Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged on Long Drives and Flights

Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged on Long Drives and Flights

Julie Julie
4 minute read

We've had our share of long drives (24 hours from Austin, Texas to Sun Valley, Idaho) and long flights (12 hours from Austin, Texas to Paris, France) so we're sharing all the things that kept the trips fun and easy with kiddos in tow!  Read on for our favorite Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged on Long Drives and Flights!

First off, we never leave the house without a busy bébés busy bag ! From short trips to long trips, they have been entertaining our kiddo for years! I like to bring sets that are themed around our trip (like Perfectly Paris for our trip to France and Crave the Wave for our trip to Cozumel), but any and all themes work well. When going on a long trip, it is best if busy bag is new, so it's novel and extra exciting for the kiddo.

We also always pack tons of snacks! Our daughter (and let's be honest, both myself and my husband) get hangry when we're hungry. We try to eat healthy, and there aren't always the healthiest options while traveling. We like to pack a fruit (bananas are usually easiest), as well as Made Good granola bars and granola minis, nuts like pistachios or cashews, The Daily Crave Lentil Chips, and dark chocolate chips. We also pack gum, which shockingly can entertain our daughter for quite a while and pop ears with the changing pressure in flights!

Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged on Long Drives & Flights
Listening to Music & Working on Travel Journals

We aren't big into entertainment with screens for our daughter, but we do pack an iPad with headphones for our daughter's music playlist. We created an Amazon Playlist with all of her favorites (mostly Disney themed music and Kidz Bop ) and it's the perfect entertainment for long trips. Plus, with headphones, the parents don't have to listen to it! Anytime our daughter mentions a new favorite song, we add it to the playlist, so it continues to grow in length.

Another great use for the iPad is for listening to books on Audible. I always download a couple of books for my daughter to listen to while we're traveling. Disney offers some fun and engaging princess stories, and my daughter also really likes listening to longer books like Matilda and Charlotte's Web .

Simple games like iSpy are always a win and require no extra packing! We also love "The Alphabet Game." In fact, this game worked especially well while we were waiting for a delayed dinner reservation in Paris. We popped into a grocery store nearby, and the game filled a full hour of waiting! To play, players try to spot a word or item that starts with the letter A. Then, once that has been found, a word or object that starts with the letter B, then C, and so on all the way until Z!  We also especially love "The Rainbow Game"!  Start by looking for a red car, then an orange car, then yellow... until you've reached the end of rainbow!  Can you do it in reverse order and start with purple?!

Ways To Keep Your Kids Engaged on Long Drives & Flights
Travel Journals in the Airport

Travel Journals are another favorite of ours for long trips. They serve as great entertainment, but also a great memento from the trip. Essentially, it's a blank journal with crayons or colored pencils where a child can document any favorite moments from their trip, such as riding on the airplane or seeing the mountains on a drive. My daughter and her bestie couldn't get enough of their travel journals when we were in France. They pulled them out at every opportunity, and my daughter has especially loved getting to share it with her friends and family post-trip.
Airplane with Kids

Lastly, Washi Track Tape has been a BIG hit for our travels! We like to made random pathways with it on the backs of the airplane seats and the tray tables. Then, your little can drive around a toy car on the path! The washi tape pulls up easily and makes for another busy activity for your kiddo! It also works great on restaurant tables and car lap trays.

We are gearing up for our next trip already, and we always look forward to the travel knowing what what works best for keeping our kiddo entertained. It definitely makes the trip much more enjoyable when she's entertained and we can sit back and relax. What are your tried and true ways to keep your kiddos busy while traveling? Let us know below! We are always needing more tricks to add to our collection!

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