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5 Things to do on Vacation to Engage with Your Kids

Let’s say you’ve planned the perfect vacation. You booked the best options for your vacation budget, nothing was forgotten at home, and you’re looking forward to the experiences lying ahead. But, there’s a good chance you’ll have some sort of downtime where your kids might start crying, “I’m bored”. It could be while waiting in a line, during a transportation change, in your hotel room, or even at a less than thrilling attraction. That might leave you trying to figure out what to do on vacation to occupy your kids.

We already know that one of the 5 reasons why travel is good for your family is because of the opportunity to connect with each other, so here are 5 things to do on vacation to engage with your kids.

5 Things to do on Vacation to Engage with Your Kids during downtimes and connect as a family family travel tip


This is a great discussion game that can be adapted for almost any situation. The basic is asking your kids about what their high (favorite) and low (bummer) was for the day. I like to just ask one at a time. High then follow with the low or vice versa. You can also ask what the high/low was for the day so far, or for the attraction you’re at or were at. You can really adapt it to fit whatever situation you want. Our girls are pretty excited to “play” and come up with theirs quickly. The conversation can go on when you discuss your own highs and lows or discuss their high/low in further detail.


This is a game idea I got from “Whose Line is it Anyway”. Anyone seen that show/game? What you do is grab something (a napkin, a straw, a hairbrush, a spoon, whatever you have with you/around you and make it a prop to represent something. Kids can be very imaginative and come up with some amazing ideas. Fun for the whole family, trust me.


Someone starts a story idea, and then it gets passed along to each family member to add their own part. My girls can start getting a little silly with this one. Sometimes mommy and daddy have to “The End” the story so we can get off whatever crazy storyland we end up in. You can also have fun with the “Imagine if…” prompt. So, imagine if we walked on our hands instead of our feet…


This is just what it sounds. Discuss what’s up next. That could mean the next few minutes, hours, or days. Whatever you want. It’s a great way to help your kids know what’s coming up, and for you to identify what your kids are looking forward to or worried about. If you see a spark lit when your son or daughter discuss a certain aspect that’s upcoming, you’re more likely to tune into them during the activity and engage with them further. Or if they mention a worry or concern, you can discuss it and perhaps calm them.


…song, movie, character, book, etc. This can be fun for the person thinking up quotes, lines, and characters and those guessing what the other person is describing. Simple oldie, but goodie.

I’m hoping these ideas can help you when you’re wondering what things to do on vacation to engage or occupy your kids. Traveling as a family is a great time to reconnect as a family and share new ideas and memories together. Do you have any favorite ways to engage as a family or occupy your kids during downtime?

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