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Checklist: Are We There Yet?

Summer road trips with the kids. Everyone squeezed into the family station wagon singing "99 Bottles of Beer" for hours on end. It's the stuff of memories—also the stuff of migraines. Here are some tips for a smooth journey.

  • SIT TIGHT Checking your car's tire pressure is a no-brainer, but have you ever had the child safety seat inspected? Some AAA branches keep technicians on hand to make sure your little one is secure. Visit for details.
  • STOP You want to get to Walley World before it closes, but you also want your family to have an alert, safe driver. Make time to pull over every few hours to take in a roadside attraction, toss a Frisbee, or simply stretch your legs.
  • PACK SMART Don't forget child-strength pain reliever, baby wipes, towels, a portable potty, and a bag of toys for each child.
  • EAT LIGHTLY Kids' stomachs are sensitive—especially in the car. So skip the drive-through; pack a cooler with drinks, sand-wiches, and a few treats. (Lollipops last a long time.)
  • UNPLUG It's hard to bond when your kids are entranced by an LCD screen the whole trip. Sing songs, tell jokes, play the license plate game—at least for the first three hours of a drive.
  • BOOK IT Check out audiobooks at your local library. Both kids and adults will enjoy the adventures of Ramona Quimby, Harry Potter, or the Baudelaire orphans.

Map out your ideal road trip at

This article was first published in July 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.