We went out-of-town this weekend and it was a long five-hour car ride with a two and a half-year old and a 10 month old and a 8 month old Boxer puppy. Traveling with kids is HARD. I racked my brain for ideas to keep these little ones busy so that I wouldn’t lose my damn mind! These were in our “Survival Kit” and every single one of them made the trip a little easier and kept them occupied through traveling and during downtime at our destination.
Water Wow. These are seriously a life saver. My daughter loves these even at home, and Mommy loves that they are mess free. They hold a small amount of water in the refillable brush, and the pages show colors and designs when the water touches the page. The best part: they dry in their original form! Completely reusable! There are so many different themed books, so I stock up on new books before a trip.
Reusable Sticker Books. Kids get so frustrated when they realize that their sticker isn’t going to come off the paper! Problem solved with these reusable vinyl sticker books! They can stick to the windows on the airplane, the tray on the seat, and they can still use them on the windows of your destination. They come with so many different stickers for imaginative play and is more of a learning tool than a game. They help with fine motor skills and are durable rough toddler hands.
Mrs. Potato Head. This fun activity has been around forever and lets kids explore their creativity. I love that this kit comes with a “suitcase” so that Mrs. Potato Head is not only traveling along with the little ones, but holds all of the accessories when not in use.
iPad mini. I completely (kind of) understand that some parents don’t allow their kids to watch TV, but when traveling, I think some exceptions could be made to preserve your sanity. There are so many educational apps that can be downloaded onto the iPad. Amazon Prime members also have access to free Prime movies, so you can stream movies to the iPad while you are waiting at the airport. They can also take photos of their trip with it. There is a “guided access” on the iPad that will lock your kids into Netflix, Amazon Movie, or their learning app and prevent them from changing settings or looking at things they shouldn’t be. Netflix also has downloadable options that you can download while you have internet access and watch on the plan or in the car. Then, just delete when they are finished watching to not take up storage space. If you’re traveling by car, you can turn your phone into a “hot spot” so that the iPad can use your cellular data. No reason to have a separate data plan for the iPad. We have this Life Proof case and it has really withstood the clumsy hands and spills of a toddler!
Headphones. These Cozy Phones come in so may different animals to suit any child from cats and dogs to unicorns and frogs. The soft fabric fits completely around the child’s head, ensuring they stay in place. They will be entertained, and you will enjoy the peace and quiet!
Magnetic Toys. These are great for traveling! With 56 pieces, the creative possibilities are endless. Let them make multiple different cars and encourage brain development, creativity, and critical thinking. And, because they are magnets, they stick together making it easy to tidy up and store when they are done.
Trunki Ride-on Suitcase. If you’re not bringing a stroller on your trip, or checking it with your baggage, this is an awesome solution to your toddler not wanting to walk through the airport. Bonus: it also holds their clothes or their games to play on the plane. They sit, you pull, and get to your gate on time with (hopefully) no toddler meltdowns.
Foldable Potty Seat. Potty training or have a newly potty trained little one who’s afraid of falling in public toilets? (I mean, who doesn’t have that fear?) These foldable potty seats are non-slip and perfect for your on-the-go needs. They fold up to 7″ x 6″ x 2″ and fit into a waterproof carrying case. They are easy to clean and make pottying outside the home less treacherous. No reason for a potty training regression on vacation. You worked too hard to get them out of diapers!
There is no such thing as a “vacation” with small children. They are just “trips” to another location, but they are fun and full of memories. I hope these ideas will help you on your next trip with kids!