By Anne Osmer

Let’s face it.  Long car trips with kids can be uncomfortable.  OK, torturous.  Even the DVD player loses its allure after a while – after all, just how many movies can a kid watch?

Before you lose your mind, know that there are things you can do to make the ride more tolerable.

For one, be sure to take at least one meal break a day.  This gives the kids – and you – a chance to stretch legs and move about.  If it’s not too cold out and you stop in an area with some room for running, try a quick game of tag (this can also be played at rest stops, where you’re more likely to encounter some space).

Engaging in a few car games can really help make the time pass.  We often play “I spy” – a game that’s easy for toddlers and older kids alike.  “I spy something green…”  The person who guesses correctly gets to “spy” something next.

Card games such as “Go Fish” or “Old Maid” are good choices for the car.  Before your trip, pick up some cheap car games at a dollar store or in the dollar bin at Target – where you’ll also find small dry-erase boards, coloring books and the like, perfect for car travel.  (By the way, Tic Tac Toe is a great game to play on a dry-erase board.)

Check out Web sites such as and Family Education for additional games for family road trips.  You’ll find great ideas that will inject a bit of fun into your trip!

Finally, if you’re staying overnight along the way, book a hotel with a pool.  This has been great for us when we’ve traveled as a family – the kids really look forward to it, and it tires them out before bed.  A place with a hot tub and sauna can add up to a bit of extra relaxation for car-weary mom and dad!

All contents copyright 2008 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio & Eye logo trademarked and copyright 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.


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