Are you traveling with kids on a long awaited vacation? In order to
make them happy and excited, include them in the planning of your vacation.
Don’t forget to let them help you pack. They get so excited even if it’s
one night away.
If you’re unsure of where to visit, ask the kids what they really want.
Once the destination is chosen, have the kids help plan some of the activities.
Amusement parks, water slides, and general activities that entertain the younger
crowd are a must. Also include downtime so that both parents and kids can
If you’re driving a long way, make sure to stop every two hours. Kids
can’t stay in a car that long. Frequent stops will help stretch the body.
Plan your trip around parks or swimming areas so that kids can get out and be
Another great idea is to leave early in the morning or late at night when the
kids are tired and more likely to take a nap. You can also plan your trip
around meals. Decide when and where to stop to eat lunch or dinner and
leave so that you’re in that area during that timeframe. Also, think about
traffic. If you have to sit in rush hour traffic, kids get antsy.
Make sure you’re going through a major city during off hours.
Things to Do
Bring plenty of kid stuff in the car. It doesn’t have to be large.
When we go somewhere, my girls bring coloring items, craft items, sewing,
knitting, dolls, books, etc.
- Sample of Activities to bring:
- Simple craft items are usually a hit
- Activity books
- Whiteboards and markers
- Magnetic board games
- Deck of cards
- Ipods or MP3 players
- DVD players and movies
- Books on tape
- Scrapbooks to collect mementos – they can create a page while in the car or plane
Games to Play
There are simple games that everyone in the car can participate. Just
by looking around as your traveling, your imagination can run wild.
- Alphabetical words – Try finding words in alphabetical order. Someone can try to find a word that starts with A and the next person can find one that starts with B, etc.
- License plates – This is where everyone tries to find a license plate from as many different states as possible. I remember playing this as a kid. It was fun.
- Q – This is an inexpensive game you buy at the store or you can play it with two or more people without the electronic version. This is where someone thinks of something and the other person has to ask questions to help find clues to the answer.
- I Spy – One person can say I spy something green, then the others can try to guess what it is.
Things to Bring
If you’re going to a beach, make sure you bring some beach toys:
this includes, pails, shovels, little boats, forms to build castles, floats,
boogie boards, goggles, snorkel gear. If you’re going by car, much of this
can be brought with you. If you’re flying, you may have to buy it there or
bring just a couple of things.
Don’t forget to bring things to keep the baby occupied like rattles, squeaky
toys, mirrors, things they can chew on, etc.
Once you’re there, find something to do right away so the kids feel like the
long travel was worth it and they won’t be so whiny. Even if it means
going to the beach at dusk, an arcade, hotel pool or mini-golf. That way
the kids will be more willing to do what you want next.
Remember, this is a vacation where you should relax and go with the flow.
Try not to set a schedule because then it becomes stressful and not as
enjoyable. Don’t try to put too much in one day. The kids can’t
handle it. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and downtime. Kids love
staying somewhere else. As long as there is a pool or beach, they’re
When the kids are happy, everyone’s happy!
For a fun place to travel with the family try Lake Winnipesaukee in New
Hampshire. For more information, check out