On the Road Again: Traveling with Kids

So far I have been pretty lucky as far as traveling with the kids goes.  Jayna was a good traveler from day one, and she has proven to be a great entertainer for Amelia now!

We do have a DVD player which is only used for long trips, but I’m always looking for new ways to keep them entertained.  So with our vacation to up north a couple of weeks ago, I turned (yet again) to Pinterest!

I found this site….it has a long list of ideas for traveling with toddlers.  Most were kind of obvious, but good reminders (and very simple and cheap).

But the site Moms Minivan was really the jackpot!  It has a ton of ideas and lots of printables.  One of the ideas there was to give your kids one of these little tickets every half an hour.  Then, they can trade in tickets for special prizes, like a movie, or a piece of candy.  And since Jayna has been in the “I want it NOW” phase lately, I think that this system taught her some  patience and math skills too!

The tickets worked like a charm after about an hour, and Jayna was able to trade them in…then she really understood the system.  Our trading system was

1 ticket= a new book
2 tickets= a snack
3 tickets= pick one activity from the surprise bag (thank you Target Dollar Spot!)
4 tickets= movie

I thought she would have a hard time learning to “save up” for her movies, but she did really well, opting for the “surprise bag” the most.  We only watched one movie the whole 10 hour trip!

I did not bring the busy bags that I had created for our trip to Tennessee, but I did use the actual, physical bag from one of those activities to carry all of my “surprises.”  In the surprise bag, there were several different activities each in ziplock bags.  I would give her a choice between two (which allowed me some control over the activies…some of them were noisy!!).  Some of the activities were:

-a bag full of TAG reading system books and the TAG pen
-a big sticker and activity book featuring (her favorite!) Disney Princesses
-a jelly roll pan with foam butterflies and foam stickers to decorate them (I also provided a little trashcan for sticker-backs)

But, I lucked out again and Jayna spent a lot of time sleeping in the car. Unfortuantely, this posed another problem.

And I ain’t payin for no kid-chiropractor!  So, I made these.

Ahhh….much better!

 Aren’t they cute?!?!

What’s your best trick for long car rides?  Leave a comment!

Linkin’ up here this week!


  1. Mom Mom says:

    I loved the head rests – very cute. I used Jayna’s for her when I had her and she fell asleep. Worked very well. You are so clever!

  2. Awesome! I can’t wait til L is a little older and can grasp the ticket system, that is really cool. And yes, those neck pillows are the cutest thing ever. 🙂 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this last week on Saturday Show & Tell! You’ve been featured this week! We’d love to have you join us again! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie 🙂

  4. coming really late to this post in search of ideas for an upcoming 15-19hr drive….. Is there a pattern for the little neck pillows???

    • Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for visiting! No, I didn’t use a pattern. I just sketched it out on a paperbag and then added an 1/4 inch seam allowance om all sides. Each of my “sides” (the part that went on the side of my kids’ necks ended up being about 6 inches wide (just remember you’ll be stuffing them, so they end up being round). Hope that helps!


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