Emergency Auto Assistance: On the Road With Kids


Road trip anyone?

The annual ritual of hitting the road to get to the beach, the mountains, or the grandparents is about to commence. That means that adults will be confined with kids and pre-teens in a stylish metal box for hours on end. That should be easy these days with DVD players and Ipods. But, alas, as parents well know, there has yet to be a gadget invented that has erased “I’m borrrrred” from a child’s vocabulary.

So we’ll pass along this article written by a parent who has the “road trip entertainment” battle plan mastered. An excerpt appears below.

Oh, along with preparing your kids for a trip, please take time to make your car roadworthy too. Just imagine waiting for emergency auto assistance on the side of a sizzling summer freeway with a car full of kids. Not a pretty picture.


Car trips can be a lot of fun. Car games, singing out loud, or just talking about little things can turn into quality time spent with your children.


Most folks play well known games like the ABC game (find things that begin with every letter of the alphabet) or “Going on a Piknik” (I’m going on a piknik and i’m bringing a tablecloth–next person adds one item, and so on) Others include : Name that tune, I spy, and Car Charades. If you travel much you’ll find your children will make up their own games that can be surprisingly creative and educational. Or maybe just fun-like my son’s “Name that Roadkill” or my daughter’s “spot the hottie”.

Older kids

A portable radio/cd/cassette player with headphones is a must. If you don’t have one, it’s worth buying for one trip alone! It’s unlikely that everyone in the car will agree on the music. If you are depending on the car radio alone, areas without good reception/stations will drive your teen to distraction!

Younger kids

I call it the “goody bag”. If all goes well for 150 miles, I let them have something out of a grab bag that I bring along-a surprise. Inside are cheap, dollar store toys ($1 apiece) and though it is technically a bribe, I prefer to call it a reward. Usually just takes one reminder to avoid a potential problem between them.


  • Some kids like maps so they can see where they are/were/will be. A child’s road atlas is great, as it has games and activities as well.
  • Stop often. They’re kids, and after hours of stillness they need out! If time allows you can select a park somewhere on the way to stop at. Instead of dining in at a restuarant, grab some to go and sit outside while they play. Bad weather? McDonalds playground. That extra half hour could make all the difference with regard to the rest of the trip.