* Allow each child to choose two DVDs for the trip if you have a DVD player in your vehicle. This will give everyone a good movie selection to choose from along the way.
* Pack bottled water and juice boxes in a small cooler.
* Divide up snacks into individual Ziploc bags instead of stopping at a convenience store for snacks. Chips, trail mix, and cookies are perfect candidates. Apple slices, cheese sticks, and bananas are also good healthy alternatives.
* Make sure the glove compartment has a first aid kit, extra napkins, and at least two grocery store style plastic bags. The plastic bags come in handy to collect trash and if a child becomes carsick. Kleenex, hand sanitizer and a package of baby wipes are good to have on hand.
* Listen to a book on tape. Two of our family favorites are Focus on the Family’s Chronicles of Narnia series and Adventures in Odyssey. We have also enjoyed listening to Elizabeth Winthrop’s Castle in the Attic and Battle for the Attic.
* For long road trips, allow a small pillow and blanket per child.
* Keep toys brought along to a minimum. Remember on the road trip back there will be new toys from Grandma’s house.
* Wrap the gifts you will be taking and label with gift tags. Pack the bows to put on the gifts when you arrive.
* Load your iPod or MP3 player with some good podcasts to listen to while you drive. Some of my new favorites are Way of the Master, Cataylst, Charles Stanley, John and Lisa Bevere, and Joyce Meyer. All can be subscribed to for free through iTunes.
* Don’t forget the Christmas music! Have a family sing-a-long. I enjoy collecting unique Christmas CDs such as A Walton Christmas featuring songs sung on the TV series. Another fun favorite is TV Dinner which is Christmas songs compiled from old TV series such as The Brady Bunch and Bonanza. A more traditional favorite this year is Casting Crown’s new Christmas CD, Peace on Earth.