Monday, April 30, 2012


We're back from our vacation now and are relaxed and ready to get back into our routine! It didn't start out well, however. Even before we left town a funny noise was heard in our son's car so we thought we'd better check it out and sure enough, he needed a new battery. So here's the first leg of our journey before we even left town! 

 The next thing that happened was that I realized  after getting down the road a very long way was that I had forgotten the battery recharger for my camera which died on me. So after this nice shot we had to wait until we got to our destination for more photo shots. ; (
Nevertheless, we press on just feeling blessed to be heading to our favorite destination once again... THE BEACH!

  We spent over two weeks in Florida, the first week with our kids and grandkids. As I did with my own children while traveling by car, I planned activities to keep the grandkids occupied. I love to travel by car with our family for the following reasons:
1) It provides quality family time
2) It provides an opportunity to see the country up close
3) It provides many learning opportunities for kids

With all the technology kids have today, from  DS', DVDs, IPODs,  NOOKs,  etc. they could keep themselves busy the whole trip. But it's important for kids to have some technology-free time and quality family time so these activities are designed with that in mind. But our grandkids also use these techy resources to keep themselves busy. The DVD especially is fun. They can watch movies with headphones and not bother Mom and Dad for 1 1/2 hours!

 Stops for gas can be used as times to run around and get some exercise. With these ideas in mind, a typical  2-day organized itinerary might look like this:

                                                   DAY ONE
8:00 AM  Give Out Itinerary

 Before leaving I give the kids the following:
1) Bag to put activities in.
2) An itinerary of activities they'll be doing on the hour ( each activity won't take the full hour but is something different to look forward to every hour )
3) A simple map of the U. S. ( road map for older kids ) to follow states we travel through. Older kids can learn about map reading and help navigate.
4) A journal for journaling about their trip
5) Preschoolers receive a small toy from the dollar store
6) A book to readto themselves during quiet time
7) A book for the whole family to enjoy together
8) Sing-a-long CD's
9) Healthy Snacks
10) Family devotional book

Start the trip by reading aloud  a family devotional. 

9:00  Family  Sing-a-Long

Kids  and parents are usually still full of energy and excitement for the trip ahead. This can last as long as everyone, including parents, is up for it. I bring sing-a-long CD's and one for pre-schoolers so the little ones can join in.

10:00  Snack Time

About now even parents might be up for a little snack. Make sure it's healthy, easily portable,  not messy, and not so much they won't eat lunch. Enjoy snacking together and talking about the vacation ahead.

11:00  Car Game

Car Bingo or other car games that you can download free from the internet.

12:00 Lunch and Exercise

After lunch let kids run around a bit to get exercise. Bring a jump rope, frisbee, ball, and have kids do some exercises like jumping jacks to get the wiggles out.

1:00 Storytime

Pick out a book that the whole family will enjoy and have a parent read aloud. A humorous book is good because it gets the family laughing together. After reading the family book a children's book can be read to preschoolers.

2:00 Quiet Time

An hour of quiet  time is important. Young children can take a nap while older ones can read or journal.

3:00  Learning Time/ Snack Time

Pick out a topic of interest to the children to share with them. An example might be to learn about musical instruments by listening to their sounds. There are CDs available at the library that teach this. Come up with a topic ahead of time and use the library or internet for resources. The important thing is to keep it fun.  Preschoolers can be included and/or given a small toy.

4:00 Clean-Up and Surprise Bag Time

Have children help in picking up anything that didn't get in the garbage bag. Put toys, etc. in the bag provided in the beginning of the trip. Here's an idea from PINTEREST  for garbage in the car:

Give each child a small item to keep them busy during free times. Items can be purchased at the Dollar Stores and can include stickers, markers, etc. Give one age- appropriate  item per child.

5:00 Dinner and Exercise

6:00  Movies

If you're traveling late in the evening, this is a good time for those movie lovers to watch a good DVD. You can purchase these online at a reasonable price.

We always try to stop for the night reasonably early to give little ones time to unwind and relax before having to get to sleep. Everyone should have a good night's sleep, waking refreshed and ready to begin again. The next day's itinerary is similar but with new activities, new surprise bag toy, and continuing with the same family story.


The kids always look forward to traveling when there is always something to look forward to. You won't hear as much, "Are we there yet?" and you'll get in a lot of quality family time. 

We finally arrived at the beach and the travel time FLEW
 BY! If you have any tips for traveling with kids, I'd love to hear them.



  1. We really had hard time when we travel with kids. Thanks for these tips. Bring your kids to Disney Golf. It would be a lot of fun.

  2. Hope these tips help, Anne. I'll be sure to check out the Disney Golf. We love both! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great tips! Sorry I went crazy on your have great stuff. I had to stop myself!

  4. I love the bags you make for them for their activities. I let the kids pack their own activities as well, and along with that, I follow most of your other tips. I love the idea of the map of the states! I let the kids use all the gadgets but I limit it as well. I usually will just let them use my iPad because of all the options it has on there. They can play games, watch movies, and watch TV through the Dish Remote Access app. With the Sling Adapter hooked up to, my receiver the kids can access all our subscription channels live anywhere we can get a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. The kids love being able to watch all their favorite shows on the road. I am so glad a co-worker from Dish told me about this app because it keeps the kids quiet for a period of time.


I enjoy reading every comment and will respond to them all! Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Sandy

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