Happy Trails

Lauren Young

My hubby and I purchased a new Subaru Forester a few weeks ago, and while we bought the upgraded model, one of the bummers about our new vehicle is that it doesn't come with a built-in DVD player.

A DVD player?!? Careful readers may recall that I am slightly neurotic about my toddler's TV viewing habits. Except, of course, when it comes to traveling. Call me two-faced, but I have no qualms about strapping my son in his car seat and cranking up the DVD player. In fact, I think portable DVD players are the best thing to happen to travelers since the invention of the blow up pillow.

Case in point: On Monday, Leo and I were returning home from a visit with my family, and we got stuck in traffic for an hour on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Leo didn't even make a peep. He was too busy watching "Dora the Explorer." Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic is stressful enough. It was a pleasure not to be dealing with a screaming kid.

Not eveyone shares in my enthusiasm: One of my colleagues is driving with his wife and toddler from New York to Pittsburgh this weekend--a LONG hellish trip--and he seemed a little appalled when I suggested that he bring along a DVD player.

May the Gods of the Open Roads bless him and his family.

Assuming none of you are scared by $3 gas prices and will be hitting the road this summer, how do you keep your kids busy on road trips? Leo is still too young for "I Spy" or other car games, so I'm especially interested to hear tips on traveling with toddlers.

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