Let your children choose a few things they want to bring, such as their favorite toys and books.
- Consider buying your kids, especially those in the 6-10 age range, their own digital cameras. There are plenty of inexpensive cameras now that are extremely easy to use. Make a list of things they have to look out for and take photos of, such as an oak tree, a bridge, and a group of cows. Kids can also have fun making movies in the car and taking crazy selfies.
- Coloring books, puzzle books, and other activity books can also keep children occupied for hours. Give each child his or her own set of crayons or washable markers as well.
- Common household items can become great toys during a long journey. A favorite among young ones is the humble pipe cleaner, which can be turned into “jewelry”, braided with other pipe cleaners or braided into hair, and shaped and turned into figures of animals, objects, and just about everything.
- Make your kids interested in where you’re going and make a list of quirky and memorable quick stops along the way, such as the World’s Largest Twine Ball. Create a kid-friendly map of your journey showing the stops and interesting places along the route and track your trip with the kids. For kids who can already write, give them a notebook where they can take notes and document where they have been and what they did there. You can also get your kids started on creating their own scrap books and travel journals by letting them write down their impressions on your trip and taking photos.
- Bring along your kids’ favorite music in CD or MP3 form. You can also download audiobooks of fairytales and other literary classics for children. Having something to listen to will make children quiet, and perhaps even make them sleepy enough to doze off.
- Pack easy-to-eat snacks, juice, and water so your kids have something to munch on between stops. Don’t forget tissue and hand wipes!
- Travel board games are a hit among school-age children. Popular travel versions of board games include snakes and ladders, connect four, and checkers.
- If your car doesn’t have one installed, bring along a portable DVD or media player and play some animated movies or your children’s favorite show when you know the next stop isn’t for another hour. Dealers of used cars in New Jersey can help you choose a car with a built-in infotainment system so you won’t have to fuss with cables and cords.
- If all else fails, whip out a tablet or smartphone filled with child-friendly movies, apps, and games. If you’re using more than one device, make sure your kids have their own