If you’ve ever travelled with kids you know that planning well in advance and strategising accordingly will increase your odds of having a successful and uneventful trip. Kids are energetic in general and confined spaces can be even tougher on your young ones and stressful for everyone else. So, with that in mind, keeping them entertained should be your main priority, and that’s why our post on flying with Flair Airlines outlined some tips you can consider when travelling with children, like bringing plenty of snacks, drinks and goodies to keep them occupied and their bellies full.
Let’s have a look at five more ways to keep your young ones happy and entertained on long trips, whether driving or flying.
Gadgets & Electronics
Everyone loves them and when you have to travel with children, they can be a godsend. These devices can provide them with hours of entertainment and a much-needed quiet respite for you. Gadgets can include anything from a mobile phone to a laptop or an ebook reader. If you don’t already have one, iCandy’s tips for flying with a little one recommend investing in a tablet that you can customise specifically for your kids. But as we mentioned in our article above, just make sure to preload all movies, games and apps in advance, because taking a road-trip through the mountain highways of B.C. and Alberta, or flying at 35,000 feet, internet access will be very hard to come by, so plan ahead.
Toys and Games
For the times that the tablet has outlived its usefulness, or the battery runs out, it’s smart to have back up entertainment to keep your kids busy. Some of the best options include toys and games that are compact, travel-friendly and most important of all, quiet. Trip Savvy’s top picks for family road trip toys include games for various ages like Melissa & Doug Travel Memory Game for younger kids to Roxenda Magic Cube Set for older kids. These should keep your children busy for a little while, until the next stop or layover.
Audiobooks are, according to Family of Duty’s ways to entertain kids while travelling, “easy entertainment for the whole family.” They are perfect for long car rides or long-haul flights. Bring a couple of pairs of headphones, a headphone splitter and you can listen to the story together with your child. If you’re lucky enough it might even put them to sleep. Find children’s stories on Audible, Apple books audiobooks or Google Play for Android.
Give Them a Camera
It’s never a bad idea to teach your kids photography. Not only does it keep them occupied but you can learn a thing or two from seeing the world through their eyes. If you’re taking a road trip, a camera will have your kids so excited they might just take photos of everything they see. When you’re flying have your child seated by the window to snap pictures. A good, durable and child-proof camera recommend by The Points Guy is the Vtech Kidizoom. It has both front and rear-facing cameras and a large LCD screen so children can see a preview of their photos.
Take a Break and Cool Off
There will be times on long trips when all the gadgets, games and activities will run dry and no matter what you do or say, your kids will just be fed up (remember the whole thing with lots of energy and enclosed spaces). When (not if) this happens on a road trip, the best thing to do is make a small detour and find a kid-friendly destination like a park or other attraction to stop and refresh. It can even be a Tim Horton’s or White Spot where you can all get something to eat and get a much-needed stretch and walkabout. This will be harder to do when flying, but even then, walking about the isle and saying hello to the aircrew will be enough to distract your child and allow them to calm down.