How do you keep your children happy while traveling?
If you’re planning a trip with your kids this summer, a bit of advanced planning will make your life much easier. Whether you’re road tripping or flying to your destination, consider these tips to keep your kids happily entertained.
- Bring snacks and drinks. A hungry kid is a cranky kid, so make sure you have quick access to healthy snacks.
- Consider “surprise treats” for the trip. Collect inexpensive (and quiet!) toys and crafts to dole out when your kids start to get bored. Try crayons and new coloring books, new Matchbox cars, dolls, stuffed animals, Etch-a-Sketches and card games.
- Get some moldable Wikki Sticks and your kids will be enthralled, creating various shapes, letters, flowers, etc. These are lightweight and portable – perfect for travel.
- Sewing cards with colorful yarn are inexpensive, portable and fun.
- Play “I Spy” or look for license plates from all 50 states.
- Give your kids a list for a scavenger hunt, and have them find specific things along the route – a sign for a fast food restaurant, a fellow airline passenger with a purple suitcase, etc.
- Give your kids a map and have them follow your route with a crayon or marker.
- Ask your kids to create a journal of the trip, where they write stories or draw pictures of things they see along the way.
- Give each child an inexpensive digital camera – or disposable camera – to record their adventures. They’ll be so busy looking for the next thing to photograph that they’ll forget about asking “are we there yet?”
- Remember to take frequent breaks so your children can stretch their legs and run off extra energy. If you’re driving, research kid-friendly parks along the way. If you’re flying, let them walk around the airport as much as possible before boarding the plane. No one – especially children – likes to be cooped up for long.
- Consider bringing along your nanny to help entertain your children and assist with travel logistics.
What tips and strategies have worked best to keep your children entertained while traveling?