Keep the Kids Occupied on Spring Break Road Trips

Dreading that long road trip to your spring break destination? Don’t wait for the fun to begin at the end of your journey. Get it started on the way there and keep the choruses of, “Are we there yet?” to a minimum with these boredom-busting ideas for the whole family:

Go Old-School

Remember “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” “The License Plate Game,” “The Alphabet Game” and “Name That Tune?” Turn off the technology and revisit these classic car games you may have played as a child with your kids. Need a refresher? Go here for instructions on how to play the top 10 road trip games.

Tell Stories

Have the kids pick out interesting vehicles or drivers on the road and make up stories about where they are going. Or, try team storytelling: Each person in the car makes up a line of a story until you run out of ideas. You can even write down the tale as you go and have the kids draw pictures to create your own custom-made family story.

Get App-y

This one’s the opposite of going old-school: Take full advantage of technology with popular road trip game apps like these:

  • Road Trip Scavenger Hunt: With components of “I Spy” and “The License Plate Game,” this app gives your kids items to try to spot as they look out the windows — like a car pulling a trailer — and keeps track of the points earned by each player. 99 cents for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad versions, and free for Android-powered devices
  • Bingo Apps: There are several versions of this “I Spy”-like app out there, but most of them work the same way: The app features a bingo game board, but instead of letters and numbers, it features icons of items you might see near the road, such as cows, light poles and gas pumps. As in “Bingo,” the first one to fill a row or column wins. Prices for apps vary; available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android-powered devices
  • Family Car Games: This app instructs you in 100 no-equipment-required family activities for some unplugged quality time. $1.99; available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
  • Mad Libs: Much like the paper original, this app lets you select from a variety of categories and insert words into stories when prompted. Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android-powered devices

Take a Detour

There are so many interesting and fun attractions on the road that it might be worth a little extra driving to stop and see something unlike anything you’ve seen before. If you’re looking for the unusual, websites like can help you find unusual side destinations like the World’s Largest Frying Pan in Rose Hill, N.C., the Retired Sad Monkey Railroad in Canyon, Texas, and the Giant Beethoven Head in Fort Myers, Fla.

Document It

Take along a journal for your family to write notes, draw pictures and capture memories of your trip. Give your kids disposable cameras to snap some shots of whatever catches their eye. This strategy not only keeps everyone occupied, looking for photogenic roadside scenery; at the end of your trip, you can put it all together to create a unique family memento of your trip.

To make sure there’s no unexpected break in your spring break road trip, you may want to look into roadside services. Click here for more information.

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