So, a 9 hour trip with a packed car; No extra space and 3 kids squished into the back seat. I, of course, had to at least try to avoid the fast food stops I knew were coming along with the resulting delays and blah feeling from eating that crap.
I don't believe in total deprivation but I do prefer to save junk food for special times. This makes it much more special for the kids and they get excited about the little stuff. :-) I'll call this a special time but it could also be in the "desperate times" category.
I'll start with keeping them entertained. If you have any ideas, please add them!!
What to do!
|Movie Time for One|
*DVD Players -(RCA Dual Portable DVD Player). These were great! I highly recommend them. I got a great price on them at Shop.com. They played everything except for our DIVX movies. I did have to get an amplifier because the sound wasn't so great with headphones. Did you know you can get amplifiers that are splitters as well so kids can plug up more headphones to the DVD player? That's one of those things I just never needed to know. :-)
*Car-friendly arts and crafts
-travel bingo (favorite for all of us)
-etc...Take your kids to Michaels and let them pick some stuff out. They like it more when it's their idea.
-Find the latest book that they might like and bring it along. It's great to have during those times when they get bored during the vacation.
-You know they can't live without them. :-) Is there a new game out? Peace in the car might be worth the cost (sometimes not, though).
|Salad, Fruit and Nut Bars, String Cheese, Deviled Eggs|
Sandwiches-I made these the day before we left then put them in the freezer. Just make sure you put the meat on one side and the cheese on the other with the mayo and stuff in the middle to keep the bread from getting soggy. They fit great in a plastic shoe box (Target).
|Sandwiches, chocolate bars, yogurt|
Sausage Balls-The recipe calls for almond flour. I used 1/2 almond flour and 1/2 regular. I think I'll just use regular next time. They were good warm but I didn't care for them as much cold. The recipe is a good one, though. *Tip for the butter: Use a cheese grater for the butter.
Snack Bags- I put each thing in a snack baggie then put the snack baggies in a huge plastic bag for each person. This worked great!!! No extra space needed for boxes, no extra trash everywhere, no having to share, no having to find things for everyone the whole trip!! Here's the list of what I put in but you can customize it for your tastes. I was going to add popcorn but didn't get around to it. I made up extra baggies for the return trip and just refilled everyone's bags when it was time to go back home.
-Fruit Rollups (simply fruit)
-Envirokids Crispy Rice Bars
-Nature's Path Peanut Choco Granola Bars
-Yogurt Covered Strawberries
-Gummy Bunnies Fruit Snack
-Marshmallows-mini vanilla (great to have if hot choc. is a possibility)
-Sour Cream and Onion Bunnies
-Napkin with plastic utensils
Fruit and Nut Bars (Larabars)
Apples (cut and wrapped with a rubber band-worked great!)
Healthy Snack/Meal-(container with the green lid, from Target)
-Grapes (paper towel under them will absorb excess moisture)
-Thick chunks of turkey
|Healthy Snack, Apples|
Gogurt- I froze these before we left so they'd stay colder
Chocolate Bars-Froze them the night before
Frozen Waters-These worked great! They stayed cold and kept the kids that drink too much (for the car anyway) from having bladder issues. Keep in mind that water expands when it freezes so prepare for the initial bottle opening.