6 Tips for Smoother Road Trips (start by packing Bookboard)

by On July 18, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

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My family loves road trips, especially by car and train, which allow you to slow down enough to enjoy the passing scenery and the act of traveling itself. However you travel – whether by car, train, plane, bus or ship – packing is always an issue. You want to travel as lightly as possible, while still having plenty of items on hand to occupy children during long travel days and tedious stretches of road.



Two of the many benefits of Bookboard are its ease and its portability, which make it a natural travel companion. Instead of bringing many books, you only have to bring one tablet device to have hundreds of books at your child’s fingertips.

In addition, we’ve got a new Road Trip Collection, a bookshelf of books that are especially suited for travel fun and entertainment. It includes books for younger children to enjoy and sing along to, summer- and travel- themed books for early readers, and books with rich narratives that older children can get lost in.

Here are some Great Books to Take on a Road Trip:

In addition to providing access to quality books, here are some other tips to make travel with children more smooth and enjoyable.

  • Involve kids in the planning or have them follow the trip’s progress on a map. If you’re a AAA member, maps are free. Some kids may want to keep a trip journal and add photos when they get home.
  • ?Have food and drinks on hand, if possible, and take frequent breaks to eat, use restrooms, or just stretch your bodies.
  • ?Remind children to take occasional screen breaks, to play a game or look around.
  • ?Pack along a few portable games for outdoor breaks and quiet times, such as cards, Mad Libs, a jump rope or jacks.
  • ?Play some of these tried-and-true travel games that don’t require any equipment:



Suggested Companion Book


What Animal Am I?

This is a fun guessing game for all ages.

One player thinks of an animal.

Other players ask “yes” or “no” questions to determine which animal the first player is. Players might ask, “Do you live in the ocean?” or “Do you have four legs?”

There is no limit to the number of questions. Players can simply give up when stumped and choose who gets to be the animal next. Otherwise, the player who guessed the animal gets to be the next up. A variant is “What person am I?”, which can be played by guessing from among people who everyone in the family knows.

What I See From A to Z

This game can engage players in challenging play for a long time.


Suggested Companion Book

Players try to find letters in license plates, billboards, road signs or objects and must call out “I see an A,” or “I see something that starts with B,” when they spot a letter.

The first person to complete the alphabet wins.

A variation for younger children is to pick one letter and have everyone look for that.




License Plate Scramble


The first player calls out all the letters, in order, that appear on a passing license plate.

All players try to create a word using those letters, in the same order. The first person to do so gets a point. For example, a player might call out TRE, and he, she, or any other player might come up with “tire”, “trestle” or “torrent”.

Decide if you want to play to a certain number of points, like 25. The first player to reach that total wins.


Suggested Companion Book

An alternate? With pencils and paper, see how many words each player can make out of the same letters.


Semi Search

If you’re traveling on the interstate, you will probably have a lot of trucks for company, and this fun game makes use of that.


Suggested Companion Book

Each player chooses a different color. That color will be the color of truck trailer that the player is then searching for.

Players announce when they see a semi on the road in their color, and they get one point for each.

A scorekeeper can be appointed to keep count, or everyone can keep their own score.

The game is played until one person reaches 25 points, or another agreed-upon number.

Enjoy your travels!


These travel games were adapted from Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which contains 300+ fun family activities.

Photos: Mobile Industry Review, Wood for the Trees



Suz Lipman is Bookboard's Head Mom. She has been an enthusiastic reader since early childhood. Suz is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online . She writes for the New York Times ‎Motherlode blog and the Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog and is an outspoken advocate for children's literature and literacy as part of a rich and well-rounded childhood.

1 Comment

  1. [email protected]

    July 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I want to read “The Boxcar Children”!

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