did was.......talk.

Now with our son we also don't carry along electronics because, once again, we talk.

Everyone should try it. It can actually be fun. :)

shakesrear
by Bronze Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 11:09 AM

The problem with electronics is, it kills any interaction with each other. When we're in confined places, the children naturally find ways of interacting with each other. They also fight, but interestingly, they resolve their fights if left alone. It can be tough not to interfere because they are screaming at each other, crying, and hitting, but unless they are drawing blood, I don't step in.

It's funny that you would take care to give them healthy snacks yet surround them with electronic devices. Electronics are not harmless and children shouldn't be exposed to them  for extended periods.

flowerfunleah
by Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I used to bring like TEN books with me on a road trip (I was so proud I could read in the car without getting sick), coloring books, brand new crayons or markers, chips, sandwiches, etc etc, I loved road trips!

For my 3 year old daughter she doesn't need a lot of distraction. We do bring the portable dvd player that hooks up to the back of the seat, her lap pad for coloring while in the car, she gets to play games on my phone, and we listen to the Frozen soundtrack a GAZILLION times lol

So yeah, I guess it is pretty different from when I was a kid and she is now for road trips.

funlovinlady
by New Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM

My parents took a handful of us to Florida for spring break, we were around 13. We rode on the back of the truck ( covered ) from ohio to fl.we hada blow up air mattress, pillows, a boom box with lots of batteries,books and notebooks. It was a blast.

Megan11587
by Bronze Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I get that on shorter trips, but we take 10 hour trips quite often and kids get restless.  Just talking doesn't work for that length of time when you have very active toddlers.

Quoting ceciliam:

What ever happened to just plain old family interaction? When I was a kid we didn't take all that with us with the exception of snacks. What we did was.......talk.

Now with our son we also don't carry along electronics because, once again, we talk.

Everyone should try it. It can actually be fun. :)


furbabymum
by Bronze Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM

 We sing. We sing lots and lots of songs. We also point out other vehicles and count the cars on the car carriers. We're old school like that. Old McDonald has spiders in our car.... they climb up your leg if you're interested.

ceciliam
by Cecilia on Apr. 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I get that I have the unpopular opinion, and that is fine by me, but I had a very active toddler, who is now a very active 8 year old, and we take tons of long road trips and have done just fine without all of that stuff. It was the same when I was a kid, long road trips were the only vacations we took and we didn't bring a ton of things with us. Like I said, I get that I have the unpopular opinion.

Quoting Megan11587:

I get that on shorter trips, but we take 10 hour trips quite often and kids get restless.  Just talking doesn't work for that length of time when you have very active toddlers.

Quoting ceciliam:

What ever happened to just plain old family interaction? When I was a kid we didn't take all that with us with the exception of snacks. What we did was.......talk.

Now with our son we also don't carry along electronics because, once again, we talk.

Everyone should try it. It can actually be fun. :)



deadlights86
by Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 12:19 PM
Our road trips would include everything from both lists. Except the clipboard and string walk man iPod and rainbow loom.
Bonneata
by on Apr. 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Our gaming systems won't ever go with us on a road trip. My parents would pack a cooler full of snacks and lunch items, I always took books, crayons, coloring books, a journal and a camera. We have added iPod/iPad , a few interactive toys for ds. I loved road trips with my parents growing up and so far for being so little DS does great on long trips.

Sandiekd21
by on Apr. 7, 2014 at 8:44 PM

When I was a kid, we sang in the car.

By the time we got where we were headed, our voices were raw, but we were happy and smiling!

We're going on a road trip this summer, and I guess you could say we're going back in time- because we'll have a clip board for each kids- to give them hard surfaces for their coloring books, Barbies, toy phones and a baby doll for each of the girls and a gun (with no projectiles!) for our son.

We'll be singing, talking, taking pictures, and we'll have junk food, too.

NO electronics for the kids (cue gasp!), not even a portable DVD player!

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