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Cynthia Kinnunen and her family are on the road en route to Disney World

We’ve sent Old School Still Cool blogger Cynthia Kinnunen off on a roadtrip to Disney World in a Chevrolet Orlando. How will she and the family fare on that 23-hour or so drive down? She’ll be reporting back from the road and is sure to have picked up a few survival tips.

Somewhere along the way when you’re driving very long distances in a vehicle with your kids – like from Toronto to Orlando – you either toss out your sanity and offer your brood to the next nicest-looking person you see, or you find everyone gets into a bit of a groove. Hopefully the latter is what most of us end up with, although I do admit that a little sanity went out the window somewhere in North Carolina…

I have found that even with the occasional meltdown, which is often soothed by one of three things: a bathroom break, some kind of snack/drink, or an electronic device, after a while the kids pretty much figure out that this is a long haul and they get caught up in the activities that best suit them.

Thankfully, with a few iPads, Touch, Nano, MacBookPro (Applecar, anyone?) and lots of sticker/activity books, we’ve generally been able to keep the foul moods at bay. Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope have proven just as popular on this trip as the movies on the iPads and take so much less time to download. I filled up Suvi’s Nano with a few new albums and some audiobooks and those have kept her busy enough during device-charging breaks (read: when the Touch – and its endless game apps – is unavailable).

In addition to their devices, I’ve been on my laptop and my iPhone (with a travelling WiFi connection in the vehicle and lots of USBs and chargers) so it’s a bit of a technological roadshow in this Chevy Orlando. But all of these seem to work to our benefit (mostly) to keep the kids occupied when they finally succumb to the drive.

A good secondary option, if car entertainment (of any kind) is not successful, is to plain old stop and get out to see something of interest. We made a pit stop at New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia to do exactly this and took a walk down to the viewing platform. Pretty amazing stuff. Even the kids couldn’t get over the stunning view. It’s a great chance for a breath of fresh air, a stretch of the legs and a re-charging of positive attitudes, with a little US trivia thrown in for good measure.

When all else fails, it’s a lively round of “Sing Along with Mom and Dad!” where we teach our children the words to classics like Soul Man and It’s A Long Way to the Top (if you want to rock & roll). They don’t always cooperate but at least it gets them laughing. Or throwing their stinky socks at us.

Still pretty happy on the road so our roadtrip soundtrack song for today is…

“Happy Up Here” by “two-headed Norwegian monster” Royksopp! Later, gators…

Disclosure: Cynthia’s family roadtrip to Disney World was paid for and arranged by Chevrolet Canada and @VisitOrlando.

Cynthia Kinnunen is a mom of three wonderfully quirky little people who love music, old and new-school adventures and acting as silly as possible at all times. She’s also a freelance writer who blogs for fun at Crumbs in the Minivan and Maple Mixtape.

Photo via Cynthia Kinnunen

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