Traveling takes on a whole other meaning when you have to do it with kids. I found myself in this exact predicament when my family and I PCSed from the states to Japan with our kids and pets. The first thought about a 12-hour flight with children isn’t exactly, “this will be a breeze,” but I’m here to say that it can be done!
I’ve put together some tips and tricks that helped me keep the kids busy and help me keep my sanity as we traveled that long 12-hour flight.
Alright, here are some ways to conquer (or at least survive) traveling with kids:
Happy tummy, happy kids
Bring snacks, lots and lots of snacks. I think this rule doesn’t just apply to kids! We all get a little cranky when we’re hungry, so having a bag of snacks will always help keep everyone happy. Make your choice of snack something easy. Think: Something that is individually packaged or a fruit that isn’t too messy (Cuties would be perfect).
Pack a small surprise for your child and give it to her when you see her getting a little antsy. The surprise doesn’t need to be big or expensive, just something you know your child will like.
For instance, since our flight was 12 hours, I decided to stow away 3 little surprises for my daughter (giving her one every 4 hours). The surprises were: a small container of slime, a pack of Oreos and a small squishy that she could color.
Just think of anything that will catch and keep your child’s attention.
Let’s play a game.
Kids LOVE playing games (if you haven’t noticed already). You can bring games or play “road trip” games with them. And yes, you can still play road trip games even if you’re on a plane (yay!).
Here are a couple of games you can play:
- Cards (Uno, Go Fish, Charade cards, War)
- I spy
- Animal Alphabet (for each letter of the alphabet, you name an animal! You also can do this with food names.)
- 20 questions
- Would you rather
This option is great if you’re traveling via plane. It gives you the opportunity to bond with your kids on a different level while also exploring their imagination through stories. Instead of just reading through the book, engage with your child! Ask questions or create different voices for each character. If your child is older, have them read parts of the book with you; or have them pick a character that they want to read.
A little screen time won’t hurt.
OK, OK … I know some parents frown upon electronics but hear me out! Parents need a break sometimes, and if giving a child a little bit of screen time will help get that break, why not?
Screen time can be an educational game, an educational show or even a non-educational show (gasp!). The one thing about giving children screen time is that there needs to be a time restriction set before handing over the device. Kids will even get bored of screens on a long plane ride, so it’s better to have limits and keep them excited for the next time they get to watch.
So, whether you’re traveling in a car or by plane…
You now have a few tips and tricks to keep your child happy and busy until you get to your final destination.
I’m a military spouse, stay-at-home mom and content creator for my blog, Love always, Catherine. I love sharing tips, advice and stories with friends, family and my readers.
I believe that life is about having meaningful relationships, creating and sharing stories, living simply & keeping close the things that only bring you joy. I hope to see you on the blog and engage with you soon!