5 Ways to Keep Your Little Ones Entertained
Don’t let the “Are we there yet?” blues strike on your next vacation. Here are five ways to keep your travels fun for the kids — and stress-free for you.
There’s nothing quite like family vacations for bonding with your children and creating memories that will last a lifetime. But getting to your destination can be a whole different story. Sometimes long lines at the airport, flight delays or traffic on roadways can lead to a meltdown from even the most easygoing kid.
There are, however, ways you can offset any trials and tribulations that may arise from traveling with youngsters. To help get your next vacation off to a great start, check out these five tips for making travel time with your kids easy, fun and less stress.
1. Offer a new toy or game
Kids love toys, especially ones that are new to them. A game, stuffed animal, activity book or gadget will go a long way in keeping your little ones entertained. Head to your nearest dollar store and stock up on inexpensive trinkets. Then pack the items in your carry-on bag and surprise them once you’re situated on the plane or en route on the highway.
2. Bring books
From toddlers to tweens, books are sure to offer an escape. And for the 21st century kid, an e-reader or tablet offers “page after page” of engaging material. (Bonus: tablets offer plenty of kid-friendly games, too.) If you’d rather your child be tech-free for the trip then stop by your local library and let her pick out a few books to bring along. Just keep in mind that books add bulk to your carry-on, so you’ll want to limit how many she brings.
3. Keep a travel journal
If you have a child old enough to write, give him a journal and let him record details of the vacation. Encourage him to jot down the family’s adventures, funny moments, yummy meals and interesting experiences. It’s a great way to keep your child engaged and excited about the trip, as well as to lock in those vacation memories that you all can look back on in years to come.
4. Take photos
Give your 10-year-old a camera and let her get creative. She’ll be able to document her experience, plus turn the tables on you and capture some photos of mom and dad on vacation. And with an inexpensive digital camera, your child can snap and delete as necessary. Don’t want to give your little one a real camera? Pick up a disposable one and let them have at it. You just may be surprised at what you see through their eyes.
5. Plot activities along your route
Road trips can be a great way to get off the beaten path and show children unique sites. But long drives can also lead to restless kids. To keep boredom at bay plan a route that includes activity stops. Research ahead of time to find a fun park where you can pull off, have a picnic and let the little ones play. Or look out for unusual roadside attractions to help break up the time — have you ever seen the world’s tallest thermometer in Baker, California?
With a little bit of planning you can keep your brood in good spirits while traveling and set the tone for a fun family vacation.
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