Open Road

Guest Post from MILLIE

(As you read along find as many synonyms to the word “travel” in our story below and add them up.  No peeking, the answers are below) 

Games, check!  Snacks, check! Map, check! Pillow, check!
We’re ready for our next road trip adventure!

Whether you are PCSing or just taking a big vacation, road trips give military kids a front row seat to experience the U.S. Driving by car, truck or van is the best way to see and explore our vast country.

But first you have to get there.

You have a big trip ahead of you and to make the best of it, we’ve found some cool apps you can show your parents and a few old games that your parents played when they were young.

For 3 to 5-year-olds check out Sago Mini Road Trip.  Kids do the driving with his simple rule-free exploration app. Kids create and guide Jinga, the cat, on his own trip.

For 5 to 12-year-olds download Stack the States.  A fun way (really! this app is kid-approved) to learn about the states you’ll be touring through and visiting along the way.

For 12 to 60-year-olds download RoadTrippers. Plan your road trip and find places you never knew existed. No need to ask your parents, “How much longer?’ You’ll be telling them with the RoadTrippers app.

But at some point on your trek, your device will need to recharge.  Have no fear because we’ve got some great boredom busters for you to play.  These are the games your parents played on road trips long before iPads were invented.  Help your parents feel like kids again with these fun games.

I Spy.  A classic game. One player finds something visible around them and says, “I spy with my little eye…something [blank]” and then gives the other players a clue. The other players ask questions until they guess the object the first player spied. The player who guessed the object gets to be the next spy and finds a new object.

Out of State License Plate.  This game is best played in the commissary parking lot or on the Interstate.  There are always many out of state license plates there.  As you travel, be the first to call out when you see an out of state license plate.  Keep a running total and whoever has the most when you get to your destination wins!

Secret Place Race.  You’ll need a map for this game. One player looks at the map and finds a town, river, or landmark. The player announces the special place. The other player gets 60 seconds to try to locate the special place on the map.

ABC Game. This game is great for a full car of people. Starting with the letter “A”, everyone looks out the window and tries to find a word that begins with that letter. It could be on a billboard, a car, a street sign, a restaurant…anything! Once someone has claimed a word (like “Apple” on a billboard) then everyone else has to look somewhere else for a word that begins with the letter “A.” But, once you find a word that starts with “A”, you can move on to “B.” The first person to make it all the way through the alphabet wins! (Psst…need help finding an “X” word? Keep your eyes peeled for any Xterra SUVs driving around!)

20 Questions. This game is perfect for kids and adults! One player starts off by thinking of something…it can be anything…and keeping it to themselves! Then the rest of the players can ask 20 yes or no questions to try to figure out what the first player is thinking. Start off with questions like, “Is it living?” or “Is it an object?” to help you start narrowing down the possibilities. The first player to guess what it is before the 20 questions are up is the winner! If no one guess before the 20 questions are up, the first player reveals their answer and then another player gets to be the thinker.

There’s lots of excitement when you take a big trip, and it is always good to get home when it is over. If this is a PCS move you get to discover life in your new home. You never know what great adventures await you. You might meet a new best friend, score your first soccer goal, learn to snowboard or get your driver’s license. No matter what age you are, there will be something truly special just waiting to be discovered by you at your next location.  If you are returning to the same place, you will have lots of stories and adventures to share with your friends when you get back!

Enjoy the adventure of traveling and the fun memories you are making with your family. There may be some detours in the journey, but that is part of the fun.

Answers: driving (3), trek (1), trip (5),  journey (2), adventure, guide, exploration, touring. 14 words total