Combat Travel Boredom

We leave soon for the beach— wooohoo!   I’m so so excited- mostly excited to relax and let the boys run and play all day in the sand, and also so excited to see Amelia’s reaction to the ocean.  I’m hoping she doesn’t end up being one of those fussy babies that doesn’t like the sand.  I doubt it… she’s pretty easy going.

The drive down and back scare the crap out of me.  We’re going to attempt to drive straight through- leaving after Ryan gets home from work and driving through the night.   GAHHH!   This scares me for a number of reasons.

1) I’m afraid the kids will wake up and realize they’re stuck in their carseats and get pissed because they’re tired and uncomfortable

2) It is a long ass drive.  And it’ll be dark.  In the mountains.  Not to mention we’ll have an 11 month old who isn’t going to be that easy to entertain in her seat, and two boys who tend to fight.  A lot.

3) When I was 10 my family was driving to Georgia, through the night.  My mom fell asleep driving just as morning came, and our van went off the highway and hit a tree.  It was totalled.   I was in the passenger seat.

So with less than a week to go, I’ve started planning some activities for the trip for the boys.   This will knock off one of my issues (the boys being bored/fighting).   The rest of it… well… I dunno.

Here’s my plan.  And ideas.   I thought I’d share here so that I have a reference later, and so if anyone wants ideas!  I’ll have to blog later and let everyone know how it goes.

1) Mile Marker Car.  I did this the last time we drove down.  I think I’ll use a string or something and make mile markers every 50 miles or so… and move our “car” on the clothespin to each marker as we go. This will give the boys (and me HAH!) a visual as to how far we have left.

2) Car Bucks and Travel Tokens or Travel/Reward Tickets   I am not sure exactly how I’m going to use these… possibly give them one at each mile marker/half hour if they’ve had good behavior so they can cash them in for a “mile marker prize”.

3)Books.  Porter is capable of reading chapter books (notice I said capable….).  He can read them but doesn’t like to.  He’s reading at a level 21 (middle of 2nd grade) and I want to try to push him a little.  So, I’m going to take a chapter book for him and reward him with some Travel Tokens/Car Bucks as he completes chapters.

4)  Lacing Cards and More Lacing Cards  I don’t think my boys have ever used lacing cards (unless it was at school), so I printed and laminated some and plan to use those when they get bored.  Hopefully it’ll buy us a half hour or so.

5) Handwriting Worksheets  I printed the boys each one with their full name and laminated it.  I’m going to buy them dry erase markers to use.

6) Glow Sticks- Since we’ll be driving through the night, I figure the boys will end up awake for awhile at least.  Glow sticks will be fun!

7) Snacks (duh)   Travel Fruit & Veggies

8) DS + Games

9) DVD Player + DVD’s

10) Tin Can phones and car divider.  DIY Home Sweet Home has some GREAT ideas Here and Here.     One idea was to velcro a window valance (or fabric etc) to the ceiling to create a divider between kids if they begin to need their own space.  She also created tin can phones for them to use when the divider was up.   I think the boys will like this!   We’ll see 🙂

11) WOAH.  The mother of all ideas!  I just stumbled upon this blog that linked up to some GREAT ideas.   Tip Junkie.  Check it!

12) Bingo and I Spy printables

I feel prepared, but I’m so anxious about this drive!  GAH!  Also because I have SO much to pack still. Pretty much… everything.  I can’t wait though!!! It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN!

  1. I've been packing for the last 2 weeks! It is amazing how much planning a family vacation takes! For our drive to Florida, I checked out a few Playaways from the library. They worked great for our kids. It's like a mini book on tape, about the size of a deck of cards and you plug the headphones directly into it. We have also all listened to a family book on tape, for this trip I got the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter. From Amazon, I ordered Melissa and Doug Water Wow which is a coloring book that colors with a water pen, and then disappears when it dries. I also ordered a book called “You Gotta Be Kidding!” which is full of “would you rather questions.” Here is an example: would you rather grow tusks or grow antlers? Many of them are really gross, which should be perfect for my boys or boys in general. I also spent a ton of money on snacks, my kids eat all the time in the car probably from boredom. I plan on taking some fruit loops, cheerios, cracklin' oat bran, and pretzel o's to make cereal necklaces. Since they are always asking for snacks, I packed individual baby wipes containers full of snacks for each kid. They can choose what they eat and when, but when it's gone they are done. Hope this helps! We have driven with our kids to Florida and Colorado many times, and I always freak out before we leave, but our kids have turned out to be great travelers.

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