I can still vividly remember road trips with my family when I was a kid. My parents obviously rode up front as my brother, my sister and me were all crammed in the back seat with nothing but hours on the open road ahead. This was decades before cell phones or tablets, there were no DVD video screens on the backs of seats to distract or entertain us. If we wanted anything else besides each other's company, we had the radio, the scenery, or we had to bring it.
"Are we there yet?" became a sing-song exclamation at the top of every hour. The three of us would say it in unison to elicit smiles from our mom and dad. We would also each frequently take turns sitting forward, leaning our heads in between them and quoting the movie "Airplane" to them, "I just want to wish you both good luck. We're all counting on you." They were the pilots, afterall, and we were the passengers.
Of course my selective memory chooses the fond memories, I'm sure there were plenty of pinches and bickering. "He won't stay on his side!" or "She's looking at me!" were likely whines from the back that my parents had to deal with. And my mom would always pull out a big bag, specially packed for such occasions, to distract us and keep us in line. There'd be light snacks, (The official snack of every road trip was "green leaves" as we called them, mint-flavored, leaf-shaped gummies covered in sugar.) the latest wrestling magazines, and a few homemade car games.
My mom has always had the neatest handwriting, so her homemade Car Bingo boards were impressive. We also had checklists of all the US States that we could check off the license plates we see. Then there were always plenty of "I Spy" inspired games, generally designed to keep us quiet and focused out the window. It was simple, it was fun.
If you're looking for some ways to engage and entertain you children that don't have to do with screen-related devices, check out this list of 10 Fun Car Games from Reader's Digest. The spirit, creativity and simplicity of these brings back a lot of those memories I had from when I was younger.