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8 Easy Hacks For Traveling With Kids


Being a parent is all about improvising. Travel is one of those times where you wind up improvising a more then usual. For example, when the key’s from dad’s pocket are far more enticing than any of the toys from the bagful you’ve brought in the car or on the plane. Here are five of my favorite travel hacks with kids, I hope you find them handy the next time you head away from home with your kids.

a cookie sheet is an easy travel hack

Not just for cookies…

1. Pack a cookie sheet

The cookie sheet or jelly roll plan is one of my favorite travel hacks. It makes the perfect because the edge keeps supplies from rolling all over the car. It can be a magnetic story board — buy letters and numbers or themed magnets. And it minimizes food stains on your car seat if you’re eating meals on the go.

2. Bring books

Be your own book on tape. Tackle a story that is a little harder for kids to read on their own, or something everyone can take turns reading. It might be a classic, a travel-themed adventure like The Rescuers, or a story related to your destination. Even kids who know how to read love to be read to.

fitness games are good travel hacks with kids3. Assign tasks

Make someone the banker to manage tolls and snack funds, make someone the DJ (they have to take requests), make someone the activities director for rest stops and have them organize Simon Says. You can let them bring games like fitness dice or ThinkFun’s Yoga Cards, or Yoga Spinner. Or download an app like GoNoodle.

4. Do laundry on vacation

This may seem crazy, but after long trips it makes easing back into every day life much easier. Before heading home sort dirty clothes by color and clean clothes by family member. When you get home, bring dirty clothes directly to the laundry room and put clean laundry away. (Read more laundry tips.)

Small toys like Thinking Putty are great travel hacks5. Be creative about travel toys

Kids like small manipulative toys like mini animals, small play figures, Thinking Putty, Fidgets, Wiki Stix, pipe cleaners, stacking cups, and magnetic building blocks, like Tegu, that can be easily handled and fuel their imaginations. Keep a small bin of these toys in the back seat. Just be prepared to go chasing items under the seats once in a while. Zip lock bags are also handy for keeping travel toys organized and handy.

 6. Store your ear buds

The travel hack that’s not just for the kids: Use an eyeglass case, candy tin or other small vessel to keep ear buds from becoming a tangle in bags and backpacks.

7. Bring a power strip

This heads off fighting over hotel outlets for charging everyone’s phones, tablets, video games and mp3 players.

8. Pack by day

If your road trip plans include a night here and a night there, organize clothes and toiletries by for each day rather than giving each family member a suitcase. The less you bring into hotels, the less you can leave behind.

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8 travel hacks for vacationing with kids

Happi Olson is Host of The Happi House and VP of Marketing at Creative Kidstuff toy store. She loves coming up with new travel hacks for her family.

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2 Comments

  1. December 24, 2016 at 1:38 am — Reply

    My tween absolutely adores Thinking Putty, especially the one where you can mix your own colors. Bringing along a cookie sheet is a genius idea. I’ll have to remember it for next time. And I really like the idea of assigning tasks.

    • December 30, 2016 at 11:31 am — Reply

      Thinking putty was on my daughter’s wish list for Christmas this year. Good to know it holds kids interest into the teen years. You just have to be careful not to leave it on cloth car seats or on the rugs. It spreads and sticks!

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