Summer vacation. It’s something we look forward to and also kind of dread at the same time because traveling with kids can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways you can travel with kids and enjoy yourself too. It’s all about preparation and having entertainment options ready for the kids.
If you’re flying, your space is limited, but there’s a lot you can fit into a carry-on bag that will help keep the kids entertained, allowing you to stay relaxed and heck, maybe even enjoy the flight too.
Create a Busy Bag for your trip
A busy bag is just what it sounds like, a bag full of items to keep kids occupied and busy. It can be used on the plane, in a car, at restaurants, in hotel rooms or wherever you are, and the kids are getting a bit bored. What you have in your busy bag will vary greatly depending on the age of your kids but things like crayons, coloring books, cars, animals, stamps & paper, legos (not huge sets) card games, dry erase boards, Magna Doodle, and whatever else looks like it would keep your kids occupied for a few minutes can go into a busy bag.
A great place to look for items for your busy bag is the dollar store or dollar section in stores such as Target. You’ll find all sorts of kid-friendly activities there. You can also get crafty and create a laminated sheet with their name on it and have them trace the letters or create designs or whatever they want using dry erase markers. You may want to look for all washable art supplies for your busy bag to reduce the risk of mess.
Play I Spy
Some kids love playing I, Spy. Create a vacation edition and have them look for things that are tied to your plans or destination. I Spy someone with mouse ears; I spy sunglasses, a beach towel, etc.
Pack snacks for your kids (and add a few of your favorites to the mix). Long travel days can be draining; flights can be missed, traffic can mess up travel plans and leave you stuck on a freeway for hours, you can find yourself eating at odd times or even unable to find food because you’ve landed in the airport after the restaurants closed. Packing a mix of both healthy and treat type snacks can help you avoid travel delay related food meltdowns. Have some fun snacks for on the plane or in the car but also stash some granola bars, nuts, trail mix, whatever is shelf stable and easy that your kids like and keep those in case of emergency. If you can’t find dinner, but you can give your kids a snack with protein in it, you can avoid the hangry kid meltdown that threatens to ruin the vacation for you (or at least get it off to a terrible start).
Take the Tablet
Sometimes the kids want to relax and play a game or watch a movie. If you have tablets, take them with you on the trip. After all, it’s a vacation and time to unwind and relax. Consider loading new movies or a new game on to the tablet to keep it interesting for the kids and give them something more fun to do, especially if you’re on a long flight.
Plan ahead, pack activities and snacks, and you’ll have a fun family vacation this summer. Get some new items for the kids to play with, and you might get to sit back, relax, and read that book or magazine you bought in the airport gift shop. You never know.