The hilarious George Burns said “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family – in another city.” And so as Thanksgiving approaches, you might just find yourself packing up the car for a road trip to visit those relatives.
If you’re kid-free, all you’ll need is a latte and a great playlist – but if you’ll be traveling with little ones, I recommend some additional preparation. Here are some deep thoughts and travel tips from my buddy and Good to Know co-host Dan Pashman, me … and a car full of screaming children.
In addition to these Good To Know ideas, there are a few other boardless (bored-less?) games I love to play to pass the time and keep the peace on the road.
Become a family of roving writers! Each person in the car takes a turn adding a sentence onto a silly story. And to kill even more time, record them on your phone and play them back in their ridiculous entirety. It might even be fun to share a few of them with the grandparents once you arrive (so they can truly appreciate the journey you’ve made).
Tell Me the Tune
I don’t know about you, but I am always shocked at kids’ abilities to memorize and recognize lyrics, songs and even band names. Try turning to a radio station (or your kids’ favorite album, depending on their ages). Let them listen to 5 seconds of a song and see if they can guess the song, band or next lyric. The prize can be getting to choose the next full song the car will hear as you drive along.
Everyone in the car will choose one word they see on a sign or billboard. Once you have all of the words down, everyone in the car will write and recite a poem using all of the words. This is a great game for the whole family (as long as you’re not driving through Nantucket).
So there you have it — some travel tricks to try this Thanksgiving. It goes without saying that arriving safely and soundly is always our most important goal, but arriving calmly and cheerfully would be wonderful, too. And it’s completely possible when you arm yourself with pre-planned activities and sanitary strategies that will keep everyone acting and looking their best this holiday season.
Check out the photo galleries below for more kids’ toys to take on the road. Bon voyage, turkey!