On the Road Again
It’s the dog days of summer and that can only mean one thing... road trip season! But before you pack up the car and head out on the highway, we’ve got our favorite must-have items that’ll keep you and your kids entertained every step of the way.
- Borrow your childs’ iPod: Every trip needs to have great tunes and sure, you might find a radio station playing some of your favorites, but why take chances? Bring your kids’ iPod along (no, I don’t have my own and frequently borrow my daughter’s), plug it in to your car adapter (most new cars have that nowadays and if not, pick up iDrive) and you’ll be set for hours. Sure you may be listening to the Jonas Brothers mixed in with classic Rick Springfield, but who cares, an eclectic play list ensures a fun trip for the whole family!
- Download your favorite books: For those passengers prone to carsickness, I personally love to download books from Audible (www.audible.com) and Audible Kids (www.audiblekids.com). If you’ve got a four to five hour trip ahead of you, what better way to make the time fly by than to download the latest Harry Potter release, or, for a little mother/daughter bonding, nothing beats “Twilight.”
- Car Games for the Whole Family: Since I am directionally challenged and am always looking to find things to keep my kids occupied, I say it was a stroke of kismet when I got the chance to work with Rand McNally this summer on one of their latest products to hit stores. Rand McNally’s Boredom Breakers (http://store.randmcnally.com/category/kid+stuff/boredom+breakers.do?code=HP_BB): If you’re tired of playing punch buggy red, punch buggy blue, then the folks at Rand McNally (yes, they’re the makers of those maps that hide out in your glove compartment) have come up with several games to keep the entire family on the edge of their seat. Tell stories, solve mysteries, sing classic tunes, answer fun questions and do it all without ever hearing those three annoying words “Are we there yet?” Boredom Breakers games include:
Story Starters interactive CD to get your family telling hilarious stories.
Car Karaoke to test everyone’s singing skills!
Travel Card Games are perfect for any surface.
Magnet Message Makers let you constantly change your bumper message!
Car Game Countdown to try to beat the clock with 18 activities!
- Don’t Leave Home Without Your DS (Nintendo that is): As much as I like to take a time-out from technology when we’re on a road trip, I have to admit that when any car ride lasts more than two hours, my kids’ Nintendo DS games are a must. And this year, they have been sharing the brand spankin’ new Nintendo Dsi http://www.nintendodsi.com/ which comes complete with a camera, voice recorder, a WiFi connection (no you can’t connect in the car unless you have bluetooth) and of course, gaming capabilities to connect with fellow Nintendo aficionados sitting in the back seat. And in case you’re in the market for a new DS game, check out Starfy http://www.starfy.com/ - we’ve heard that one is going to be the next big hit with kids...watch out Mario, Starfy is on your tail!
- Snacks anyone?: As one of Frito-Lay's Fab 15 , I get to be turned into a cartoon version of myself (with really cute hair I might add) and got the chance to sample their brand new Smart Food snacks that combines flavor with fiber (who knew?). Let’s face it, if you leave your house without packing up a trunk-load of snacks, juices and water for the road, you may become a victim of summer whining. And nobody wants to suffer from that affliction. We usually pack a mixture of snacks, from fruits to mini snack bags of Oreos and chips ahoy to Quaker Oats granola bars. Plus, I’m loving Fiber One snack bars and Frito-Lay Smart Food. I’m currently addicted to caramel popcorn with cranberries. Once the rations run out, you could be counting the minutes between rest stops. Also, I’ve been known to memorize the names of the exits where we can find the closest McDonald’s. I know, sounds lame but I allow myself to have quarter pounders on road trips...so knowing that there’s a Micky D’s at the King’s Highway exit on I95 is a little slice of heaven on a hamburger bun for me.
Have any must have items you take along on the road? Share it with the Lifetime Moms!