Before starting any vacation or car-travel, go to a good $1 store and pick out 5 small quiet toys for each child. Then give these to them one at a time throughout the trip instead off buying trinkets at each stop along the way. This will not only keep your children occupied, but will save you all kinds of money. You can even use these toys as "bribery", as in "If you keep your voices down and don't fight with your sister for the next hour, I have a new toy for you.
I do something similar only I buy up little toys, action figure, books ,etc at garage sales. I put them in their little backpacks they take on trips and don't let them get into them till we reach our destination. They get such a kick out of seeing what Mommy has gotten them!
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