Two summers ago we traveled from Texas to Virginia and then last summer we moved from Texas to California. I'd like to say that I have a magic trick on how to make these trips picture perfect, but I don't. But I take do some planning to help pass the time.
I have a few tips and ideas to share with you:
1. One thing my kids loved was when I took out the package of glow sticks and glow necklaces for when it got dark. We didn't travel too late into the night but it sure helps you push through the final minutes of the drive.
2. Try to plan your meals somewhere where you can have the kids run around. It is unfair to expect them to sit for hours in the car only to sit and behave at a restaurant. If you're traveling with older kids (10+) you might be able to do this. Even if you have to pick up "real" food from a "real" restaurant, you can take it to a park nearby and have a picnic. By "real", I mean a meal that doesn't come with the option to supersize!
3. I made different colored shirts for each day of travel. With 3 kids, it made it easier to keep up with them when we were out. Plus, the kids thought it added to the excitement. I bought plain shirts online that were only a few dollars each. I used my vinyl cutter and iron on vinyl to make a logo. Here is a picture of one of the shirts:
4. I also made a bag for each child. You can use a backpack if you prefer and I would recommend that if you are traveling by plane. I found some cute tote bags at Sam Moon that were about $4 each and they already had a USA logo on them. I added the names of each child with my vinyl cutter. I like the tote bags for the car because they are easy to dig around in. I prefer backpacks for planes because the zip up nice and can stowed under the seat in front of you.