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Fellow Griswolds: I Need Your Help!

In a couple of weeks, my family and I will be heading north for our annual summer trip to Vacationland (aka Maine). In the past, we’ve cut the trip in two—spending the night in a New England hotel before we hit the Maine border— so the kids wouldn’t have to spend more than 10 hours on the road (and we wouldn’t have to spend 10 straight hours on the road with them). But I know of many hardcore road-trippers who consider an 8-10 hour drive child’s play; and now that the kids are a bit older, I’m thinking that maybe we can handle the big haul in one go. I’ve been soliciting advice from other parents about how to best manage the time, boredom (keep in mind, we don’t have an on-board entertainment systems) and most importantly, the meals.
And I would love to hear your 2-cents!
Do you leave at the crack of dawn and then stop for breakfast along the way?
Do you pack all of your meals rather than surrender to the rest stop food courts?
Or is this the one time of year you let your kids order anything they want off the Burger King menu? (Full disclosure: the first time I ever brought my daughter to McDonald’s was after a long ride home from Cape Cod. We ate a bag of french fries in the parking lot that tasted so good, they might as well have been illegal.)
And what are your favorite snacks for handing out in the car?
All advice and opinions are welcome! And also, do you have a favorite stop along the way to your summer destination? A place you always hit on the way and look forward to all year?
Happy Travelling!

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