Since many of you will be traveling over the holiday weekend, we have put together a series on Traveling with Children.
The classic line, “Are we there yet?” has played a part in every parent’s life at some point when traveling with a child. No matter the age (child or adult) there will inevitably be some boredom or times of frustration while traveling. I’ve compiled a list of 5 things to help fight boredom while traveling that is suited especially for families with children. Since no two kids are alike this list includes an option for all age ranges including parents.
5 Ways to Fight Travel Boredom
(1) DON’T FORGET THE CLASSICS. Road trip games of days gone by can still be just as fun with children today. Classic car games for younger kids include “Slug Bug”, I-Spy, 20 Questions, License Plate Game and others can occupy hours of time on road trips. Card games like Solitaire and Go-Fish can be easy to play on the tray table in an airplane. Simple games of tic tac toe are great for both air and road travel (as long as players don’t suffer motion sickness). The $1 giant activity books you can grab at any convenience store or discount store are awesome because they offer puzzles, mazes, word searches and simple color pages. The Never Bored Kids Books are favorites in our house.
(2) CREATE A MIX TAPE. This one can be customized to any age group – including solo trips for couples, individuals or weekend romantic getaways. For younger kids grab all of those classic silly songs they love and create a playlist on your MP3 player or theirs so you can hand over to them to listen with headphones and still give parents the quiet they want and need. For older kids you can create a similar playlist of the hot songs playing now or even silly songs they might like. If you have mobile devices or players it can be easy to create multiple lists for everyone in the family. You can also go the old fashioned way and burn a CD to be played. This works great to fight boredom while traveling for both road and air travel for all ages.
(3) LISTEN TO AN AUDIO BOOK . So your kids enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series of books and watching the movies, what about listening to them being read? With multiple sites offering cheap and free downloads, there are literally thousands of books at your fingertips. Audible offers a FREE download and Amazon offers many FREE to Amazon Prime members. You can find books on educational topics, the states you are traveling to, favorite classic literature, best sellers, romance – you name it, it’s available for download. You can often check out these books at your local library as well at no charge.
(4) STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES. Vacations can be jam packed full of destinations and venues, but sometimes all the running can make cranky kids and cranky adults which mirrors boredom. Plan ahead and find a nice park, indoor play center or a great restaurant along the way to stop and just enjoy each other. Add a buffer into your schedule so this time won’t cause undue stress. Even scoping out an in airport restaurant for those layovers can help break things up a bit and help with the constant go-go-go of vacationing.
(5) SPLURGE ON SURPRISES. Kids and adults alike love to receive presents. Plan ahead and spend a few dollars on a surprise to include in the car or travel bags for that time when nothing else seems to be cracking the travel boredom. Younger kids it could be something as simple as a new toy car, Barbie doll or book to read/color in. Tweens might like a small kit to make friendship bracelets with, create custom tattoos or even build a unique model car. Find deals on these items here. Older teens may appreciate credit for their favorite apps or game systems, a new game for their handheld devices or even some nail polish, candy or other small items. Something new to play with always helps to fight travel boredom!
Lastly, remember to plan ahead and include time for everyone in the family to choose at least one activity just for them. A family vacation is about the entire family – not just the person doing the driving.
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