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Three favorite family pit stops for road trips in crummy weather

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Question: Are we almost there yet?  Answer: No, we’re still loading the car..
For many, the phrase “family road trip” calls to mind images of sunshine on long, winding highways, with picnics at scenic turnouts and state parks along the way. Even at lackluster interstate Rest Areas, there is generally room for the kids to run and chase a beach ball or otherwise burn off energy.
Holiday road tripping for many of us, however, is a whole other cup of (drive-thru) coffee. Trapped for hours behind seat belts and five-point harnesses, you may slog along for hours in heavy holiday traffic to the tune of windshield wipers and a whining toddler.
How to break up the monotony and bring comfort and joy to the back seat companions who may begin to doubt there are relatives or gifts at the end of the drive? Here three of my favorites, taken from the Driving and Road Trips section of Take-Along Travelswith Baby. In most any town you’ll pass by, you’re likely to find these “Best -Bet RainyDay Road Stops” on your road trip with young kids.
  1. The Local Library – Brimming with books, restrooms (most with a changing table), drinking fountains, and occasionally interesting art displays. Most towns have signs to help point you in the right direction to find it as well.
  2. Pet Store –  Stretch your legs and feast your eyes on things that slither and gobble up flies. Birds and fish are sure to please, plus furry rodents who dream of cheese.
  3. One Dollar Store – Chock full of toys and art supplies, coloring books and often snacks, and found in numerous strip malls across the continent. What better place to let your child choose a souvenir and snack for the next stretch of road?
You’ll find more Best-Bet Rainy Day Road Stops recommendations, and dozens of ideas to help with your “Entertainment to Go” in the car, at the airport, and on the airplane, in Take-Along Travels with Baby (you might want to keep yours in the glovebox – you never know when those “Easy Songs to Sing in the Car” will buy you an extra 20 minutes of drive time.)
How about you?
Will your family be on the road over the holidays? Do you have a favorite stop where you break up your drive – even in foul weather? (Email subscribers click here to share your comment in the blog.)

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli
Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks

All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli 2007 – 2012

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