Are you traveling with the whole family but feel alone because your 9-year old is locked onto his PSP while your teenage daughter seems to be texting the whole world while listening to her favorite indie band. When you look at to your husband, he is on the iPad trying to check on some work stuff?
Are they doing this
Instead of doing this
Family travel should be family bonding time. Although gadgets can make life easier for us, there are times when they just simply get in the way. You might not have a magic wand to make these gadgets disappear but you might find our tips below useful to make the family unplug and gadget-free during your family getaway:
Brace themselves for a goodbye
Losing what used to make us happy is hard. No, this is not about teenage relationship – this is about making everyone ready to losing their gadgets for your trip. Create some rules and read them over before you leave so that everyone would set their expectations of the trip and be aware of your intention of having a meaningful family bonding.
Backpack of goodies
Make sure to bring all your children’s favorites – crayons, coloring books, games, cards – by putting all of them in a knapsack. A notebook wherein your kids could write their favorite activities and places to visit are good for older children. Do not be shy to bring your comfort items along.
Teach them to navigate
Whatever transportation means you will be on for the travel, bring kids almanac which are colorful and full of pictures so that your children can know about your destination the way he or she would want it. The co-founder a travel gear company for children, TrendyKid, Rachel Stephens proposes that in the places we go to, we find out at least three novel facts, which she believes we cannot find in guidebooks.
You should never miss out in snacks – it is critical for any trip! Make it fun by taking ultimate snack favorites and new treats as well. The editor of Fun Finds for Family, Alissa Boyle argued that small cereal boxes are champs – easiest to provide, stimulate and solve one’s hunger with minimum mess!
Bond through music
With your kids, create a music playlist. You can ask your older children to make their own! But do not forget to include your personal favorites as well. During the trip, you can ask your kids some questions like why they chose that song or what they think about the song to start some conversation. Rachel Stephens herself did this as well. She even made her child a fan of her generation’s music.
Be a Creative Game Master
Play games with your kids to get their heads off the long travel. Engage in random games like counting the number of cars they see of a certain color or so. Maybe make them do math by holding a contest of searching for the fastest one to add the numbers on the license plates. Reinvent your games just to put their minds off the trail.
Plan timely surprises
It is really hard to ask a child to just sit and stay quiet especially during long car ride or airplane trip. Store up on stickers, trinkets. Small toys, or any surprises from a near dollar store before leaving. Hand out one surprise to each child and tell them it’s a reward for being a good traveler or use it as distractions!
Use the Secret Weapon
If everything fails, do not forget to bring a soap bar to save the day. You can use it as “chalk” to your windows as the “board,” without actually harming the glass. Divide the bar and give each one a piece! Let them play hangman or tic-tac-toe; let them sketch. Marks are removed effortlessly with a moist paper towel.
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