Are we there yet?

Traveling for 5 hours in a minivan with 3 young children and one dog sounds like a kicking good time, doesn't it? Since my parents live a little over 5 hrs from us, we've gotten quite adjusted to the trip. And surprisingly, it isn't that bad. We've had our bad trips (like the time my son got the stomach flu the morning we were heading back home and puked every 30 min the entire way home), but overall we've found the key to happiness is letting the kids entertain themselves.

On our last trip my kids amused themselves in a variety of ways.

Dancing! Crank up the radio and let everyone, dance, dance, dance!!!

I Spy (Preschool Version: someone says, I spy a bus or I spy a green sign and everyone else shouts when they find it).

Race Car Races: My son and my husband pretend to be driving race cars (complete with the sound effects)

FYI: my son won, b/c Daddy backed in (aka parking upside down) making my son closest to the front door.

More Pretend Play: Here's my daughter wiping her baby doll's bottom b/c her diaper was yucky.

When it gets dark, I give them light sticks (you can find them at the dollar store) They have a blast waving them in the air.

We have found that at this age our kids don't sleep reliably well during car rides, so leaving at bedtime and driving through the night so the kids will sleep, doesn't work for us. We tend to plan our treks so that we leave after they are well rested. Then we pack snacks, toys, fun music, and we engage with our kids in pretend play and the car rides are actually quite enjoyable. "Are we there yet" is not a phrase we here all that much on our car rides. It Works for Me! To find other boredom fighting tricks, check out Rocks in My Dryer this week.


  1. And we are SO GLAD that you make the trip!! Love the pictures and the fun everyone has on those long rides. We will have to remember them when we make the long ride TO your house.

  2. Light sticks-that's a great idea! We make our big trip over the winter holidays and we travel a lot longer than 5 hours. My blessing is a good little traveler, but she would love the light sticks-especially since we spend more time travelling in the dark since it's winter.

  3. Light sticks - thats a great idea! We are headed out this weekend for a 5-6 hour drive and I am always trying to find things for my 3 year old daughter to do. I will have to go pick up some light sticks before we hit the road! Thanks for the tips and happy and safe travelling this summer to all!

  4. I found you through Rocks in my Dryer! LOVE the light stick idea. My kids hate sitting in the car in the dark, this will be a perfect distraction. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love the light stick idea, too! The boys would LOVE playing with those while we make the looooooong trip home. It's 11 hours for us. WHEW!

    We play "I Spy" a lot in the car. Jack always says, "I Spy a tree. There it is." LOL!

  6. clearly the light-sticks are a big winner! i also love that in every picture of your son, his arms are way up. :)

  7. Great ideas! I love the light sticks idea, I'll have to remember that one. We can't drive through the night either so these might come in handy sometime.

  8. I would have never thought of light sticks, what a great idea!

  9. These are great ideas and will help save my sanity in the car for sure!

  10. Great ideas!!! MC is scared of the dark so we used to give her a light stick or a flashlight when we were driving after dark.

  11. Great tips and pics. We have always traveled with our kids and they are pretty use to it. I do try and make sure there is lots to do but sometimes we do the boring finding nemo version...i spy something brown..dirt..right...and again and again :)


Leave us a message (No account needed, you can be anonymous)