Find a podcast that discusses a place you’ll be visiting. Prior to our visit to Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi, I downloaded a podcast about the historic Civil War site. We listened to it in the car on our way to the park and it made our visit so much better and more memorable. The kids were excited when they saw something they’d heard about on the podcast and breezed through the park’s Junior Ranger program.
Listen to a musician or band from the state you’re visiting. Listening to the band Alabama while driving through Alabama on day 2 of our trip sparked a great game that lasted all summer: listening to musicians from the states we were driving through. It was so fun to introduce my kids to Jimmy Eat World (Arizona), Whitney Houston (New Jersey) and the Killers (Nevada). And sing our hearts out to songs they love by Michael Jackson (Indiana) and Kacey Musgraves (Texas).
Finally, if your trip is a cross-country one, choose an audiobook series for everyone to enjoy. My children range in age from 5 to 11, so we chose the Land of Stories series and it was a hit with everyone (especially me!). Nearly every chapter ended with a cliff-hanger, prompting the kids to beg for one more chapter. We even played it in the hotel before bedtime (which I loved) to calm energy and get ready for sleep. We were wrapping up the series’ fourth book when our trip was finished!