10 Sanity-Saving Travel Ideas

It’s hard to believe the holidays are almost here! For many of us, pumpkin pie and cozy nights with relatives are sweet rewards after an exhausting trip. Messy travel itineraries and restless children aren’t always a recipe for harmony, but with a little planning, your family will be ready to tackle planes, trains and automobiles with delight (and far fewer tantrums).

Ditch the one-trick toys and messy materials for our favorite, simple projects. Keep reading for 10 travel-friendly activities to get your family through any long journey:

1. Create a cute art kit. Have you noticed how much we love portable, low-mess art supplies? Here are two Kiwi Crate versions of a sturdy DIY Travel Art Kit. Use a soft tote bag or craft box to hold materials for coloring and storytelling.

2. Get together a game box. The Crafty Crow cooked up an inexpensive, awesome set of games-on-the-go using only cotton swabs and a few other items. If clay and acrylic paints sound like too much work, take a look at the finished product and decide what steps to alter (or skip altogether).

3. Bust out the Bingo. Our list isn’t complete without Bingo–the seminal road-trip classic. We love the idea of laminating this template (from the Martha Stewart website) for easy reuse, and making your own game boards to fit the sights and sounds of your trip.

4. Relive your adventures. Who knew some string and a few simple supplies could turn your car into a moving art gallery? Have your kids illustrate their own travel timelines on long car or boat trips. We bet you’ll love seeing the trip through their eyes as much as they love creating a picture-pulley! 

5. Stock up on snacks. Kiwi Crate’s own Danielle knows how to keep her 2 hungry boys happy. We love her simple take on personal snack boxes, and recommend packing your kids’ healthy favorites for a fun pick-and-choose portable meal.

6. Get some grab-and-go projects. These open-ended doodle/coloring books are a homerun-hit for most ages. The creative prompts and dynamic illustrations make for perfect projects on the road or in the air.

7. Keep your car tidy. Martha Stewart recommends a 16-pocket Shoe-Bag Organizer as a carseat mainstay, but we think it’s perfect for road trips. Pockets can hold anything from toys to easy-grab snacks, and save you a neck ache from reaching into the backseat.

8. Let the kiddos draw out their vacation memories. While we love some pre-made travel journals out there, many of them skew towards older children. Throw together some thick blank paper and pens, or better yet, get your kids a special, grownup-looking Travel Journal. We love the look and feel of Moleskine‘s fun-colored notebooks with elastic closures.

9. Create a mini construction kit. Jordan at Polkadot Prints designed a quick (and yummy) game box from an Ikea tin, mini-marshmallows, and toothpicks. Kids can build and snack whenever the trip hits a lull.

10. Remember the creature comforts. When in doubt, pack soft things. Making sure your child has something soft and warm to wrap up in might just save your trip! Pack their blanket, stuffed animals, or personalized wraps in an easy-to-access spot.

What are your favorite sanity-saving travel fixes?


About Kiwi Crate
Kiwi Crate delivers monthly projects for kids ages 3 to 7, all materials and inspiration included. All activities are reviewed by experts and tested by kids to make sure they encourage curiosity, exploration, and creativity! Learn more.

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