Nothing derails a family car trip faster than bored kids in the backseat. A well-stocked
activity bag can mute the "Are we there yet?" melody from the rear and help you log some serious miles in peace. (The right supplies will make short, everyday car trips easier, too!)
How elaborate your activity bag should be depends on the length of your trip, how many children you'll need to entertain, and their ages and attention spans. These parent- and kid-tested supplies will help you travel without meltdowns.
Audio books: Starting at about age 3, most kids can follow a more complex story line, and audio books become a great way to pass time on the road. Check your local library for free rentals.
Tablets, laptops, and smartphones:
At home, you probably limit access to these devices. But if you need to make some serious mileage, it's okay to relax the rules on screen time
. Download plenty of educational and just-for-fun games, music, and movies before leaving home.
A portable DVD player: A surefire sanity-saver on a long trip. If your car isn't equipped with one, you can rent a portable player online.
White board and dry-erase pens: Kids can draw, play tic-tac-toe and hangman or write notes to each other, wipe it all away and start over.
Magnetized letters, shapes & numbers: You can buy sets that come with a magnetized playing surface and plenty of fun magnets to manipulate.
Sticker and activity books:Extra great for toddlers. They allow kids to express creativity without using pens on the upholstery.