Summer Travel Tips
One of the questions I get asked the most this time of the year is how to survive summer travel. Whether in a plane or in the car ... travel can bring a lot of down time and stir up all kinds of anxiety as soon as the trip is booked! Spending a little energy prepping for your trip can turn the time together into a sweet time instead of a time that you dread!
My oldest son is 10 and we have lived away from one or both of our families since he was born. Between traveling to see family and vacations, I have had to learn how to get our family ready for travel many times. Here are my go to tips, tricks, and products to get you summer travel ready!
Bring along something new and maybe a little unusual.
My kids have come to anticipate what new thing I will pull out on our next trip! Mix in some of their favorites with a few new items! Pair crayons and markers that you are already have with a new doodle or coloring book.
You can also think about out of the box ideas! One year I packed party horns that I pulled out for the last 20 minutes of the trip so we could celebrate our arrival.
Include items that engage kids in different ways.
Bring out your inner Mary Poppins and mix it up! Bring along an item or two from the categories below to keep things interesting and engaging! I have included a few of my favorite products below. Find out more about these products by visiting the travel collection at kindnessandjoytoys.com.
Games are a great way to engage everyone and pass the time! Print off a list of states and mark off the license plates as you see them or take along a game to play on the road. There are also many game options that include a travel version. These can me great in the car or plane and once you get your destination.
Travel time is a wonderful time for kids to create! Take along a doodle book where they are given prompts to get started or grab a fresh notebook with erasable markers and see what they create! It is also a great way to have them document your vacation.
Keep their hands busy and keep them engaged with fidgets! It was just two short years ago that fidget spinners burst on to the scene creating a new toy category. Fidgets can help get out some of the energy while you are traveling down the road!
• Build & Create
Open ended products that allow them to build and create over and over are perfect for summer travel! One of my go to products for travel for so many ages are the Magna Quibix blocks. These blocks have a great sensory feel and are easy to build with! They also serve as balancing game for older kids.
Plus Plus (Larger size is perfect for younger kids)
Air Dough (this new dough is soft and flexible to play with but dries hard)
My kids get tired of hearing me say “readers are leaders and leaders are readers!” Make sure everyone brings a long a book as you travel! If your kids aren’t reading yet or if you want everyone to be in engaged in the same book, bring along an audiobook.
Audio Book Suggestions:
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon (great for a wide variety of ages) Mouse & the Motorcycle
Mr. Putter & Tabby
Joke Book (always good to turn the mood of the car)
Have a technology plan.
We try to balance the technology time in the car with my kids. I often encourage moms in the shop to think about technology as a “balance” not a “battle.” Technology is a part of our lives and our kiddos lives and they are going to need to know how to use technology responsibly.
Just like we wouldn’t want them to eat gummy bears for every meal, we don’t want them to spend the entire 10 hour road trip on their device.
How do we handle technology during summer travel?
- Set Limits
- Tell them up front that they will not be on their devices the entire trip. Maybe they only have the device for 30 minutes at a time or from Point A to Point B, but let them know up front what the expectations are.
- Don’t start out with technology.
- Have your kids start with another activity before you they move on to technology. If we are on the road, I will often give them a town or a landmark that we will get too before they can get their devices out.
- Look for breaks
- If we know that we are about to stop and get out of the car or we are 30 minutes from landing or boarding a plane, I will go ahead and ask them to put their devices away. It gives them a natural break where they can be looking forward to stop or the next thing.
Long or short ... on a plane or in a car ... across the state or across the world ... wherever summer takes you, planning ahead can make your travel time a sweet part of your journey and maybe make you dread it a little less the next time you book a trip!
Owner of Kindness & Joy Toys in Fayetteville. Wife to Hal. Mom to Drew (10), Brooks (8), and Barrett (5). Friend. Gift Giver. Enneagram Student. Lover of All Things Fun. Carmel Corn Connoisseur. Sports Enthusiast.
Kindness & Joy Toys is located at 2852 N College in Fayetteville. Visit kindnessandjoytoys.com to see their event schedule and shop their curated collection of toys and gifts and to shop their Travel Collection!