funner in the summer – road trip!

i was honored to be a part of mique’s funner in the summer series again this summer, and i’m being lazy and reposting what i did for her here:

this summer i have decided to take a small step back from work and schooling to just have fun with my family!  one thing that has really helped us to do that is to make a summer list, as inspired by meg of whatever.

one item on our checklist was to take a road trip to wyoming to visit yellowstone.  for us, that meant crossing over 5 states, spending hours upon hours in the car.  thankfully, my kids are pretty good travelers, but even so, i knew i had to be prepared for such a long trip.

like any good mom, i thought about what my mom did in this type of situation!  when we were younger she made organizers on the back of the seats out of old beach towels, outfitted with pockets to store our paper, books, and crayons (those were the days before dvd players and all sorts of handheld devices.  the only handheld device i owned was an etch-a-sketch!).  so i grabbed a couple of old towels, stitched up the sides, added some pockets and voila!  seat organizers!

(please forgive the terrible iphone pictures!  i can’t seem to find my camera battery.)

i made 3 rows of pockets.  the top row had 3 pockets with pleats in them so they could fit the pencil boxes.  each pencil box held small items like pens/pencils/crayons/markers, legos, polly pockets, and littlest pet shop toys.  the second row had 2 large pockets that held pads of paper, coloring books, sticker books, and workbooks.  the bottom pocket was just one large pocket made by folding up the bottom of the towel and stitching up the sides.  in that was a vintage metal tray so that the kids had a space to work and eat on.

other things i found really helpful for our trip:

– a big bag o’ candy.  this was for the kids and the grown ups!  every once in a while a treat makes a nice distraction to the long drive.

– a big bag o’ wipes.  i filled up a large ziplock bag with baby wipes and stored them in the center console.  they came in handy for spills, after meal messes, and dirty hands after hikes.

– a dvd player and dvd’s.  ok, i am not a huge fan of watching movies in the car.  for the most part, i feel like my kids should be able to entertain themselves in the car, like we did as kids!  but on such a long drive, i think the dvd player was more for me than the kids!  we were able to get an inexpensive player with 2 screens from walmart and we grabbed a handful of dvd’s we hadn’t seen in awhile.  when the kids were getting stir crazy in the car we would pop in a movie and enjoy the silence.   the only noises out of them were giggles!

– books on tape.  a friend lent us the chronicles of narnia on cd and it was awesome!  sean and i read them together years ago, but it was a first time for our kids to hear them.  our older kids loved them and our youngest fell asleep every time we put in the cd’s – bonus!

– refillable water bottles.  we brought a couple of sean’s biking water bottles and refilled them with ice and water at every gas station we stopped at.  nice cold free water!

– snacks.  we also had a bag of snacks that we refilled each day of the trip, and also got special snacks at some of our stops, like carmel corn.  after all, we were on vacation!

– blankets.  each kid also brought their special blankets from home.  its nice to have something comforting to remind you of home, but also for snuggling on the late night drives and for hanging over the window to block out the heat of the day.

i so hope that my tips can help you enjoy a road trip this summer!  happy trails!


  1. 1

    this is super. we are getting ready to drive to disney and i’ve already been planning little things for the kids “travel kit” to keep them entertained! thanks!

  2. 2

    great ideas, lindsey! great little pockets on the seats!

  3. 3

    ok…I can’t sew so will you make me two seat covers…please? No? Oh. Ok. I just thought I would ask since I spend SO much time in the car if I want to visit family (closest family member is 4 hours away, furthest is 10 hours).

    Very cute post and books on tape will be an addition to my next trip!

    Have fun at Queen B!

  4. 4

    GENIUS! Ok, please tell me you are thinking about adding these to your shop???

  5. 5

    My mom would fill large zip lock bags with different activities like one with colors and coloring books, one with puzzles, one with hair stuff, one with mcdonald toys, you get the idea. Then she put a time on them. So maybe I would get one at 10 and I couldn’t trade it in for the next one until 11:30 (or what ever the time was). It kept my entertainment rotating :)

  6. 6

    great tips!! Can’t wait to do road trips like that when my kids are older!

  7. 7

    What a great idea……you always have the coolest ideas.

  8. 8

    I love the back seat organizer! i don’t have any children, but my sister’s car seems to be a mess every time I see it, I will make a couple for her!

  9. 9

    wow! that is such a fantastic idea! You are so crafty :-)

  10. 10

    We just went on a 5 day trip & did a lot of the same stuff for the ride! Not w/ the cute pouches, tho, those are sweet! : ) And we didn’t have a dvd player, but I’m thinking that’s an excellent idea for longer trips.

  11. 11

    We toured New England last month(saw 5 staes in one week) so that meant alot of time for us in the car as well. Like you, Im not a big fan of the DVD player. We listened to an entire collection of Adventures in Odyssey CDs( one of our radio favorites), made up add lib stories(the girls LOVED those!) and in entirety, they only watched one dvd on the trip out and one on the way home. Success!
    Also, their great grandma gave them these huge sticker books from Sams Club right before we left. They did those the entire trip. Placing stickers where they wanted and coloring. My girls are 5 & 7 and I couldnt believe how entertained they were by those books! They didnt even touch the big ole bag of toys I placed between their seats.
    Its all about thinking ahead as a mommy isnt it?:) It takes alot to entertain kids these days. We like to keep things simple (and Im just glad it still works).

  12. 12

    quick question to your genius…how far down the seat did the towel go on the other side? Did you just fold the towel directly in 1/2? I see that you used the bottom of the towel for a pocket, is it just barely over the head rest then? Just wondering…. so smart!! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. 13
    Meredith Salmon says:

    Did the towels go over the entire seat? Just trying to figure out how you got them on. Have been toying with the idea of making these for my kids.

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