Finally! February is here and the days are getting longer and warmer. Our family is starting to think about our next adventure – a road trip.
You might imagine that we’re crazy to put three kids in the car and explore our the nearby states. Sure, there will be some complaints and ‘are we there yet’ comments coming from the back seat, but we’re ready for the memories that our squad will make and share.
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Our oldest is on the verge of her teen years and the realization that ‘how many more years will she want to come with us?’ is on our minds. How many summers will we be able to spend without worrying about teenage work schedules? So we need to make these road trips count.
That said, here are our tips and tricks that we found to be helpful to make a great family road trip with kids.
Entertain them along the way
One way we’re able to keep our kids occupied during trips up and down the west coast is with Amazon Kindle tablets. While the Apple iPad might be the most widely used tablet, we can outfit our entire squad with cutting edge tablets that entertain and delight for the cost of one iPad.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet is just $60 at the time of writing this article. You can load this tablet up with games, digital books, and movies before you leave so that your children have plenty to do during those long stretches on the road. Our oldest got her first Kindle Fire at 6 and still enjoys hers now that she’s eleven.
In-Car Movies and Books
For your bookworms and movie watchers, your local library might be your best friend. For example, our city’s library has OverDrive, which is a service that is free to us and enables us to check out Kindle Books free of charge.
OverDrive’s selection goes from baby books all the way up to and including adult books – from non-fiction to fiction.
Another service to look into is called Hoopla and your access to it will depend on your local library’s digital access.Check your library’s website or with a librarian. For free movies and DVDs, don’t forget to check into your library’s selection.
At our library, you can get DVDs for free for up to three weeks – which is perfect for local road trips.
For the latest selections on just-released DVD movies, don’t forget Redbox.
We enjoy grabbing a DVD for close to $1 in one locale and returning it down the road at any other Redbox. This is a good way to occupy the crew! Be sure to load the Redbox app on to your phone so you know what’s available around you.
Our family of five is *really* into audio books. Accordingly, we enjoy the Read Aloud Revival podcast for the best audiobooks and she also has episodes about wonderful children books to take with you. Check out all the books that the whole family can enjoy together; from babies to late teens.
Get That Great Shot ?
If you’re going on a road trip, you’re most likely going to be taking in new sights and sounds. Let the kids in on the memory-capturing as well by giving them a Fuji kids camera. The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is available on Amazon for $130 and is waterproof, shockproof and freeze-proof.
It’s the perfect camera to gift to a child as young at six so they can capture video and images from their point of view.
Looking for more instant gratification? The Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera is small (and only $50), quirky and creates Polaroid-like photos that come out instantly. We love having a real-time photo journal of our adventures as the trip unfolds. Pair the Instax photos with a small album so you can share the memories from each day as you step into slumber at night.
What are your must-haves for family road trip harmony?