By Eileen Ogintz
Got your headlamp?
They’re not only great to have at night in a campground but are useful in the back seat at night.
Encourage the kids to pack their own backpacks with toys, games, art supplies for the trip. The caveat: They have to be able to carry them!
- LAMINATED MAPS Sure you’ve got GPS but kids, especially younger ones can follow the route—and maybe even help you navigate.
- AN ATLAS and MAPS of the areas you will be
- A PLAYLIST of favorite songs. Encourage the kids to add some of their favorites!
- A JOKE BOOK When it seems we’ll never get there, a few silly jokes can lighten the mood.
- “SURPRISE BAG” —silly, small things that is offered up after a certain number of miles, hours in the car or crossing state lines.
- FOOD for a picnic lunch or dinner. Let the kids figure out what you’re having!
- FAVORITE JUST-FOR-THE-TRIP SNACKS . In our family, it was cherry tootsie pops.
- NON MESSY SNACKS like pretzels, nuts, granola bars, fruit cut up veggies
- AUDIO CDS OR DOWNLOADS . Get the kids to forgo a movie or their games and listen to a story with you. Choose one of their favorite authors or ask your local children’s librarian for suggestions. Try Judy Bloom’s books, if you haven’t already.
- MOVIES for the kids
- FIRST AID KIT that’s easily accessible. (AAA makes one designed for road trips.)
- REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES for each member of the family. They become souvenirs when the kids slap stickers on them and they are always at the ready!
- PILLOWS AND FLEECE BLANKETS for the car.
- FRISBEE, SOCCER BALL, SOFTBALL, MITTS —to toss around when you stop and certainly when you get to the campground.
- RAIN GEAR
- MASKING TAPE —in case the kids want to divide their space. They can also use to make designs on the seat in front of them.
- A ROLL (or two) of paper towels and cleaner to easily wipe up the inevitable messes as well as large PLASTIC GARBAGE
- ZIPLOCKS of different sizes
- TOILET PAPER, TISSUES, HAND SANITIZER
- MOTION SICKNESS REMEDIES if your gang is prone to getting car sick. (Check with your doctor first, of course)
- AN EXTRA BATTERY CHARGER —or two—for all of your family’s