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How to Survive a Road Trip

With whining kids, close quarters, and long hours of boredom, a family road trip can quickly turn into a nightmare. Avoid highway hell to keep everyone happy.


  • Step 1: Feed hungry mouths with snacks that don't require refrigeration, and juice packs and water bottles that can be kept in a cooler. Snacking en route will help you avoid the dreaded drive through, and staying hydrated will keep the crabbiness at a minimum -- though it may increase the need for bathroom breaks.
  • Step 2: Make clean-up a snap with moist baby wipes, a hand towel, and plastic bags for garbage. Keep a change of clothes on hand in case of an accident and take everything is stride until you can relax at your vacation destination.
  • FACT: In 2007, Peter Gilbert, a travelling salesman in Wisconsin, racked up over a million miles in his 1989 Saab 900. It took him 17 years to do it.
  • TIP: Consider packing a sunshade to protect those in the back seat, even if your windows are tinted.
  • Step 3: Encourage nap time by bringing blankets and pillows. This will bring much needed silence during a hectic car ride.
  • TIP: If you have kids with you, get them involved planning the road trip. Show them the route and any special stops along the way.
  • Step 4: Pack an emergency kit that includes assorted tools, a flashlight, tire sealant, jumper cables, and other necessities. Remember to bring a cell phone and use a GPS system in case you get lost.
  • Step 5: Bring along music, movies, and portable video games.
  • Step 6: Make customized travel bags for each traveler. Personalize it with their name and load it up with puzzles, maps, a disposable camera, and a journal to record their adventures.

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