We haven’t made any SUPER long car trips with the kids, but we have done the 5 hour drive or various plane rides to visit grandparents quite frequently! Even just having things planned for the wait in the airport can be important. At least in that situation you can get up and get out wiggles for part of the travel time! I guess my biggest tip about what to bring with you for travel is to bring LOTS of the essentials! Extra diapers, plastic bags, books, snacks, binkies, pens, etc! … you never know when a plane will be delayed or you will get a flat tire!
It is important to remember what YOUR child likes to do! My little girl could put things in and out of a container for hours, so anything that she can open and move around (w/o dropping too many times) is a hit for her! Think things you are already going to be bringing with you … a baggie with pens even! My son would much rather have something to watch or listen to, so a book on CD or a DVD is a great tool! Some ideas might sound great, but just try to remember what kinds of things you KNOW your child likes :)
We are planning a trip combining both long plane rides (from inland northwest to midwest) and long car rides (from midwest to south) this summer, so I’m happy to pre-think about the ways to avoid catastrophe for us and our will be 2.5 year old and almost 4 year old! We are looking at doing multiple destination tickets (or one way tickets) as one tactic to avoid 2 long car rides in the midst of all of the other craziness! Please feel free to share any other tips, successes or failures that you have had with traveling with little ones!
Here are a few more websites with LOADS of useful tips that other people have compiled … I hope they are helpful!