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Kids' Road Trip Essentials Checklist

The gear to have on hand when traveling with children. Guaranteed, you’ll hear fewer cries of "Are we there yet?"

Activities

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    Books, magazines, and comics

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    Games, such as the license plate game or travel bingo

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    Sketchbook, washable markers, and colored pencils

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    Pre-stamped blank postcards (find them at the post office), which your kids can decorate, or postcards bought on the road; have your children write to friends, relatives, even pets

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    Doodling doodads: a small dry-erase board, Etch A Sketch, Magna Doodle

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    Pipe cleaners, easy origami, and other scissor-less craft supplies

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    Portable DVD player and DVDs; don’t forget headphones!

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    Tape recorder: Let the kids produce a vacation broadcast

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    Books on tape for the whole family, such as the Harry Potter series or “The Chronicles of Narnia”

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    Scrapbook envelope—entrust your children with the responsibility of collecting postcards, ticket stubs, and brochures for a scrapbook

Food

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    Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks such as bite-sized goldfish crackers

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    Hard-to-bruise fruits such as apples and berries; or try fruit roll-ups or fruit leathers

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    Trail mix, which will leave kids feeling full longer (and keep fingers greaseless)

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    Reusable bottles filled with water

Miscellaneous

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    An emergency kit. In a click-shut plastic bin, stock jumper cables, a first-aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, road flares or reflective triangles, a fleece blanket, bottled water, and a few protein bars. 

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    Garbage bags to collect trash

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    Extra diapers and wipes, if necessary

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    Change of clothes, in case of accidental spills

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    A blanket for spur-of-the-moment picnics at rest areas—and naps

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    Jump ropes and balls, so energetic little travelers can tire themselves out at rest stops!