When my daughter was small I solved the problem to a large extent by using
Buy a book of games to play in the car/train etc that don't need anything except you, such as variations on I Spy, spot the pub signs, numberplate lottery etc. It's amazing the games some people have thought of, and they really can be sanity savers:-)
Always have a notebook for each child and a pen/pencil each - plus a pencil sharpener if you've opted for pencils - buy one which catches the shavings to reduce the mess - obvious, yes, but so easy to overlook! This way some of the games from the above book can be made into team games if there is more than one child in the car - you might get a small breather here, if you just act as umpire:-)
Throughout the year, as you're out and about, keep your eye open for offers on small games, books, cds, felt tip pens/crayons, notebooks etc. Charity shops are excellent places to find small toys/games at low prices - only buy small items, and make sure that they're complete, otherwise you'll defeat the objecct of the exercise!! Store all these little treats in a safe place where your
When a journey is planned, select the items most likely to be useful and wrap each one so that you've got a "lucky dip" selection for the children - it's a good idea to save wrapping paper from Christmas and birthday presents so that they look cheerful, but you can use newspaper, tissue paper, wallpaper etc. Place all the goodies in a strong bag, and every half hour or so, or whenever you feel it's necessary, allow one child to dip in to the bag and choose one gift. Simply having something "new" to do can make such a difference! Do make sure that you know how to play any of the games you've bought so that you can help get things going.
Also, stock up on small edible treats - preferably non-sticky/non-staining - think about having to clean the car afterwards!!! *Remember any potential allergic reactions if you've got someone else's child/ren with you, avoid peanuts especially* Again, keep them in a bag and allow a dip in to choose something. Have a supply of small cartons of drinks, too - but not too many unless you know there are plenty of suitable toilets on your route!
Only take music that you can bear to listen to, unless you have a portable cd player with headphones for them, so that you're not obliged to hear their
Remember to take a supply of wet-wipes and tissues with you.
Take a strong carrier bag for rubbish, and make sure they use it
Some or all of the above should help to make your travels more painless - you might even survive the journey without getting a headache, and