Let's face it -- we all like toys, whether they're traditional items such as a puzzle or a doll, or our favorite book or electronic gadget. Within reason, stash as many of these things in the car as you can. And think outside the box. Handheld games are a great way to keep kids occupied while you're driving, but a Frisbee or soccer ball works wonders during wayside stops, plus gives the kids a fun activity to anticipate. Magazines or novels can make the minutes fly by, as can watching DVDs or listening to audiobooks.
If your kids are young, a quick trip to a dollar store before you head out can yield big dividends. Parcel out a new toy for them to unwrap each day. Even if these inexpensive items won't be around next year (or even next week), they occupy your child for a few hours on the road, and that's a bargain [source: Hatch].