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Kids Travel | Road Trip | Family Vacation

Family Road Trip Survival Guide

14 tips for playing nice in the car.

by Christina Couch

November 23, 2009

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The holidays are quickly approaching and that can only mean one thing – road trip! Before packing the kids in the car and heading out to Grandma’s, make sure you’re ready with this road trip survival kit. Trust us, it’ll make the trip much smoother. – Christina Couch

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YakPack

Most families carry a first aid kit, but few are prepared for motion sickness, illness and food spills. Each YakPack comes with plastic bags, latex gloves, a plastic scoop, antimicrobial wipes and absorbent, deodorizing powder. Though you may never have to actually use the YakPack, having peace of mind knowing that your car’s interior won’t be sacrificed on the way home from Aunt Betsy’s Thanksgiving dinner is worth the $8 alone.

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Sleeping Bags

Bring at least one per child. Operating as blankets, pillows, backseat forts, dividers between siblings or picnic blankets for roadside meals, sleeping bags may actually be the only thing bringing weary parents peace.

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Music That Doesn’t Suck

Six hours of Old MacDonald is going to get old mighty fast. To break the boredom, either create your own family-friendly playlist - say, for every song the kids pick, Mom and Dad get to pick one too - or try out a few kid CDs that are adult-friendly too. We highly suggest Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids , Kimya Dawson’s Alphabutt album and No! by They Might Be Giants.

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Car Games

Tired of I-Spy, Twenty Questions and the license plate game? So are your kids. Ultimate Road Trip Games ($14.95) provides 140 pages of fresh family-friendly games to beat the boredom and Pressman Toy’s 12 in 1 game set ($5.29) offers a dozen games including magnetic checkers, chess and tic tac toe. While the latter may not be suitable for smaller children (due to the tiny, oh-so-swallowable pieces), it’s sure to keep kids ages seven and up occupied for a while. Free printable travel games are also available at GetRoadReady.com.

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Cyclops Atom Headlamp

Driving at night usually means that traveling kids are either sleeping or whining. To keep the whines at bay, this miner-style reading light gives children a few more hours of reading and playtime when the sun goes down. It’s also useful for nighttime games once you’ve finally reached your destination.

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