Every parent has heard horror stories about traveling with children, but you can avoid a nightmare car trip or plane ride by planning ahead and packing toys geared to banish boredom. Modern travel isn’t easy for kids. Unfamiliar people and places can be over-stimulating. Missed naps make children tired and cranky. And it’s hard for kids to sit still in a car seat for hours on end when they are used to moving around. Finding creative ways to work physical exercise picnicinto your travel plan, packing some nutritious snacks, and bringing along engaging toys will make summer travels more enjoyable for your children – and you!

  • If you’re traveling by car, stop every 2 hours to let your children race around. Bring a soccer ball or Frisbee to play with at rest stops. A bottle of bubbles is great fun. Use your iPhone to locate a playground near the highway and stop for a picnic lunch.
  • If you’re traveling by plane, consider getting your child a Melissa and Doug Trunki. Lightweight and sturdy, this colorful carryon suitcase for kids holds up to 75 pounds and doubles as a riding toy. Integrated wheels and a tow strap allow kids to burn off energy riding around before boarding. At $39.99, the Trunki is a smart investment for frequent travelers.
  • Children travel on their stomachs, so pack plenty of nutritious, easy-to-eat snacks such as raisins, granola or breakfast bars, and sandwich bags of dry cereal or homemade trail mix. For drinks, leak-proof sippy cups with handles are great for toddlers. For older kids, try spill-proof Autoseal Kids Trekker Cups from Contigo.