A friend of mine had this fantastic idea for long trips that I thought I'd pass along. It would work best with elementary school-age children, although I plan to use it with my 3-year old the next time we go across states because she loves to color.
If you're not familiar with it already, Crayola has a website with coloring pages, crafts, and lesson plans.
If you click on coloring pages on the left-hand side and then on "learning", they have a category for states.
Print a sheet off for every state that you will drive through. When you get to that state, give your child the coloring page. They have the state flag and then birds, animals, flowers, etc. that are the "official" whatever for that state.
Not only does your child get something new to do, it marks your movement to your destination and gives you something to talk about.
There are also categories for landmarks, geography, and places and of course they have pages with Disney characters, holidays, seasons, sports, etc.