Travel-Tested Games and Activities for Road Trips With Kids

Hassle-free road trips.

By Claire S. Green from Reader's Digest | July 2003

If you’re traveling with teenagers (Translation: Yours still allow themselves to be seen in the car with you), you’re obviously doing something right. Encourage them to bring along books and magazines, an inexpensive camera and headphones with spare batteries. For sheer silliness in sing-along, try Pat Dailey Sings Shel Silverstein’s Underwater Land (Olympia Records).

A great way to engage kids of all ages throughout the trip is to keep a family vacation journal. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate production; in fact, the simpler, the better. A spiral-bound sketchbook or individual pages saved in plastic sheet protectors and kept in a loose-leaf binder work well. Bring along some crayons, colored pencils or washable markers. Along the way, collect mementos of your trip — restaurant menus or place mats, ticket stubs from zoos, parks and museums (and hopefully not for speeding tickets!). Each day have the kids draw a picture of something or someone they saw. Older children can include written memories. The finished journal will make the vacation easy to revisit and share with friends and family.

We can’t eliminate bumper-to-bumper traffic or roll back gasoline prices, but we can help you put the family back into family travel. Or, as your mother might say with a self- satisfied smile, “A road well traveled is a trip less frazzled.”

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