As the Summer approaches it is a good time to offer some travel tips. These are not about where to go. Instead, these are some things to consider for those “fun” trips in the car. Travel can be a lot easier when you have done a little preparation.
Let’s start with the latest modern technology has to offer. Kids seem to have access to electronic devices at younger and younger ages. These are good for games and surfing the web. Better yet, they can be used to view movies and TV shows. Most Blu-ray packages available in the last few years include a digital download option. There are also options to purchase a digital copy via iTunes or Google Play. A few choice purchases can add up to hours of entertainment. Look for kid-friendly movies that have a musical portion to make it easy to enjoy them for multiple viewings.
Portable game systems often have movie and TV options as well. You may want to avoid YouTube and Netflix streaming of video, but there are download options available.
Audio books are excellent for long trips. I highly recommend some of the kid-friendly series like Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Narnia Series. These can consume hours and hours of entertainment time. They also provide an opportunity for family discussions of the stories as you work through them.
This option includes podcasts. There are some great ones available that can consume hours and are available for any topic. Hard Core History is usually an audio book in length and highly informative. Since it describes history in sometimes vivid detail it is not really for the young ones. There are excellent youth-based podcasts though that cover Minecraft and other popular video games or discussions of the latest movies and TV shows.
Popular shows like “Hamilton” and Disney Musicals like “Frozen” offer good vacation listening. These combinations of stories and music can entertain for an hour or two easily much like the movies and TV shows mentioned. Do not forget these options even though they may not have a visual component
Reading can sometimes cause motion sickness, but if not, then a good book is useful and easy to store. There are other great low-tech options you can always keep handy in your vehicle. These include coloring books (use pencils, not crayons due to heat) and puzzle books like crosswords and sudoku. However, there are some other options like the invisible ink books you can find at Cracker Barrel and Truck Stops. These are often cheap and can be a novel entertainment option for kids of most ages.