How to Keep Your Kids Busy While Traveling
If you’re traveling with children, one of your biggest challenges is going to be keeping your kids busy and entertained while you’re on your trip. The last thing you want is for your kids to be clawing at your sleeve, screaming “I’m bored!” You also probably want to have a bit of spare time so you can explore the city you’re in on your own time.
Here’s how to keep your kids busy while you’re traveling, so you can get some piece and relaxation or private exploration time.
The Parent Switchoff
If you’re traveling as a couple, one of the best things you could do for each other is to switch off kid duty at least once.
That’s where one parent watches over the kids while the other can do whatever they want for the day.
The wife might want to go for a spa or go for a day of shopping in the towns. The husband might want to try something active, like hang gliding or Thai kickboxing.
If there’s something one of you want to do that the other isn’t interested in, the switch-off is perfect. You both get a day off to explore that country however you want.
Having Playdays With Other Children
While traveling, you’ll very often run into other parents and children who are also on vacation. This is a great opportunity for them to have a play day together.
If the kids are young, then one or two parents should stay and watch over the kids. Having all four parents watching over a group of kids isn’t necessary. If you meet another couple, it’s entirely reasonable to leave your wife or husband with the kids (and they’ll do the same) and you can spend the day doing whatever you want.
If your kids are older, you can even let the kids play by themselves, provided they stay in the same general vicinity. For example, if your kids are 15 or 16 and they met a few kids who’re the same age, you could just let them play in the swimming pool or arcade area by themselves. You know they’ll have great company and they’re old enough to exercise good judgment.
For Young Children on Your Trip
What if you have young children on your trip? What can you do to keep them entertained?
One of the best ways is video games. Yes, of course, you don’t want them to spend their whole vacation on video games. However, if you really want to just keep your kids busy for an hour or two, video games is one of the best ways.
Games are very portable. You can buy then a Gameboy DS or a PSP if you like. Or, if you have an iPhone or iPad, just download a few high quality games and let your kid have at it.
What if you don’t want to resort to video games?
Try to find other kids for your child to play with. If you can’t find anyone else, try to find an activity for them. For example, if your child likes to draw, set them up with a sketch pad and a pack of colored pencils.
The secret to keeping your older kids busy is to give them autonomy, while making sure they’re safe. Kids love being able to explore on their own, to make new friends or to see new things. However, as a parent, it’s only natural that you want to be able to keep an eye on your kids to make sure everything’s okay.
Let your kids go off on their own, but make sure they know where they should and shouldn’t go. For example, let them know they can have their own adventure, but stay within the hotel, or within a block of the hotel. Make sure they have a cell phone in case of emergencies so you can contact on another.
These are a few different ways you can handle both younger and older children while you’re on your trip. One of the big secrets to having a fantastic vacation is being able to take some alone time. Use these techniques to take a break from childcare duties, if only just for a day, to really get some rest and relaxation.
Guest post by: Dillon Michaelson, the author of this article works for InsanelyCheapFlights.com. Do make a point to visit their travel portal if you’re looking for cheap international flights or for finding cheap flights on Lufthansa Airlines.