Not saying that they like them. I mean, really.... who likes being stuck in a car for 12 hours (or 2 days if you can't drive the whole trip in one day)? Show of hands? No one? Me either.
You CAN make the trip less
If you have one, a portable DVD player can be a life saver. Make sure if you're driving you have a car charger that you can plug in to your cigarette lighter. And bring about 10 movies. It's enough so that they don't have to watch the same movies over and over, but not enough to completely take over your vehicle. And my suggestion would be, make one of the movies a brand new one that your kids haven't ever seen before. Don't let them watch it right away. Keep it as a secret or a surprise. Wait until they're tired of the movies they've already watched and don't really want to do anything else, and then pull it out. It's easier for their attention to be held by something they don't already know every word to.
any Barbie movie
Alice In Wonderland
Toy Story 1,2,3
For older kids:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chronicles of Narnia movies
Aside from movies, bring books. I'd say pack a backpack full of age appropriate books for however many kids you're bringing with you. Maybe even some magazines as well, just to change things up a bit.
Coloring books. At least one for each child that you have with you. And honestly, I'd say bring each one their own set of crayons. It doesn't have to be a lot of crayons. Maybe just the eight-five cent small boxes you can pick up from Walmart or something. That way there's no fighting over coloring books and there's no fighting over crayons. You may even want to duplicate one or two coloring books that way if one likes a coloring book that someone else has, there's no screaming or crying over it. And again, doesn't have to be this big huge thing. You can buy tons of cute coloring books from the dollar store.
Toys. Bring some of their favorite toys. My girls love Barbies and My Little Ponies. On my recent trip down from Maine to Virginia I threw every pony that Lydia owned in a yellow bag and just handed her the bag when she got bored and she played with those things for hours.
Bring kid friendly music. They don't always want to listen to what you listen to. Now, my oldest memorized almost all of Emmy Rossum's songs as fast as I did, but not every kid is as eager to listen to grown up music.If you go to Amazon you can find a cute little CD called Car Ride Fun that's got a ton of old tried and true kids songs on it. It also, as always, has recommendations for a bunch of other CDs for car rides if that particular one isn't your cup of tea (or your kids' for that matter).
And I recommend bringing either one big cooler or two smaller coolers. If you have room. One for bottled water, juice, sodas, milks, etc. And the other is a real time/money saver. One cooler full of lunch meat, cheese, mayo... any kind of sandwich makings or fruit or yogurts. Saves you from having to stop unles ABSOLUTELY necessary (ie gas or the ever so troublesome potty breaks) and also saves you from having to spend money on fast food. It's readily available (I hate having to watch for exits to see which one has food my kids will eat) and even healthier (unless you make really bad for you sandwiches lol). Make sure you also pack some plastic silverware too. For sandwich making/yogurt eating. And don't forget snacks. Graham crackers are a favorite with my kids. Slim Jims (I know, I'm horrible, but they love them). Cheezits. Pretzels. Puffcorn (oh so yummy).
As an aside, if you're a driver who has trouble staying awake while you drive, or you've just been on the road for EVER and you're exhausted.... eat pretzels. If soda/red bull/monster/caffeine pills aren't working for you, eat pretzels. Or anything really. I prefer pretzels or cheezits, but we'll say pretzels for right now. Get the bags with the thin pretzel sticks and if you start feeling tired, just pick up one and take tiny bites off of it. Me, I bite off the salt, and then take small bites of the stick itself. LoL. I'm weird, but it helped me make my one and ONLY "straight through without stopping" trip from ME to VA. Nothing else worked. I could never figure out how my dad managed to always make such long road trips without stopping until I did it myself. Amazing, I'm telling you. Obviously make sure you have something to drink because pretzels will suck all of the moisture right out of your mouth, but still.
WELL, this has been a VERY lengthy post, and I apologize, but, hopefully I've given you some helpful tips to alleviate stress and boredom for EVERYONE.