Summer is almost here and that means… VACATION! Exposing our children to new places, people and activities helps them learn, which is a great benefit! We plan our summer getaways with anticipation and excitement. As mom's we know that when traveling with kids - getting there is part of the journey! Whether driving or flying, keeping kids busy while in the car or on a plane is part of the experience.
My personal criteria for a good travel activity was that it was light, easy to transport, not too messy, and something I wouldn't mind leaving behind (like in the trash can!). I find that some of the most basic things can be entertaining to toddlers, children, tweens and even teenagers! There are MANY blog posts with lists of airplane activities and road trip activities, it can be overwhelming. My list is pretty simple, you likely have many of these things laying around your house, why make it more complicated than it needs to be?
Below I listed a few of my favorite activities to take in the car or on a plane. This list is very manageable, affordable, easy and offers something for every age.
Enjoy these suggestions of ways to entertain your kids while traveling:
Tried and True:
Things I wish I knew when my kids were younger:
Whether your summer plans include traveling by plane, car or simply staying local - I hope you have a fantastic summer break!
Share your favorite travel activity below in the comments!
There are different methods to avoid lines at the airport. Some assist with SECURITY lines while others are designed to assist with CUSTOMS lines. These are very different so let's get them straight:
CUSTOMS - refers to items being brought into a country upon the return from your trip
IMMIGRATION - refers to people entering a country either as a visitor or returning home
SECURITY - everyone traveling by air in the US (domestic or international) must pass through security upon leaving for your trip.
To avoid the masses and get through lines quicker, you can choose to join a program to expedite the process. See the chart below to decide which program is best for you!
I have no affiliation with any of these programs.
I personally use Global Entry because I travel internationally at least once a year and domestically many times a year - I love the TSA precheck for both domestic and international flights and expedited immigration/customs lines when returning to the US. In addition, my credit card covers the cost of Global Entry, so getting it for free was a no brainer.
Here are the links to sign up:
GLOBAL ENTRY AND TSA PRECHECK https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/
MOBILE PASSPORT: App Store
AUTOMATED PASSPORT CONTROL: no membership
Hawaii is made up of 6 unique islands*. Each island has a unique feel and different offerings. Each island is very different and even within each island, there are lots of different things to experience and explore.
The islands are not far from one another, making island hopping a breeze! Flights between islands range from 20-50 minutes and some be reached by ferry. A hawaiian cruise allows you to see many of the islands in one trip.
80% of Hawaii is inaccessible by car. Consider a helicopter, boat, or hike to really experience the authentic and cultural aspects of the islands.
Here are some descriptions of each island to help determine which island is right for you:
Kauai is known as the "Garden Island" due to it's lush greenery. As the oldest island in the chain, the Kauai landscape includes tropical rainforests, sprawling rivers, and gorgeous, accessible waterfalls. Although it is not possible to drive completely around Kauai due to the beautiful Na Pali Coast, it is easy to drive from the north shore to the south shore in about 50 minutes. If seeing a Hawaiian waterfall is on your bucket list but you don't want to hike, Kauai is the island for you! Wailua Falls offers a waterfall accessible by car! Additional activities include kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, ziplining, and laying on a beautiful beach. Regulations only permit buildings to be built as high as coconut palm, giving Kauai a relaxing, small town feel.
Oahu is known for its energy, art and surf culture. Oahu's different regions provide various options of activities. In the south shore, you will find the vibrant capital, Honolulu. Famous Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach are also located in the south where museums, restaurants, and water activities are in abundance. Contrastly, the north shore, has gorgeous beaches with restaurants and activities more spread out. If you are short on time and want to experience culture, beaches, activities and quite time; Oahu is right for you!
The "Valley Isle" . Maui offers something for everyone! The most popular attraction is Mt. Haleakala where visitors can watch a spectacular sunrise from above the clouds - a truly magnificent experience. Whale watching is also popular in Maui with the season running from November – May (Jan-March being peak season). The famous road to Hana is an adventurous experience combining the thrill of the journey with the laid back enjoyment of entertainment once you have arrived. Amazing hiking trails, watersports, local farms, and recreation all make Maui an amazing destination for a honeymoon!
Hawaii - The Big Island
You have probably heard about this island in the news recently... Kilauea volcano erupted in May 2018, leading to destruction of homes and landscape. But don't rule out this island so fast, the volcano is on the east coast of the island, while the tourism is on the west coast (in and around Kona) which was, generally speaking, unaffected by the volcano. If you love geology and nature, this island is a perfect fit! You can experience climates ranging from Wet Tropical to Polar Tundra in this unique setting! Of course, you won't miss out on shops, restaurants, entertainment, taro farms, black sand beaches, and splendid waterfalls!
Lanai and Molokai
You can access Lanai from Maui via ferry or plane. Generally a day trip but you could opt to stay at one of the 2 hotels on the island. Snorkeling, and golf are popular activities while visiting Lanai.
Molokai is accessible from Maui by plane but mostly geared towards natives with not much tourism.
*There are actually 8 Hawaiian islands. Niihau is privately owned and Kahoolawe is uninhabited.
Hi! My name is Buffy and I am the owner of Sunlit Travel! I love to plan special occasions like GROUP VACATIONS and MULTI-GENERATIONAL FAMILY VACATIONS! My favorite part is adding special touches to make the trip especially memorable!