The Smith Family makes at least two eight hour roadtrips per year. Sometimes Dad tags along sometimes I travel solo with kids in tow. I have even carpooled all the way from Carlsbad to Santa Cruz with my former neighbor and his 11 year old son. Pre-tricked out SUV, we did not have much success with DVD’s. We have a little portable DVD player, but it was too small and there was no place to mount it. Even today, I prefer listening to music. It’s more fun for the driver and the kids seem to get less bored.
Here are my tips for the perfect road trip CD:
- Keep the songs loud and lively. I love the sweet folk ballads of Kate Wolf, but they bug my kids and make me sleepy on the long drive. Perhaps bring the slow songs along to listen to on your ipod at the beach.
- Include something for everyone. We usually make at least 3-5 CD’s they are all an eclectic mix, but each usually slants to a particular age group in our family. The more CD’s the better, it is always nice to have something fresh to listen to on the way home.
- Give each CD a distinctive title using genre, family member, trip etc. For example, Country Music/Santa Barbara, or Justin’s CD/ Disneyland.
- Involve your kids in the process. We have taught my ten year old how to select his own songs and burn his own CD’s. I also make some mixes because his tastes tend to run toward heavy metal, but I have also really enjoyed some of his choices. He does surprising things like include Christmas carols in the middle of a summer road trip CD.
- Driver has the final say in choosing the CD. If there is a particular track that bugs you, feel free to skip it. You can also select CD’s by mood. Be sure to override your kids if there is something that you can’t drive to at that particular moment.
Here is a Top 10 Hit List from the Smith Family Travels:
- “We Will Rock You”, Queen
- “I Get Around” , Beach Boys
- “Who Let The Dogs Out”, Baja Men
- “Schools Out for Summer”, AC/DC
- “Taking Care of Business”, Bachman Turner Overdrive
- “Dancing Queen”, Abba
- “California Girls” Beach Boys
- “Star Wars American Pie Parody” Weird Al Yankovic
- “Hamster Dance”, Hampton the Hamster?
- “We Are the Champions” , Queen
Off course for a multi hour road trip, you need more than 10 songs. Feel free to comment with some of your road trip favorites. I would love to add to my list!