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Monday, August 20, 2012

131 We Traveled with Kids and Survived to Write About It!

I joke, I joke!  It wasn't bad at all!  I was so super nervous to travel with the youngsters, but we did a couple of things to make it much easier on us and them.  Here are the deets.

As I have mentioned a few times already, I am going to be gosh darn sure to spend a lot of time with my kiddos this summer.  I am privileged enough to work from home and want to make sure that I suck up as much time with them while they are out of school, as physically possible.  So, we have been making sure to do all sorts of fun things with our days, whether we stay home and build train tracks and swim or head off to a day out and about at the beach or a flick at the cinema.  It's been great and is slowly winding down with only a few short weeks remaining before school is back in full swing.

Each year I have had a goal of sweeping the kids away on a little end of summer "funcation".  Last year we only traveled a few hours from home and went to the Wisconsin Dells.  This year, I decided to be brave and take the kids from Wisconsin, all the way out to Montana and back!


It may not look all that far, but drive time came in at over 30 hours there and back, and that didn't include any stops or day trips we made along the way {since it was our goal to see as much as we could while we were away}.  That is a lot of time for three little dudes to spend in the car.

Why Montana?  Why not!?  Well, and because my blog bff, Amanda, lives in Montana and since we typically meet up when she is home in Minnesota, I thought it would be a nice treat to head in her direction for once.


Back to traveling with kids.  It was my main goal to keep these little guys as happy and content as possible during the 8 day road trip.


I am by no means an expert at traveling with kids.  In fact, they are quite use to car rides spanning from three to five hours {we travel with them very frequently to locations closer to home}, but this was our first major family road trip, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Thanks so Pinterest, I found the "Clips for Road Trips" method, which worked wonders for us!


Using some washi tape, I just decorated a few clothespins and popped them up on our visor, one for each boy.  Everyone could easily spot the clothespins from anywhere in the vehicle.   If their clip was present, then that means they were being the awesome kids they are.  It also meant they earned privileges and treats {iPad time, lollipops, etc...}  If they happened to get a little unruly, their clip came down.  They always had the opportunity to re-earn their clip and it was amazing to me how quickly they earned them back if they came down and I loved how proud they were when their clip was up.  It was so visually easy to keep track of behavior and keep them motivated to behave in the car.  They will become permanent fixtures in the vehicle going forward...

Last year, I shared my traveling with kids sanity saver, which is their magical car bag.


Each mini-me has their own tote, and we keep the bag pre-packed with the essentials {wipes, activity books and drawing pads, reading books, crayons, electronics, etc...}.  Anytime we head out the door, they can quickly grab their bag and be ready for hours of car ride entertainment.  This held true for this last trip as well, but thanks to a recent trip to Target, I was able to add a couple of more items to the bag.


The teal plastic tray was found on an end cap in the kitchen/linens section, and was $2.  Best. Purchase. Ever.  They fit little laps wonderfully and it is just so perfect for the car, the kids used it for eating, coloring, drawing, playing, etc... And because I always keep a stash of cleaning wipes in the glove compartment, we could just wipe them up and keep them clean in-between uses.  Fabulous.  Target also sells blank drawing pads for $1 and has all sorts of activity books for $1 in their Dollar Spot.  Thank you Target.  Thank you very much!

While in Montana, I had the opportunity to go to a World Market.  World Market peeps, if you are listening, please come back to Minnesota.  You are missed by many....

Anywho, I found these awesome cards, 52 Fun Things to do in the Car, which were perfect for our car ride home {you can also find them on Amazon}.  They kept us quite entertained with all sorts of simple ideas and activities!


Last but not least, I decided to make some printables.  Weird, I know.

I wanted to create a small activity pack for the kids to stay entertained on the road.  I wanted them to be bright, happy and colorful.  I wanted them to have something to focus on in-between stops and to ensure they were checking out all the lovely sites along the way... The travel pack printables were born!


These will ultimately be sold in my Etsy shop, so grab them now while you can for FREE!





{Click HERE to download the Kid's Travel Pack Printable Set for FREE!}

We had so much fun searching for all of the BINGO items {we played "blackout" BINGO and had to cross of every single item}, playing alphabet eye spy, tracking our trip on the map, spotting really cool license plates and jotting down our favorite memories from the vacation.  It was probably the one thing that kept the kids the most entertained along the way, and most of it was easy enough for our five year old buddy to play along with as well.

So there you have it, a few of our super simple ways to save our sanity with youngsters on our first major road trip.  We decided to make it an annual tradition to travel extremely long and crazy distances with the kids, so I would love to know what other tips and tricks you have for having fun and keeping the clan entertained when you travel.  Spill your travel secrets my friends!
 

P.S.  I totally missed you guys last week while I was gone.  The same way I miss my pets, friends and family.  I couldn't wait to get home and hop back on my blogging train.  It feels so good to be home!

131 comments:

  1. World Market IS coming back! One will be in Roseville, and the other is going back to it's original place off of 494 in Bloomington.

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    1. No way! You totally just made my day. Eeek, so excited!!!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. REALLY?? I was in Madison last week and saw one there at one of the malls.. I love walking through World Market.

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    3. Yes! same location in Roseville and Bloomington!

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  2. You are amazing! Thanks so much for sharing these with us!

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  3. We used to play this sort of stuff when my son was younger and he loved it. Anything to make driving go by faster is great. I'm going to send this link to my sister for her youngsters!

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  4. sounds like a fun trip! i always loved family road trips as a kid and these printables are so fun!

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  5. Kids really do need visuals. Good thinking on the clothes pin system.

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  6. Any tips for traveling with a 15 month old??? These are all great ideas for my older 2 but my toddler is the one I'm worried about the most on our upcoming 7 hour drive!

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    1. Part of the reason this was our first major road trip is because I really wanted to wait until my kiddos were older. My youngest never did well in the car, and nothing ever seemed to keep him distracted for longer periods of time. I did, however, always keep of bin of different toys and books on the floor under his seat and have his brothers read to him or swap things out while we drove.

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. One fun thing to do is take one of those 28 day pill organizers and fill each compartment with a small edible item like a goldfish or cheerios. They can practice opening them up one at a time and if you really need it, maybe can reload them with you one at a time. It helps with dexterity too.

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  7. I love these printables!!! I'm years away from having kids and I'm still downloading them and hoarding them on my hard drive. What a great idea--thank you!

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  8. I love these printables!!! I'm years away from having kids and I'm still downloading them and hoarding them on my hard drive. What a great idea--thank you!

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  9. Thank you so much! I don't fly, so we drive all over. My kids are starting to get old enough for things like this, so I will definitely be using them.

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  10. Those are great ideas! I love the clothespins- I think I will just wear one around all the time so kiddo can tell when she is being snotty...
    Some of these would work for train or bus trips as well. Might have to modify a bit.
    Thanks!

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  11. We had been traveling every summer for last five years because all airfare is so expensive now than it used to be. We live in LA. We went to far away to Vancouver, BC and Dallas in different year. This year will be different for us which we never done before is road travel during Christmas break because of snow in some areas (through Ariz., New Mex, then Texas). Im very nervous about it. I love your ideas on keeping kids entrainment. My son rather play with Ipod, Iphone and book to read. He will use my Ipad to use for movies during the road trip. I know it is not much of educational. Glad that you guys made home safe!

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  12. I was at Rosedale last week and spotted a World Market. It took me 10 minutes to find how to get in to the parking lot to learn it's not open, but opening soon! So it's coming back!

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  13. We had been traveling every summer for last five years because all airfare is so expensive now than it used to be. We live in LA. We went to far away to Vancouver, BC and Dallas in different year. This year will be different for us which we never done before is road travel during Christmas break because of snow in some areas (through Ariz., New Mex, then Texas). Im very nervous about it. I love your ideas on keeping kids entrainment. My son rather play with Ipod, Iphone and book to read. He will use my Ipad to use for movies during the road trip. I know it is not much of educational. Glad that you guys made home safe!

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  14. awe! how fun!!!

    thank you so much for sharing the prinables for FREE - you are amazing :-) i think our family of 5 will be making a cross country trip next summer so i have downloaded it and will store it away until next summer. sadly, we are already back in school. enjoy your last few days with the boys home - suddenly it is so quiet around here and i hate that!

    sam :-)

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  15. Thank you so so much for the printables! Perfect idea! I'll be using those for sure!

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  16. Thanks for the printables! My guy is too little but I'll save them for the future-- My mom used to hand make things like that back in the dark ages before home computers. How great to just be able to print them off now!

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  17. Thanks so much for the freebies! We JUST got home from a road trip, but will love to use them next time!

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  18. I made "road trip binders" for my grandsons trip from Ohio to Florida. My daughter said these kept the boys (7 and 9) entertained and they loved all the activities I found on the internet for them. I used the Bingo, License plates, etc. and even added some math and puzzles. I had a great time creating the binders.

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    1. Great idea adding in those additional sheets!! :) I also love the idea of keeping the docs in a binder!

      xo,
      Jen

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  19. I love the printables- what great ideas!

    We started a new game last road trip with our 10 year old daughter while her brother was sleeping...

    We pick a random topic and write a poem about it! We typed it up in notepad on my iPhone.

    This all came about because of the beautiful rainbow we saw! Then the idea took off - a poem about mom, a poem about dad, a poem about brother and one for sister of course!

    We loved the idea so much that we decided to keep a journal in the car to write these poems in :)
    Great idea to have the journal in the car for the funny things the kids say in the car as well!

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    1. Such a great idea! I love the idea of keeping a journal in the car! My kids always seem to say the funniest things when we travel, it would be great to have an ongoing journal of our traveling memories.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  20. We have always traveled a lot with our kids, driving and flying and being prepared makes all the difference. Lately we have been driving at night when we do our 11 hour road trip to see family. The kids sleep and my husband and I take turns resting and driving. It works for now while our kids are young. I am looking forward to when they are older and have more fun engaging in these kinds of games.
    Our next adventure is an international flight of 10+ hours to our new home. I am in the process of gathering activities for our kiddos. We will save this set for when we come back to the USA. Thanks!

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  21. Hello Jen,
    Welcome back from your recent road trip. I couldn't help but reflect on last year's coastal road trip with my hubby, two kids, and family dog, and all the paraphernalia that i would bring along for the adventure. You bring great, new ideas--thank you!
    We, at M2M Creations in California just launched our business last week, and we heart organizing too! Our entire product line is all about keeping things organized for boys, girls, college students, and dads, too! I'd love to send you a sample to try out; please visit our website at www.offthefloorezstore.com.
    Thank you for your consideration! I look forward to hearing from you!

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  22. Jen, these are great! I made similar pages (tho not as pretty!) for my girls when they were little...a long time ago. I put each page in a page protector and they marked them off with dry erase markers, which would just wipe off and leave the page clean for next time.

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    1. Love the idea of being able to reuse the pages! Super smart!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  23. Jen, i grew up taking long road trips and love doing it with my kids. i refuse to let them watch tv in the car as has become the popular thing to do. i encourage them to read, look out the window and play together. we also take lots of stories to listen to. our favorite is "adventures in odyssey" my kids also like old time radio podcasts. it is a great family bonding time that we love. oh and my girls, they are older, like to crochet and sew. the boys do get stir crazy after awhile but we like to stop often so they get the wiggles out that way. we are actually leaving thurs. on a month long trip and i was soooooo excited to get your printouts. Thanks

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  24. I love your blog. Can you tell me what program you use to create your printables?

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    1. Thanks! All printables are always created in Microsoft Excel.

      xo!
      Jen

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  25. Your printables are awesome, Jen! We just got back from a 51hour road trip with our kids and could have added these. We came up with a few ideas that worked really well for us.

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  26. Your printables are just in time! We are going to Lake Tahoe, CA in 2 weeks; it's only 5 hours in the car (with a stop at Grandma + Grandpa's on the way), but that is a lot for my boys (ages 2.5 and 4). I will bring these along for those moments when we need a break from the crying and the "Are we there yet?"

    Road trips were our only option when I was growing up and I cherish those memories, so I can't wait to share more road trips with our boys. Looks like you enjoyed your trip!

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  27. I took my 2 oldest granddaughters across country 13 years ago. We went from Maryland to Seattle. They were 9 and 12 and about AZ I wondered why at 60 I would take a trip when I was only driver. We took 6 weeks, 8,000 miles and 28 states. We stopped whenever we saw something interesting, presidents' homes, national parks, etc and visited internet friends I met on line. They still talk about the trip. I did not have any games for them in the car, but made sure they saw all the interesting scenery. Their favorite place was Las Vegas and the wild horses we saw near there. We spent the 4th of July in Vegas and so did half of CA. We went southern route and came back northern route. I think travel is a wonderful education especially for children 9 and up. I took 2 of my grandchildren to Disney World when they were 4 and that was a waste of money because they have a few memories but not many of those trips. In fact they liked Sea World better and learned more. Sounds like your trip was great, glad you are back safe and sound. Take care.

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    1. Wow! Sounds like an amazing adventure! Such lucky grandkids you have!! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  28. I forgot to thank you for the printouts I am going to give my grandchildren for my great grandchildren, hmmmm wonder if I will want to take any of them on a trip across country in about 5 years? Doubt it, will be too old to do alone. Take care.

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  29. On road trips longer than two hours we listen to books on CD from the library. They have stories from 20 minutes to several hours that we all enjoy. We also love story telling where one person starts and then each person has a turn to add a couple of sentances. It's most fun when the addition is completely unexpected and the story includes family members. Lastly I print out a map of our trip that includes all the stops we plan to make along the way. This helps the kids see for themselves how much further we have to the next stop and cuts down on the "Are We There Yet?" Our youngest son (age 7) loves to find the names along the road signs that match his map so I've started using copies of actual map pages when possible. Think of the old fashion AAA Trip tickets. (This can probably be done easier on the computer but I haven't taken the time to figure this out yet.)

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    1. Fabulous ideas and tips! I love the idea of the books on tape and the pre-planned maps! I will have to add those to my idea pile for next time! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  30. I adore your blog and tell all my friends about it! I think you have such a GIFT and I really, truly appreciate you sharing your talent with so many people. Thank you SO much for these fantastic printables. I have 3 small children and we go on quite a bit of road trips - these will be lifesavers and they will love them! Really, thank you SO MUCH!! xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much Christen! You are sweet as pie!! <3

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  31. Of course you would have the most amazing trip ideas. We just got back from the lake and these would have been great! LOVE. Will file this away for the next adventure. Happy you are back safe and sound {how's the car??}

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  32. Thank you SO much for these printables! I have a crazy drive with my kids coming up in a few weeks and these will come in handy! Wish me luck...4 kids (ages 1, 2, 4 and 5) for 15 hours each way. And...did I mention I have to do it by myself since my husband is flying there instead of driving? Ugh - so glad for these printables! You're the best!

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    1. Wow! That's quite the hike with four youngsters! I will be thinking of ya!!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  33. So glad that you enjoyed your vacation!! Thanks so much for the printable, it will go to good use for our future car trips :)

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  34. Your blog brought back many memories of the many times we drove from st Paul to Lewistown MT when the kids were younger! We played the license plate and I Spy a lot (cows were a common sight!) I also stapled together blank pages for the kids to color a memory book on the way. My son made a awesome picture of the tipped over train we saw. You've made good memories by being an organized mom. Keep it up.

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  35. Thank you so much for these! I have a friend who camps with her four young children and she swears by the library. She gets books about the things they will see, the states they will pass through, landmarks, etc to get the kids excited BEFORE the trip. She gets books on tape, and children's songs on CD's. She gets new movies, etc.

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    1. I so love those ideas!! <3 I am storing them away for next time! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  36. You always take it to the next level, Jen! We've done several road trips with our two kids and used the same games. Our favorite though is Mad Libs. There are so many different subjects and our family can get pretty creative which means the end result is always hilarious. I like road trips, they make great memories!

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    1. Yes, Mad Libs rock! We had those in my oldest son's bag as well!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  37. These are awesome! Thanks for sharing! ♥

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  38. We also drove from the Twin Cities to western MT with 2 little ones this summer and I wish I had some of these things when we went! Can you come by my house and organize it please?!? And I gotta say- I will be really excited if World Market comes back to Rosedale! I used to go there all the time since I live around the corner.

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    1. It IS coming back to Roseville!! I read about it in the newspaper and the sign is up. (I live in Roseville.)

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    2. So excited to hear this! It's just under an hour for me, but totally worth it! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  39. Did you stop in ND anywhere?! We took a family vacation to MT last year to the Glacier Park area and LOVED it..

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    1. We stopped in South Dakota {Mount Rushmore, Bear Park, Custer State Park, etc...} on the way out there but drove straight through North Dakota on the way home. :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  40. Absolutely love the printables for traveling in the car with kids. Great ideas and you've done all the work for us.

    Keep writing.

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  41. oh my goodness! Organizing is NOT my forte so I'm ALWAYS INSPIRED by your blog but tonight I am so glad I follow via email so I could grab these aDORable printables!! Thank you SO much for sharing your talents so generously!

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  42. Love your blog. It's so pretty!

    www.shilohstaste.com

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  43. About 15 years ago, me and a friend took our combined 7 kids on a 20-day road trip from South Texas all the way to Key West and back. About 8 days in we met up with a friend and added one more mom and 2 more kids. We could've really used these!

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    1. That sounds like a fabulous trip!!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  44. Yay, will be printing these off for our next road trip! We went all the way from Minnesota to Arkansas and back (in a roundabout way) this summer. Great fun! We made a game out of looking for interstate number plates that we still do. It will be fun to have these to tick off on our next trip. We do crazy weekend trips for Taekwondo tournaments (last weekend we drove to Nebraska one day and back the next) so keeping them happy is paramount!

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    1. Wow! We travel a lot for baseball but never that far yet! :) I am sure it's only a matter of time though!

      xo!
      Jen

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  45. What great ideas! On our trip this summer I bought an I Spy deck of cards and the kids loved that. I am going to have to get that deck of cards you used. It looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the free printables. I love the license plate on.

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    1. Oooh, and I will have to check out those ISpy cards! :)

      xo!
      Jen

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  46. These are great ideas. We always look for the license plates. Our road trips usually consist of driving up to Duluth/Gooseberry or towards the Dells. Last week, we ventured to Madison, just the kids and I. It is nice to get away. I am glad you had a great time, Jen!

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    1. Love the Duluth and Wisconsin Dells areas. We also travel to those areas frequently, even Madison once a year. We have a lot of lovely areas near us don't we?! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  47. World Market is reopening off of France Ave in MN!

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  48. Love these road trip games!!! Thanks for sharing! ~gina

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  49. what great and cute games!!! Thank you so much!!!! You are a blessing indeed to all parents with kids traveling soon - like us! ;-)

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  50. Did you stop at the Spam museum?! Funniest thing in Minnesota! lol

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    1. Oh man! We missed it this time around, lol!

      xo,
      Jen

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  51. We got back a few weeks ago from a 16 day, 12 state, 15 gas station stop vacay. It was from TN to COand circled around NB. nothing against NB! Saw national parks old Faithful,tetons, yellowstone, Mt rushmore, badlands and more. Total bucket list trip. And one of my happiest moments? when i realized we saw every states license plate!NEVER found them all before. plus 5 canadian provinces!Trip of a lifetime!

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    1. WOW! Sounds like a great trip! We didn't see all the plates, but only were missing about 5 or 6. I wish we would have had more time, we also did Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore but we felt pretty rushed at a few of our stops. Such a pretty country we live in! :) It was great for the kids to see so much wildlife as well!

      xo,
      Jen

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  52. We had a mini road trip last month and I had made a travelling kit for the kids and they loved it! Thanks for the free printables!! They will come in handy when we do our road trip to the USA and down the Oregon coast to Disneyland! :)

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  53. We went camping in the Keys this summer (12 hour one way) and I made each of my girls their own spiral binder with fun printables and other things they enjoyed. Kept them busy for hours

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  54. So many cool ideas! Would be cool for tourists, too (the printables, not the clothespins *g*) xo Anja

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  55. Thank you Jen! I love the printables.I don't have kids yet, but I can share them with my girlfriends. You are so sweet. I am glad you're back.

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  56. What a super idea! When I was little, we use to travel a lot. We lived in FL, and every summer went to CO to visit family. Each of us three girls had our own boxes. Sure wished we had had the cool stuff you put in your boys boxes!

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  57. I love the clothespin idea! I definitely need it while just driving around town!!!

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  58. I love all of your ideas Jen! So funny because I posted a few traveling tips today too. Great minds think alike! :)

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    1. We always seem to be in sync with one another! :) Off to check out your post!

      xo,
      Jen

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  59. love the printables! can't wait to get back to my desktop to print these out!! we play all those games on road trips too, but you just made them so fun {pretty too!}

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  60. These are lovely! I wish I had had them for our trip this summer - 4 weeks all over! I did scrounge some things together, but nothing nearly so cute!

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  61. Fabulous games you created, Jen.
    My favorite is the license plate game!
    Love how you have real pictures of them!
    Love your blog.
    Thanks for sharing helpful and fun ideas and tips!

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  62. THANKS for the fun road trip printables! I made my own bingo for a trip this summer, but it was not neeeaaarrr as cute:)

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    1. Of course you did, and that is why I adore you Jillian! ;)

      xo!
      Jen

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  63. Yahoo you just made my day, because my family is leaving tomorrow for a week long road trip and even though my kids were 15 and 12 I'm still printing off these printables and using them. Thanks so much!

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  64. Also what kind of meals did you plan or pack? Or did you just eat all of your meals on the road? I'm trying to figure out lunch options without having to make sandwiches everyday. I was thinking maybe making ham/cheese roll-ups.

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    1. We used Gladware containers and stacked them in a cooler. We had one with pasta salad, a couple with sliced fruit, one with lunch meats, one with cheese, etc... We stopped and made many of our own lunches along the way. We also brought dry cereal, granola bars, etc... for breakfast and typically only ate out at night, if at all.

      xo,
      Jen

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  65. What great ideas! Thanks for sharing the ideas and for the free printable- woohoo! So excited to try these out :) Have a great week!
    -Sandy

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  66. Awesome idea, wish we had these this year...but I've got them download for next year...thanks!

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  67. Genius, genius! Awesome ideas, Jen.

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  68. This could not have come at a better time! We are getting ready to drive down to Florida from Ohio to go on a Disney Cruise...and I have already started panicking about how to entertain my 7 and 9 year olds! Thank you so much!

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  69. Oh my dear!!!! You drove right by me!!!!! Next time you come through Fargo, maybe you can stop by for a blogger to blogger potty break! And some cool snack from Pintrest of course! Ha ha! The pack is totally awesome! Thanks so much-this will be a sanity saver for our next trip! ThankS!

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    1. Awww! Your so sweet! I will keep that in mind if I ever head back in that direction! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  70. Great travel pack! Love it! Thanks for sharing, I'll dedinitely be adding these to our travel kits!!! I couldn't wait to read your next post...I'm officially addicted to your blog...[that really sounds weird, in a stalkish way doesn't it???]. ;) lol

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    1. Thanks Jen! :) Posts slow down a bit during the summer since the kids are home, but I am hoping they pick up again in a few weeks once they are back in school and I have a little more free time!

      xo,
      Jen

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  71. I completely understand travel with a kid on long road trips. We make a road trip to visit my in-laws once or twice a year. It takes about 2 days of 12-14 hours of drive time just to go one way. Our daughter has made the trip 4 times between the ages of 15 months and 4 years old. What I have found is that variety is the key to a successful trip (and maintaining naps). While she does get some time to watch DVDs and play games on the Kindle, we also make sure we do some non-screen activities. We make sure to pack plenty of coloring books, our magnetic drawing board, and our sticker book binder. This year we also started playing some car games like i-spy, telling jokes, and signing along to a cd her dad made of her favorite songs. She also expressed an interest to learn how to sew (not sure why, but hey, why not). To mimic the sewing cards I loved as a kid, I cut foam sheets into different shapes and hole punched the edges. Then, we used shoe laces as the "thread." She LOVED it. I have also found that finding a hotel with a pool is essential. This works wonders for letting a kiddo expend the energy stored from being cooped up in the car all day.
    Thank you so much for the printables. I am definitely adding them to our travel kit for next time. I hope you had a great time on your trip and at your destinations. Judging from your map, you traveled one of our frequent routes from Montana through South Dakota. Hopefully you stopped at Wall Drug (I'm sure you saw enough signs to encourage you to do so!)

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    1. Sounds like you have a lot of great systems in place! Love the threading of the shoelaces!

      We missed out on Wall Drug since we were eager to get to our first stop in the Black Hills the first night, but I was super curious about it. Maybe next time! :)

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. I love the lacing cards that preschools use. That would be great to pack for traveling. Did you know that the method of using lacing cards helps get a child ready to learn to read?

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  72. There is a lot of juicy information here. We are getting ready to travel on a train for an extended amount of time and the printables are really going to be helpful.

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  73. wow your very interesting article to read. I was nice to be able to follow your articles

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  74. I am new to your blog which I stumbled upon on Pinterest, and I'm so glad I did!! I'm in love with it! Its fast becoming my fav blog!!

    Kay x

    mummyburgess.blogspot.co.uk

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  75. So fun! I was just in Butte, MT last week! I think our trip was a little shorter, just from Utah to Montana, but even 20 minutes can feel like an eternity if the kids aren't happy! Luckily we were able to travel in my parents' RV, so it was less crowded and we even had a fridge and bathroom! lol. I'm definitely remembering your tips for when we go back at Christmas in the car!

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  76. Oh my gosh Jen, I didn't know you were a MN girl! Just one more reason to love you and your blog. I'm a Minnetonka girl, now living in the Plymouth/Wayzata area. And, you are absolutely right...why the heck did World Market leave??? I frequented the Mtka and Edina locations all the time. We need World Market back!! Do you live in one of the Mpls suburbs? Were you raised here, or did you grow up somewhere else? Adore you, Jen, and read your blog daily for incredible inspiration.

    Linda

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    1. Thanks so much Linda!! :)

      I actually grew up in Wisconsin and now live just outside of the Twin Cities, on the Wisconsin side. I just default to Minnesota since I am so close and travel there to shop. :) I actually used to travel to Plymouth frequently for my previous job as well.

      So giddy to know World Market is coming back to our area!

      xo,
      Jen

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    2. Oh my that seems like such a long way for you to travel for your other job. So was your special with Sabrina filmed in MN?? Yay for MN! Wait...did you say World Market is coming back to our area?? Blessings to you, Jen.
      Linda

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  77. Well, I am amazed by your organization skill and thoughtful ideas for family. I will try these travel fun next time instead of having my boys watch DVDs

    Helen

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  78. I can't believe you went to Montana! Especially Eastern Montana! You should go farther next time and see more of the beauty that we have to offer here...the Eastern side isn't that great, although my husband begs to differ! :)

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  79. Thank you for the free printables!

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  80. Wow! Thank you so much! I can't wait to use these for my kids one day!

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  81. Jen, You are so generous - not to mention wonderfully creative! Thank you so much for the free printables. Our kids will love to use these on our next trip!

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  82. I didn't realize you were from MN either! I'm in Shakopee. Our summer vacation this year was the Dells. :-) But we drive for all our vacations and have done the Black Hills a few years ago. Yellowstone is on our list of places to go....would you consider doing a little trip report? Maybe what you guys loved and didn't like so much?

    One thing I wanted to share....all three of our kids have a 'travel' backpack. Just a regular old backpack but it is only for road trips. Inside is where their travel journal is kept. I wish I would have started this when they were just starting out writing by themselves, but during every trip I make sure there is time for them to write in their journals about the day(or last couple of days). Sometimes they draw, sometimes I put photos in. I hope they will cherish them when they are older.

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  83. Jen, this is brilliant, thank you! We're getting ready to drive to the beach tomorrow, so these will come in handy.

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  84. Love the printables! Thanks so much!!

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  85. Love your blog! FYI- the Alabama license plate featured is the old one, the new one has a beach and says Sweet Home Alabama! May want to update it!

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  86. I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but just realized that I only live about 20 minutes away from you in another small Western WI town! Anyway, thanks for sharing your Road Trip Tips! I'm trying to convince my husband to take a family road trip next summer - our twin boys will be a little over 2 years old - so if I manage to twist his arm enough, I'll definitely be trying out a few of your strategies!

    P.S. Your boys are adorable!

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  87. These are AMAZING!! Thanks!! We traveled with our 3 boys (4 and under) from Seattle to Iowa and back this Summer and it was a blast! We'll for sure use this travel pack on our next big trip:-)They'll LOVE it!

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  88. Oh my gosh....these printables are great! We took an 11 day road trip last summer from Miami to NY and back and I would've loved these! Now I feel like going on another road trip just to use these! THANKS!!!!!

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  89. Thank you so much for these tips and activity sheets. I travel all the time with the kids and like to find new ways to entertain them. I let them use the iPad a lot because they can do so much with it. They can play games, read, and watch movies on our Blockbuster@Home service. A co-worker at Dish told me about this service, so I downloaded the Dish Remote Access app and the kids can access our Blockbuster streaming. They have several family movies on there, so the kids never get bored with the movies and they can always find something to watch. I am going to try out the Bingo and see how the kids like it.

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  90. The link to the trays at Target is no longer working. Do have a different link? I tried doing a search and can't find it.

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  91. Just picked up your bingo game! Going to be a lifesaver this summer. Thanks so much!

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