How about a Disney Road Trip?
by Mike Corbo
The following article was originally published in the October 30, 2001 edition (Issue #110) of ALL EARS -- All about Walt Disney World, and is here with the author's/publisher's permission. For more information about ALL EARS, a weekly newsletter published in conjunction with Deb's Unofficial WDW Information Guide (http://wdwig.com), visit http://allearsnet.com If you'd like permission to reprint this article, please contact Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy of www.disneydollarless.com
We've been hearing a lot of this lately: "I'm not sure if my family and I are ready to fly after all that has happened lately." Well, we at DisneyDollarless have some tips for you!
While there are many free sites on the internet that help with planning your trip route such as www.mapquest.com and www.mapblast.com, these sites do not provide the details you will need to plan an 18-hour drive to Orlando.
Our members have tried a few of the programs that are available for your PC (or Mac) that help with trip planning. These have the added capabilities of pointing out hotels, dining options and other points of interest along your intended route. You can also customize your trip to include breaks every so often, how many hours you want to drive each day and what time you would like to start and stop driving in the mornings and evenings. You can even set your average driving speed and see an estimate of how much the trip will cost based on current gas prices and tolls. The program will give you a much more realistic breakdown of driving times. Programs that our readers have used are Microsoft Streets & Trips 2002 and Delorme's Street Atlas USA.
Once you have your route planned, just imagine the fun you and your kids will have in a car for 18 hours!! You can never hear that age-old phrase "Are we there yet?" enough times. Here are some tips for making the trip just a bit less tedious and more fun for the kids.
One game that we use all the time is Road Trip Bingo. There are a series of 12 bingo cards ready to download for free at http://gemini.goodyear.com/fun/bingo.html. The first person to spot and call out something on their board gets to mark it with a crayon or marker. The site also has other games that can be played in the car.
Another favorite of my family is our version of the "I'm Going on a Picnic" game. Normally played with picnic items, we choose a Disney-related theme, such as movies, characters, rides, etc. The first person says, "I'm going to Disney World and I'm going to ride on (and name a ride that begins with the letter A)." The second person repeats what the first person said and then adds their own ride using the next letter of the alphabet, and so on. Sometimes a little creativity is needed with some of the more difficult letters. Guaranteed to keep you busy for quite some time and it helps promote good memory.
It also helps to pack a few surprises to give to the kids along the way. A new toy, a new video game, coloring books and crayons, special treats to eat.
If you're up to it, leaving late at night and driving through the night may be best if you have smaller children. That way, they can sleep through most of the trip.
Cracker Barrel, a chain of restaurants and country stores located along most of the major interstates, sells books on tape (or CD) that can be returned at another location. You'll get back all you paid except for a ū rental fee -- a great inexpensive way to entertain everyone in the family.
Another lifesaver that could keep some children occupied for the whole trip is a small TV/VCR combination, which is usually available for under 赨 online. We pair ours up with a PlayStation that is plugged into a power converter. Be sure to check out your local Costco, Target or Wal-Mart for deals.
Finally, check this site with tips for driving long distance with children:
Ultimate Traveling with Kids Guide
© ALLEARS and Deb Wills, 2001; all rights reserved.