Tips for Traveling with Kids

Are you ready to get out of town? We have complied a list of ideas to keep your sanity intact while traveling with kids and ways to keep them occupied!


Ways to Keep Your Kids Occupied During Travel

Devices: iPad, iPod, Kindle, travel DVD player. Remember to have them charged (and don’t forget to bring the chargers, too)! If you’re looking for some new apps for your kids to enjoy, check out our Best Apps for Kids!

Many libraries offer books on CD and Take-Away devices. Here are some suggestions: The Chocolate Touch, A to Z Mysteries, Frog and Toad, Grasshopper on the Road, Frederick, and Beverly Cleary books. Have other suggestions? Comment below!

Kid friendly-Headphones to listen to Music approved for Kids *and* Parents!

Cereal Necklaces: use plastic laces to string cereal, pretzels and other snacks. Pretty to wear and great for a snack! This is a good “busy” activity to utilize while Mom and Dad pack.

Pipe cleaners, marshmallows, Cheerios to craft. The photo below shows my sons immersed in this craft at home, but you can put the marshmallows and cereal in cups that fit in the car cupholders.

Great on the on the go, or as a rainy day activity!

Plastic ziplock bags: for dirty clothes, trash, loose pieces, sick bags

Searchable Preschool and Daycare Guide for Families in Chicago's Western Suburbs

No-spill cups

Magnetic travel tray for a writing or coloring surface


Tips for Motion Sickness

Watching movies, reading books and concentrating on small games may increase motion sickness. Encourage your child to look outside (ideally straight ahead) and if possible, open the car window for ventilation. Try to avoid spicy and greasy foods before and during travel; bland crackers or carbonated drinks can ease an upset stomach. Seasickness bands with acupressure points for your wrist may help alleviate symptoms. Just in case, don’t forget a plastic ziplock bag in case of emergency. Please consult your pediatrician for directions and dosages if you plan to give medications like Dramamine or Benadryl to your child.


Airplane Travel Tips

Chewy treats for takeoff and landing to help alleviate clogged ears- gummy bears, chewing gum, licorice or fruit and veggie puree packets.

Sanitizers for table trays, bathrooms, etc.

Car seats bags to protect your seat- check car seats at the gate, to avoid the airline misplacing your child’s car seat. This car seat link is more pricey than some of the others available, but the padding protects from rough handling and is worth the money if you plan to use it more than once. Many airlines will offer you a clear plastic bag to put your child’s car seat in, and all need to be labeled and tagged with your contact information.

Searchable Preschool and Daycare Guide for Families in Chicago's Western Suburbs

Birth certificates for kids under 2, to verify their birth date (especially if they are traveling as a lap child).

If you are traveling alone with your kids, you may want to ask about a Companion Pass at the check in counter for one adult who is not flying to accompany you directly to the gate. Be sure that person has proper ID and companion pass is free of charge.

In the Sky Toob are sky themed figurines that are great replicas of the real thing and come in a carry-along tube

Empty water bottles (to fill after you have assed security check points)


Things to Avoid

Things that roll or toys that have small pieces that may get lost easily: crayons, pencils, markers, LEGO bricks. Keep them safe in a case or don’t bring them. Another idea is to bring a small cookie sheet or tray with edges to keep runaway pieces in place.

Foods that have a strong smell may be unpleasant for other travelers.

Toys or games that make noise or music. Duct tape over speakers may quiet some toys.


Toys for Travel

Gel clings for the windows

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset Kit

Masking Tape to make pictures or tracks for small cars– check out this Road Tape!

Searchable Preschool and Daycare Guide for Families in Chicago's Western Suburbs

Animal Toobs

Mini Squigz

Colorforms, Magnet boards, Magnatiles and Magformers

Magnetic Marble Puzzles

Squishy stress balls 

no-roll crayons

Rubik’s Cube, Flexi Puzzle, Coggy, Tangle toys

Boogie Board to write and draw without mess or tons of paper

Find It cylinders as a fun, travel way to find and seek

Blind boxes:

On The Go gamesTrouble, Hangman, Travel Bingo

Reusable Sticker Books

Felt Board

Etch-A-Sketch, Magna Doodle, Water Coloring Pages

Cra-Z-Art Mini Magna Doodle

Etch A Sketch – Classic

Fashion Plates

Melissa and Doug Tape Activity Book

Scratch Art Books


We hope you have safe and fun-filled travels. Use the hashtag #mykidlist on your Instagram photos so we can see your family in action!


This article contains affiliate links, which means that you are still paying the same price, but Kidlist receives a small percentage from Amazon to support the site.

About the Author

Liz Haskins
Liz is a mom of three equally active and adorable sons, aged six, eight and twelve. As a child, her family moved to Western Springs from Central Illinois, and she and her husband are thrilled to raise their own family here. She works two days a week as a medical assistant, so she tries to fill her time with the boys outside of school with activities that they can all enjoy. This winter, they’ve enjoyed swimming at a few indoor pools, and the boys love going to zoos and children’s museums. In the summer they love to do anything outdoors; they try to hit a different park every week! Their go-to for indoor days are open play spaces that have a range of activities to accommodate her children’s age differences. Outside of being a mom and working, Liz’s passions are photography, reading, and, as an extrovert, she loves meeting new people and connecting over mutual interests.

Be the first to comment on "Tips for Traveling with Kids"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.