Summertime! It’s time to hit the road and explore the great outdoors, cross the country or just get in adventures. But let’s face it – packing the entire family into the car and embarking on hours and hours on the open road can be a bit of a daunting task.
Before you hear those fatal words “Are we there yet?” from the backseat, check out our top 10 traveling must-haves to make your journey a little less rocky:
Children 3 to 8
Buckle up and get ready to put on a show! All American Car-i-Oke contains CDs, songbooks, hilarious lyrics and sweet seat dancing moves to get your kids movin’ and shakin’. There’s even a Blue’s section where they can make up their own lyrics. Amazon.com $14
This sleek fold out table attaches to the seatback and supports up to 15 lbs of weight. But the best part is it has stowaway compartments perfect for magnetic board games, coloring books, crayons, and all sorts of activities. Kidkase.com $60
Put on a Face
Kids love to make faces, so grab your old rear facing baby mirror and some dry erase markers and have them doodle on their reflection. Moustaches, freckles, crazy eyes, anything goes. Make a game of it by seeing who can doodle the scariest or cutest face.
Children 9 to 14
App it Up
Peruse the iTunes store for some cool, kid-friendly educational apps. Star Walk is an astronomy guide that lets kids discover 9,000 stars, planets and constellations. Guitar Toolkit or Pianist teaches kids how to make music. iTunes $3- $11
The great thing about Kindle and other e-readers, is it’s a huge space saver. Instead of packing several books for every person, you can download them onto one device. You can have your child read Harry Potter or Twilight out loud, or have Kindle read it to the whole family. Amazon.com $260
With your teen’s growing independence, it can be difficult to get them in the travelling mood. Grab your teen a stylish journal or scrapbook where they can write, sketch, or paste in brochures and other interesting papers. Couple that with cool writing tools like the Space Pen that can write at any angle and in temperatures up to -45 degrees Celsius and you’re set. Space pen available on Amazon.com $27
If your teen is into photography, this is a nifty little device. The Sony GPSC1KA GPS kit takes a snapshot of your location every 15 seconds. Afterward, plug it into a laptop. The software checks the data from each photo and matches it with where you were at that point in time. SonyStyle.com
Check out these cool titles for your teenaged bookworm! The Time Travellers Handbook , where they learn how to survive time travel to Ancient places; Badass, a collection of coolest historical figures; and The Zombie Survival Guide, how to survive a zombie take-over! Amazon.com
Shower Shock Caffeine Soap
Driving for long hours can be tiresome and there is only so much burnt coffee you can stomach, so why not try Shower Shock Soap. It’s loaded with caffeine that is absorbed through the skin. So whenever you pull over for a bathroom break, simply wash your hands with this soap and feel revitalized. ThinkGeek.com $3
Name that Tune
Have your kids prepare a CD of their favorite songs while you do the same. Take turns playing songs and see who can guess the title and signer first. For a real challenge, try to name the year it was recorded.
How do you keep your kids occupied on long road trips? Tell us your best road warrior tips!