Encompass Blog

Tips for Traveling with Kids

December 23, 2019  |  Parenting, Play  |  By Missy Budworth, MS, CCC-SLP

Two small children look out from the back of a car

Traveling with young children is a lot of work. When you leave your home environment, there are many things that are out of our control. Instead of dreading that upcoming road trip or airplane ride, taking the time to plan ahead can really pay off in ensuring everyone has a great time. Below are some tips and suggestions for making your travels successful and enjoyable for the whole family!

  • Activity ideas: Avoid anything that could be messy or toys with lots of pieces. We all want to avoid putting a screen in front of our child for hours on end, so here are some great activity ideas to consider:
    • Color Wonder coloring kits
    • Wikki Stix
    • Window gel clings
    • Magnetic drawing boards
    • Sticker books.
  • What to bring:
    • Having an extra pair of clothes (for everyone) handy is a good idea.
    • Plenty of snacks and drinks will also be important.
    • Items of comfort can really go a long way to keep your kiddos regulated—maybe let your child choose a special item of comfort to bring along. If you are able to securely attach this item to your child or to a backpack, bonus points for not having to stress the whole time about your child losing it!
  • Learning opportunity: If you don’t travel regularly with your child, use this as a fun opportunity to teach them about where they are going. You could provide a map of the journey you are making for them to follow along, they could mark off landmarks along the way, etc.
  • Games to play: Don’t forget all the classic road trip (or airplane trip) games you can play with your child:
    • “I Spy With My Little Eye”: Pick someone to be the “spy.” The spy picks an object that is visible to everyone playing and says “I spy with my little eye, something BLANK,” inserting an adjective in the blank. For example, for a stop sign, you could say “I spy with my little eye something red.” Then everyone takes turns trying to guess what the object is. Whoever guesses correctly gets to be the spy for the next round.
    • “I’m Going on a Trip and I’m going to bring…”: The first person says this sentence and fills it in with an item.  The next person repeats what the first person says and adds on their own item. The game goes on as long as you’d like.  For one variation, label items alphabetically! (The first person names something that starts with an “A”, the next person names something that starts with a “B”, and so on.)
    • 20 questions: One person thinks of an item and everyone else asks yes/no questions in order to learn enough about the item to guess what it is (e.g. “Is it alive?”, “Do we have one in our house?”). Whoever guesses correctly gets to pick the next item.
  • Travel tip: Give yourself lots of time! Leave early and plan extra time to allow time for all the unexpected breaks that will inevitably be needed.

Remember that life happens and you cannot always be prepared for what may happen during travel, especially when our children are with us.  If we don’t expect perfection, then we may be pleasantly surprised and be able to laugh off any “bumps” that travel may bring.  I hope your next family trip goes as smoothly as possible and that you return home with priceless fond memories!

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

Thank You to Our Community Partners for Their Support

  • King County logo
  • King County Best Starts for Kids logo
  • City of Seattle logo
  • City of North Bend logo
  • City of Snoqualmie logo
  • City of Carnation logo
  • City of Sammamish logo
  • City of Issaquah logo
  • United Way logo
  • NAEYC logo
  • WA State Dept of Children Youth & Families
Back to Top