Valiant Husband and I are veteran travelers--specifically--car travelers with kids. We moved 8 hours away from family when we got out of college. Most of the family is concentrated in one area and the rest visits regularly, so we learned early that we were the ones going home, not the other way around.
No problem. We were young and full of energy. (Ah, remember those days!?) And then we had kids.
We developed strategies. We drove all night when they were infants and toddlers. They slept all night in their carseats and we took turns, so they were bright and happy on arrival and we were . . . not insane. As they grew older we adjusted our techniques. We were one of the first with a DVD player in the car...that Valiant Husband installed himself. Gameboys were king--and saved for doctor's offices and long trips. Books, once they were old enough to read.
I wish our kids were the type to play fun car license plate type games, but no--they are more the "Look there's the button that will one day destroy the world!" (This is shouted at least twice a year whenever we pass Pilot Mountain in NC--because it looks like a knob designed for some gigantic space alien or godlike deity)
We learned to pack snacks, and not to freak when they wanted beef jerky sticks from the gas station. We learned to like fast food--on trips only. In short, we relaxed our standards. :-)
I've done a LOT of driving this year and we are going to do some more as we take the kids to Orlando. Eldest is a senior this year and I'm looking at this as our last car fling.
So, I'm looking for some more tips. What do you guys do to ease the monotony on long car trips? Any restaurant suggestions that will lure Youngest away from fast food? Any games that jaded teenagers will play? All suggestions welcome!