10 Ways To Keep Your Kids Occupied During Long Journeys

Kids traveling
Photo: Juhan Sonin/Flickr
Today’s post was written by Roxanne

Keeping Boredom and Tantrums at Bay

Travelling doesn’t have to be a nightmare – our handy hints and tips will help you to keep your kids happy until you reach your destination.

Holidays are great fun, but getting there can be a little less so. Factor in some bored children and a seriously stressed mum and dad, and you’ve got a full blown nightmare on your hands. Before you decide never to travel again though, we’re here to help. Below are our top tips for keeping little ones amused on long journeys – whether by plane, train or car.

Plan, plan, plan!

Firstly, plan ahead. If you’re going to amuse your child with a new activity every fifteen minutes or so, you’ll need to start thinking of stuff to do. Card games, a round of I Spy and a magazine to read are all ideal.


Invest in a tablet. Not only will you use it, but it’s great for entertaining kids. A film or a few episodes of their favourite TV show will keep boredom at bay for a while. Plus, tablets are easy to carry and store. Just make sure to bring a pair of earphones if you are travelling by plane or train.

Make it worthwhile for them

Reward them if they’re behaving well. Presenting them with their favourite snack or a new toy are great ways of telling them that you’re pleased with their behaviour. Plus, they’ll be occupied by that for a while too.

Travel in style

Travelling can be a form of entertainment in itself – as some of the best train journeys in the world prove. From the Orient Express to the Maharaja’s Express, these trains will impress kids with their luxury and history.

Stock up on food and drink

Irritability can come from hunger and thirst, so keep them fed and watered. Make sure that they’re drinking plenty if your journey is long and hot, and choose long-lasting snacks to keep both blood sugars and moods stable. If you’re travelling by car, factor in a stop or two at a café or service station.

Pack some toys

Bring some toys along too. Travelling can be stressful for kids, so a little piece of home will reassure and comfort them. Plus, their raggedy old teddy bear will be able to have a trip of a lifetime!

Apps are your friend

Games and apps are a great way of keeping kids amused with little to no effort – and many of them are free too! Why not try some foreign language apps to help them learn a little local lingo for your trip?

Be prepared for naps

Pillows and blankets are essential travel companions. If your journey is going to be a long one, then some shut eye will keep your little ones happy. Just be prepared to sacrifice your shoulder or lap while they snooze!

Get crafty

Make a travel journal all about your travel destination. Start off getting your child to write down everything that they know about the place you’re going to, and encourage them to draw pictures and come up with a list of things they want to do.

Let them learn as you travel

Point out landmarks as you travel. From famous buildings to natural wonders, there’s nothing more satisfying for a child than learning about the world around them. Seeing the world from a plane is breathtaking, while travelling by car allows you to pull over and take some pictures.

Here’s to a smooth journey!

So there you have it; how to keep even the most boisterous of kids amused! While the journey is something many of us just suffer through to get to our destination, there’s no reason why it can’t be fun for kids and adults alike. Happy kids make for a relaxed mum and dad, after all – and what better way is there to start your holiday than in a good mood?

About the author:Roxanne Seabourne is the Marketing Executive for Avanti Travelcare, who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.

17 thoughts on “10 Ways To Keep Your Kids Occupied During Long Journeys”

  1. I always brought my Gameboy, coloring books, and books. I remember also playing games like trying to spot license plates from each state.

  2. Lot’s of great tips there, I’ve used a couple of them when my kids were younger..Could of used some of them too!

  3. These are great tips for keeping children occupied on long trips. My favorite one would have to be the learn as you travel tip, because there are a lot of opportunities to teach kids about different things while traveling.

  4. I haven’t taken very long trips with my boys as of yet because I’m worried. My boys don’t sit still at all! I love your ideas.

  5. Great suggestions. Another few are if they are old enough play games- good old I spy and such go a long way. Books books books- read to your child (if youre NOT the driver ha!) Itss entertaining, and it will sometimes put them to sleep.

  6. those are all great tips. I never had a problem traveling with my daughter, only because she was out cold the minute we pulled out of the driveway every time.


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