Need Suggestions for Teens on a Road Trip

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Need Suggestions for Teens on a Road Trip

I need suggestions for keeping teens (who get car sick when reading or playing video games) busy in the car for 20 hours.

I suggested that we try and play some traditional road games (state plates bingo, road sign alphabet, eye spy) and thought that they were going to lynch me. How do I keep a car full of (basically) adults from driving me nuts asking how much longer we have or even worse fighting with each other? My kids don't seem to think it's going to be a problem, but I'm getting anxious about it.

Does anyone have any ideas that I can sneak into the trip without them noticing that I'm trying to keep them busy?

Becks534's picture
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Do you guys do audiobooks? Our last Disney road trip, we got hooked on the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. Actually, I think you guys might really enjoy that series. It's very well written historical fiction from the Napoleonic Wars but in this world there are intelligent dragons that act as airborne fighters. I know you live in the "hinterlands" but check with with your library and see if they have unabridged books on CD to check out. You can import them into iTunes just like any other CD. The Chicago Public Library does audiobook downloads online, which is how I get 99% of my audiobooks lately. It's worth a try. mickey Aside from that...sleep? Navigation duties? Making faces at passing motorists?

twilightsparrow's picture
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I agree with Becks on the audiobooks...find some interesting series they haven't read and it's nice to just sit and listen sometimes...good luck! Smile

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Becks534's picture
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Aside from that, maybe some trivia books? That's actually how I did a pretty decent bit of prep for my nursing boards. On the drive home, Carlos would quiz me with questions from my NCLEX books. I think I got up to 50 questions correct in a row before I missed one. We drove through most of Georgia doing that. Incidentally, I just checked your local library and they DO have online downloads. All you need is the Overdrive program on your computer and a library card in good standing.

finngirl's picture
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I'm with Becks about giving them navigation duty. I know in this day and age everyone uses GPS, but after being sent down dead end roads, etc., I never rely on them. When we were kids, my parents made us in charge of maps, highway instructions, etc. Every night we planned out our route, and made sure we knew when Dad would have to change highways, any construction going on, where rest stops and possible coffee/gas breaks would be. (AAA is great for that info). It meant we never asked "are we there yet?" since we always knew exactly where we were, and it gave my sister and I fabulous map and geography skills. And as we finally discovered years and years later, my Dad had no sense of direction, and NEVER knew where he was! laugh

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crazycatperson's picture
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When I was a teenager who couldn't read in the car due to motion sickness (video games didn't exist yet), I daydreamed in the car on long road trips. For hours. Kept me very entertained. I still think a healthy imagination is the best thing a kid (or adult) can have.

On my last long road trip, we listend to the "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" audiobook (not great literature by any stretch, but much much better than the movie adaptation, and not to be confused with the magnificent "Lincoln" movie that came out later last year). It did make the time seem to fly by faster than usual. This was in a car full of old farts who weren't likely to be asking whether we were there yet, but I think it would help teens pass the time as well.

Kristen K.'s picture
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finngirl wrote:
I'm with Becks about giving them navigation duty. I know in this day and age everyone uses GPS, but after being sent down dead end roads, etc., I never rely on them. When we were kids, my parents made us in charge of maps, highway instructions, etc.

Oh my god... this nearly caused World War III in my house last week! I went out and bought IL, KY, TN, GA, FL road maps and told my DD14 that she was going to figure out how to get us to Disney. Now, you need to know that she's home schooled, and we do a lot of "unschooling" so learning advanced life skills applied in a real world environment is part of how she gets her education. I first told her that she needed to do this and she was all "no sweat"... Google Maps. I handed her the Rand McNally maps and she had a FIT!!! You would have thought I told her she wasn't going to Disney, not that she had to figure out how to get there. Huge fight ensued in which I declared that if she couldn't figure out how to use the damn road map she was going back to public school. She figured out the road maps and marked out our route going through all five states.

I'm sure that this is going to be a continuing issue, mostly because I plan on making her suffer over it the entire way. Oh, and when I have her pull up the google maps to check her work.... laugh I will have sweet revenge.

finngirl's picture
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Kristen K. wrote:
finngirl wrote:
I'm with Becks about giving them navigation duty. I know in this day and age everyone uses GPS, but after being sent down dead end roads, etc., I never rely on them. When we were kids, my parents made us in charge of maps, highway instructions, etc.

Oh my god... this nearly caused World War III in my house last week! I went out and bought IL, KY, TN, GA, FL road maps and told my DD14 that she was going to figure out how to get us to Disney. Now, you need to know that she's home schooled, and we do a lot of "unschooling" so learning advanced life skills applied in a real world environment is part of how she gets her education. I first told her that she needed to do this and she was all "no sweat"... Google Maps. I handed her the Rand McNally maps and she had a FIT!!! You would have thought I told her she wasn't going to Disney, not that she had to figure out how to get there. Huge fight ensued in which I declared that if she couldn't figure out how to use the damn road map she was going back to public school. She figured out the road maps and marked out our route going through all five states.

I'm sure that this is going to be a continuing issue, mostly because I plan on making her suffer over it the entire way. Oh, and when I have her pull up the google maps to check her work.... laugh I will have sweet revenge.

If you *really* want to make her suffer, also make her pack and unpack the car! We did 3 week road trips from North of Superior to California every fall, and nothing was allowed to stay in the car overnight! As much as we grumbled about it then, when it came time to move my son back and forth from residence at university every year, I was a pro! DH would look at the pile, declare it would never fit, and of course it did. After all that practice, I was very good at using every single square inch of space! Just tell her someday she will thank you for this. biggrin

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Time marches on. Eventually you realize it's doing it across your face.