Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a trip with kids. Now, take a minute to remember the chaos and noise that perhaps accompanied your family on that trip. Today Camille is taking on the letter Q in our A to Z packing tips series by giving us 5 useful tips to help insert a little peace and quiet into our family travels. Welcome Camille!
Exploring the world, meeting new people, and seeing history is the best part of being able to travel. It’s hard to remember the challenges that accompany it until you are in the thick of them. For example, how in the world do you get some peace and quiet while traveling with your whole family? Whether you need some quiet time to think or you are trying to be respectful of other people, plan ahead with these quiet travel ideas:
Books that Encourage Quiet
Good books are a key to silence. Remember to head over to your library before you head out and grab some great books for your family. Be sure to check out the audio book section. A lot of libraries even have individual devices for audio books so everyone in your family can be listening to a different story. My favorite books for traveling though are the interactive ones- the books with all the puzzles, games, stickers, and more. Here is an excellent list of books you can trust will be entertaining for your family (http://www.cknscratch.com/family-time/how-to-encourage-quiet-time-through-books). Remember to print out your free activity pages while there.
Games That Keep the Volume Down
Games aren’t silent but they do create a structured play that keeps the volume down (usually). Kirsten gives lots of excellent travel game ideas in her A to Z Travel post with letter G. The best games are ones that allow you to involve the whole family like the Alphabet Game. My kids also love playing Sleeping Lions (http://www.cknscratch.com/family-time/latest-posts/2014/04/how-to-stop-question-are-we-there-yet).
Don’t Talk with Your Mouth Full
Don’t feed your children food to be quiet but DO strategically plan your eating. When your family is eating, they can’t talk as much. If you are going on an hour long plane ride around 1:00 in the afternoon, have a late snack and keep lunch for the plane ride. If you need to figure out some directions for later, use snack time to plan it out. With a little planning ahead for your day, you make food work beyond filling up tummies.
Music will absolutely set the tone for your travels. Are your kids starting to get crazy? Put some relaxing classical music on. It’s amazing how a little music can change the mood. Are people beginning to fight? Play some happy music to cheer people up and stop the arguing. Before you head out on your trip, create playlists on your phone for these occasions. I love using my Amazon Prime subscription to take advantage of all the music- you can even download the songs to your device so you don’t have to worry about getting a connection.
Electronics with a Limit
It is so nice to live when we have so much amazing technology easily accessible to us. However, use your electronics with clear rules. Discuss with your spouse the rules before you head out and state them all to your children so they understand from the get go. Don’t break the electronics out right away. Wait until you actually need to use them. If your children use electronics the whole time you travel somewhere, when you finally get to your destination they’ll be in full on zombie mode. It’ll much more difficult to snap them out of it and actually enjoy the place you’ve traveled so far to get to.
Use your electronic to further create family bonding too. Gather some classic movies that whole family will encourage (like the Princess Bride or Indiana Jones). Instead of downloading a ton of one player games on your tablet, install several family games. One of our favorite games to play on the tablet is Life. It’s easy to pass around and no pieces to get lost! Take advantage of being stuck together and make it count.
Your Turn- How do you encourage quiet travel?
Camille loves to share family time ideas and family travel tips on her blog, Chicken Scratch n Sniff (cknscratch.com). When she isn’t writing or traveling, she’s having fun with her 5 kids exploring their hometown of Colorado Springs.
Thank you so much Camille, hopefully these tips will help more families enjoy their family travels with less chaotic noise. If you’d like to read more from our A to Z Packing Tips series, check out these other fabulous posts:
Alcohol & Wine, Building Lists & Plans, Chargers are a Must
D’s to Remember, Embark on a Cruise, First Aid Kits
Games for Any Family Trip, Hiking with Dogs, Inside My Bag
Jewelry Packing Tips, Kids Travel Bag Activities, Laundry on Vacation
Master Packing List Template, Necessities for Cooking in a Hotel, Organized Moving Tips
Packing for Pets
Monday 2nd of November 2015
The alphabet game has saved my family on many road trips, and it's so versatile. You can create an alphabet game with foods, tv shows, cartoons, characters, brand names, colors (which can be difficult) cities, or wildcard where you say whatever comes in your head.
I can't agree more on the electronic gadgetry causing zombie children who behave horribly once the electronics are taken away and it's time to be human again and interact with something or someone other than a glowing screen.
Another way we make quiet is also a game, we balance coins on noses, each taking a turn to add another to the tip of the nose, and unless you're perfectly still and quiet, it won't work and they'll all fall. The last one with a tower on the nose wins!
Tuesday 27th of October 2015
These are awesome tips! I am often guilty of breaking out the electronics too soon. One of the best things I brought on our last trip with my 12 month old was a toothbrush! He chewed on that thing for hours!!
Tuesday 27th of October 2015
I second the audiobooks. When we get ready for our big road trip, we go to the library and each family member chooses an audiobook. Then we listen to them together.