Family Travel Packing Tip – Activity Backpack
Family travel for children can be fun and exciting, but sometimes the kids get bored on the journey there and back. Packing a backpack full of easy to transport activities can alleviate the “I’m so bored” argument and keep your child occupied (and the driver sane). Not only will this feel like a life-saver to you, but your child will feel important and responsible by keeping up with their own bag. Here are a few tips of what to include in your child’s activity backpack to make that spring break holiday or summer vacation that much easier for everyone:
Healthy Snacks – A small bag of healthy munchies will help satisfy the endless hunger children seem to experience while traveling. They can also be enjoyed while making a stop at an odd roadside attraction.
Crayons – A box of crayons will come in handy. Just be sure to place them in a plastic zip bag. The boxes the crayons come in always seem to fall apart. You’ll have colors everywhere rolling around on your floorboard or the airport floors.
Activity Sheets – Enchanted Learning offers educational color sheets for every occasion. Select the activities by the theme of your trip or your child’s interests.
Journal – If your child can write, encourage journaling so they will always remember their trip, such as a visit to an aquarium or zoo.
Sketch pad – A small sketch pad can provide imaginative entertainment for your child. Don’t forget the pencils! The sketch paper can also be useful for tic-tac-toe, hangman, and other easy games.
Compass – Your child will have fun using a compass to keep up with the direction of travel. Plus, you never know when the driver will need it.
Deck of Cards – The kids and parents can make use of these.
Books – They are never too young to enjoy reading.
Travel Size Games – Retail stores sell miniature travel sizes of popular games. Some of them are magnetic, reducing the chances of losing a piece.
Legos – A small plastic container of Legos can occupy a child for hours. This was a life-saver when mine were smaller. My son would sit in the hotel room and play quietly while I unpacked in our hotel or resort room.
The choices are endless and can vary from child to child. Don’t forget to pack other essentials such as wipes, a toothbrush (for after the snacks), handheld video games and extra batteries for any electronics. Portable DVD players can be a lifesaver after all the other activities have been exhausted. Also, giving your child a map will not only make him/her feel important, but they might even learn a bit of geography!
Children are like sponges, soaking up every experience. You can sneak in a bit of education, but the most important activity is to have fun as a family and create lasting family travel memories.
In a rush and don’t have time to go to the store before your family vacation? TravelKiddy can help. They offer various bags with activities for all ages, even big kids. (affiliate)
Nice post, for me it is always a struggle to find balance. On the one hand I want to pack light because these days you are increasingly getting dinged for the amount of luggage you carry. On the other hand if you don’t bring something your not going to be happy when your child throws a tantrum because he/she did not get a “treat” or a “toy.” Road side attractions are the worse for this because they will prey on your child’s impulse nature to buy something. So far my only weapon has been to carry $1 in change and get my son something small, but even that adds up if you make multiple stops.
Great advice – don’t forget cds for music and stories to keep the kids entertained. Another winner we have found are craft ‘pipe cleaners’ which you can bend into a variety of shapes, take up little space, create no mess and can be used again!
Thanks for the great tips! I loved your idea of including the kids when making travel plans! Here are multiple cheap family travel rates at http://www.wyndhamfamilyspecials.com.
Great Tips! Don’t forget to research your destinations child friendly activities to ensure a great stay! Visit our recreation page to learn about great summer activities at Kingston! http://www.kingstonplantation.com/recreation/splash-waterpark/
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A thoughtful insight and ideas. You’ve obviously spent some time on this. thanks for the post!
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