Every parent thinks about traveling with their children. Whether you have one child, or 4! It is definitely something that we all have thought about.
It is something my husband and I LOVE to do… & still do! So we made it a point to promise each other… once we have kids we would continue to travel, no matter what! Even if it was only once a year, or 6 times a year. We wanted to make sure it was still apart of our lives!
Having twins right off the bat, surely didn’t stop us! We were off to Chattanooga, TN just before the girls were 6 weeks old. [Now granite] it was for my brother’s wedding, which meant LOTS of hands to help… we turned around 2 and half weeks later and flew to Florida! Ya know what… go big or go home, RIGHT?
This page is where I want to provide as many hints/tips for traveling with children! I’m hoping it’s not only my suggestions… that way it gives a WIDE variety of ages and ways of travel. So keep your eyes peeled, because this page will continue to grow!!
My ‘go to’ MUST HAVES
- Dollar Store is a MUST. Here you can find small (some may be choking hazards), affordable new toys for your kiddos! They are great to have on hand, no matter your choice of travel. Every kid loves a new toy, so you can’t go wrong! If it breaks or gets lost, you more thank likely didn’t spend more than $5 bucks on it. Not too bad of a loss! It’s also a great place to find some different snacks.
- Every child LOVES to eat… all… day… long!!! Another great item to have on hand, as well as different options. Snacks that they haven’t had before are a great option too! Or if it’s their favorite, just a new package, it may spark a fire in them. Great way to kill 15-30 minutes! Oh, don’t forget the drinks.
- Along with toys, most kiddos love books! Here is another good option to help pass some time by. Whether you borrow books from a friend, the library, or bring their favorite from home! Picking up a few new ones isn’t a bad idea either. I know we have toddlers, but paperback are great for traveling! Super lightweight and usually pretty thin. Plus it’s always nice to add to your book collection! Maybe grab some about where you are going, or pick up a couple while you are gone.
- Another good activity to have, that’s not only great for traveling, but to use in restaurants too… white boards and dry erase markers! I’m sure you’re thinking, “Markers! What, are you crazy?!” Yea, just a little. Just takes a little practice and showing how to use it the right way!
- If you haven’t caught on… I’m trying to avoid electronics. It will be on here at some point, don’t worry!
- Coloring… who doesn’t love coloring?? Kids, teenagers, young and older adults! It is a great stress relief and everyone creates their own master piece. It always feels great to show off the finish product! There is also multiple options for coloring; crayons, markers, INVISIBLE markers, colored pencils, regular pencils or pens. Regular notebook paper, printer paper, construction paper, coloring books, recycled bills! The options are endless for this. Something to really think about!!
- Younger kiddos are usually visual learners. So something you probably have on hand, that you can make at home… sensory bottles! Plenty of options for this too, just remember if you’re flying – LIQUIDS. Rice with beads and glitter. Sand with small toys. Water with baby oil and food coloring. Tissue paper and toothpicks. You name it! Gatorade bottles work great for this, just make sure to glue the lid shut!
- Those of you with older kiddos, how about audible books?! Especially if you have kiddos that love to read, or you’d like them to get into reading more. This is also a great way to encourage family talks! Whether it’s about the book it self, or a topic related to the book. I bet it will help pass the time too (everyone loves something to help pass the time)! This might be especially good for long road trips. Thanks for the suggestion from a fellow follower!
- Another follower of mine suggested Spot It, you can find it on Amazon or even at Target (not an affiliate with either). They have several variations available, so pretty good for all ages! It’s small enough to fit into a purse, or small pocket of a back pack.
- Where’s Waldo?? Another great suggestion, whether it is a book or one of the matching games. This activity has touched so many generations, you really can’t go wrong with it!
- I Spy…. a vacation that could always use this game! Great for a road trip, a plane ride, a trip on a train. You name it!! So many different things to “spy” in this world, it encourages the use of adjectives, colors, shapes, or just simply describing ANYTHING. This game is also good for all ages, it actually might help encourage interaction amongst different ages!
- Then of course there is always the use of a tablet, iPad, phone or computer. You usually can’t go wrong with one of these! BUT!! Look at all of those other options you have, especially if you didn’t want to resort to this. When using electronics, you don’t have to automatically go straight to a movie or a show! There are plenty of educational games and activities out there, try finding some of those to use first. I know that is what I plan to do! [ AND that’s what we did!! Found an AWESOME shape/color game that the girls love. Win for us! ]
Update! Since creating this page, we have done one more “smaller” car ride and have flown to Hawaii again (Yes we LOVE it there, very sadden with the recent Volcano activity though). I am going to add a few more things I have discovered, that help with entertainment! I am not going to lie, we have resorted to the tablet… but it was our LAST option.
- (Technically this should be 13) WINDOW CLINGS. Why didn’t anyone say this sooner? They are good for a car ride [as long as they can reach a window, if not use a dry erase board!], as well as a plane ride! This helped my girls on our recent flight to Hawaii. We used them on the small window, as well as the folding tray! Who would have thunk. 😀
- Have you ever seen those small multi-compartment containers? Kind of almost like a tackle box for fishing, or maybe something for sewing to hold buttons, thread, needles, etc… Well those are amazing for SNACKS! The I got was from ‘Dollar Tree’ and 2 of the compartments were big enough to hold a hard boiled egg. How awesome right?! Totally worth it to hold several different snacks, in all different sizes.
- For an airplane… depending on the age of your child, this is a great opportunity to work on color, letter, and shape recognition! Think of the ‘Exit’ signs on the ceilings in the isles. Or how the window is an [oval] shape. The tray is a rectangle, with a rectangle shaped lock! Colors are EVERYWHERE, I’m sure some new ones too. Try to make the best of an opportunity you get, incorporate learning lessons if you can!
I plan to add more, my brain just stopped working… AGAIN, if anyone has any input feel free to share!!
I hope a majority of these are pretty helpful! Even if it is a short car ride and you want to encourage communication amongst everyone. Have some fun with it and maybe try to create your own game! If anyone EVER has suggestions to add, don’t hesitate to let me know. The more the merrier and I’m sure it will help someone, in some way!
Much love, as always! XO