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Fun Activities For Kids When Travelling

Family vacations make the most memorable experiences but sometimes there are just instances where your patience is nearing the end of the line and your sanity is tested. Sometimes travelling with the family is a huge hassle and wish that you were just home on your comfortable hospital mattress watching your favourite movie on Netflix. So before you experience all these hellish things on your way to your dream destination, we asked our experts (our awesome readers) for some advice. The list below is filled with some of the best tested-and-true tips for keeping those long road trips fun and exciting.

Instant Lap Desk

One reader says that her family travels with a plastic tote filled with toys and cookie sheets. She puts it in her lap so her kids can use it as a surface for colouring books, tinkering with magnets or eating snacks. It’s a budget car-seat lap desk, and when you don’t need to use it, you can just put it in the back of your car.

Mark the Miles

Loved this idea for longer road trips and younger children. What they did was simple, they hung small numbered tickets above the boy’s car seats, one for every hour of the journey. They redeemed these tickets to get wrapped treats they could play with or food they can eat along the road trip. They loved pulling down the ticket when I asked in my conductor’s voice: Tickets, please!


Activity Pages

With five children it can be hard to please everyone, Rachel keeps her five children busy by filling three-ring binder filled with clear plastic sleeves that have blanks strips of paper. The strips of paper contain easy games like hangman and tic-tac-toe. They also bring dry-erase markers so kids can doodle and play for hours then easily erase it to start over.


Personalised Trip Jar

Another cute and fun idea is a tip jar filled with cute stickers and pictures from previous vacations to which they fill with coins every month. When vacation is close they bring the jars and spend the saved money on delicious snacks and souvenirs. This allows them to teach kids on how to budget. Not only that, the jars would make cute mementos.
Stop and Seek

A family in Austin Texas, like to do geocaching activities when they travel. These activities are pretty much the same, it involves tracking a certain object in public places, such as parks or tourist spots. They list the locations online and use GPS or clues to find them. Families say it is a great way to take a quick break and discover an area they wouldn’t have thought of seeing.


Hunt for Fun

A woman in Petaluma, California, encourages her kids to explore their destination via a scavenger hunt. They prepare the material in advance by gluing pictures of the items hidden onto index cards, laminates the cards, punches a hole in the upper corner and hang them on hooks. They have different items in different destinations but these include pictures of nature, landmarks, art, or cool buildings. You can use your own photos for a unique feel. Make it fun and casual and always ensure obstacles are clear and exercise fall prevention to keep everyone safe.

Souvenir Ornament

A family in Ohio, have found an amazing way to recall good vacation memories by preserving their mementos from each trip onto a clear plastic ornament ball. When the holiday season comes they hang in their Christmas tree so they can remember all the great places they have been during the year.

Coin Rewards

A family in Idaho, The Davidsons, bring along a purse full of coins which they use to gift their kids with exceptional behaviour, patience, courtesy to others and even minor accomplishments on the journey like reading a book. The little pocket money kids earn can be put to use for buying treats like ice-cream and souvenirs. Nothing better than some coin as an incentive for good behaviour.

Easy Travel Toys

You can use your everyday materials into cool yet cheap toys for your kids. Here are some examples:

  • Unused balloons (blow them up and let them play with it in bus stops or airports)
  • Aluminium foils for easy to carry entertainment
  • Pipe cleaning materials (sculpt them into toys or just let them play with it)
  • Glow-in-the-dark figures and toys (for night time travels)

Keep it Sporty

If your family are sports fanatics for baseball or basketball, for example, get the family on the road trip decked out in basketball apparel and stop at the local park for a quick game whenever someone needs a break. Some physical activity is all it takes to tire the children out and keep them happy. Even better get some custom basketball uniforms with your family name or nickname on the back to make it unique.

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