How to keep the children entertained on long journeys!

  • 04 Apr, 2022
  • Franki Napolitano
  • No Comments

keeping children entertained on a long trip

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From the screaming baby in the row behind you on the plane, to the jaded cries of “are we there yet?” from the children in the back seat of your car, we all have, or been in contact with, bored children on a long distance journey and wondered what could be done to ease their boredom. This blog will suggest some great ideas for entertaining children on journeys.

Top 10 Tips for entertaining children on long journeys:

1. Toys

When bracing yourself for a long car journey, make sure to collect a selection of toys for your child. Furthermore, dividing them into separate bags and using breaks in driving to swap bags of toys from the boot varies the stimulation for the children and will keep them engaged for longer.

2. Bedtime

If driving at night, take a break at around 8pm to change the children into more comfortable clothing such as pyjamas. This will recreate sleeping habits and potentially increase the chances of them dozing off! For both plane and car journeys, travelling at night will also increase the chances of children sleeping as it would mimic their normal sleeping pattern.

Entertaining children on journeys - kids snacking

3. Food

Have an arsenal of tasty treats within easy reach, but try and feed the children as little sugary foods/drinks as possible! You won’t be loving the sugar rush and no-one will enjoy the come down

4. Switching Seats

Where possible, how about switching up where you sit in the car? If you have more than one adult on the journey, could one of you spend some time in the back with the younger travellers to keep them engaged? (bonus for you; no neck strain from constantly turning round to them!)

5. Games

Repetitive games, e.g taking it in turns to repeat an ever-increasing list and see who gets the furthest from memory, the Alphabet name game, 20 questions, Eye-Spy, you get the gist!

Kid wearing headphones

6. Audio

Bring headphones that cover the ears. This will prevent other passengers from potentially getting frustrated as your child listens to songs or films over and over again! Noise cancelling ones are also good to have on in the airport (not attached to media!) if your child finds too much sensory stimulation overwhelming.

7. Communication

Keep children in the loop with how far away they are from the destination. Showing them the interactive plane map in a flight is a good example. Furthermore don’t draw attention to the fact that it may be a long journey.

8. Pocket money

How about providing a small amount of money to let the children purchase something at a terminal or service station to get something you know they will have fun with?

9. Rest breaks

A pretty simple one, but plenty of stops! Especially if you’re able to, obviously you can’t really break up a plane journey..!

Kid playing

10. White board

You’ll be amazed how long this can keep the little ones entertained! Simply pack the white board with different colour pens and you’re set.

What can I take on a long journey to keep the children entertained?

We’ve given you a list of things to do, but what could you take to act as further bribes distractions? We’ve got an idea for all ages:

  • A tablet / small laptop for cartoon watching and game playing.
  • Stating the obvious, but their favourite toy, cuddly bear or comfort blanket will help them settle.

keeping children entertained on a long trip - Kid with a toy

  • A camera of your choice; this adds a different kind of entertainment while the kiddies play photographer. Maybe opt for a disposable for the younger ones or a neck strap to avoid any drops..!
  • A colouring set* so they can colour to their hearts content or bring a pad of paper and set tasks like “draw 3 things you can see on the plane” to keep their mind occupied.
  • Get the parents involved and play a few rounds of Top Trumps, Snap, 4 in the Middle or Old Maid.

playing with cards

  • If you bring your own snacks, make sure they are split out between different tubs which are easily accessible. You could even have a pre-holiday baking sesh and get the kids involved in making and decorating cookies that you can then enjoy together.
  • Might not be an obvious choice, but a potty*! Especially if your litte one os potty training and you want to minimise accidents. It will also help their confidence as they won’t feel relegated back to pull ups, without understanding why.

keeping children entertained on a long trip - a child with camera

Just before you head off…

I’m sure we don’t need to remind you, but here’s a few extra tips to keep in mind; avoid traveling during rush hour, always keep in constant communication with your children and finally for those who don’t like “popping ears” on flights, drink plenty of water! If you have any of your own ideas or methods you have used in the past, feel free to share them with us here on the blog, tweet us or visit our Facebook page!

Good luck on your next journey, we hope these tips and ideas help for entertaining children on journeys!

About Franki Napolitano

Working in the travel industry has really opened my eyes to the attitudes, issues and obstacles people can face just trying to go on holiday. Whether it's due to their health, family situations or budgets, travel should be accessible for all. I cover everything from travelling with a disability to how to save money while you travel, hoping to make the holiday process easier for everyone.