Whether you’re traveling with your family by train, plane, or car, you are bound to hear the dreaded “I’m bored” from at least one of your kids. Truth be told, you may even be tempted to say it yourself every once in a while, too!

5 Travel Boredom Buster Tips for Kids

For today’s post, I’ve put together a list of ways that you can stop the travel boredom blues for you and your kids.

Let’s get started!


When I travel with kids I always like to slip a few surprises into my carry-on or theirs! Surprises can be a book, a small toy, art supplies, or fun activities.

If you have young kids and have a little time, wrapping the surprise is a great way to extend the excitement, too. The best surprises are those your children can use or play with while traveling.


Audiobooks are a great way to share the joy of reading together as a family and can really pass the time during travel. Your local library is likely to have a collection of audiobooks you can either download onto a device or check out in CD format.

5 Travel Boredom Buster Tips for Kids

When we travel, I try to find books that are appropriate for the whole family that relates to the area where we’re traveling. For example, a trip to South Dakota could include an audiobook of “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Of course, everyone can also listen to their own book with headphones, which might be a great idea if your school-age kids have summer or school reading to catch up on.

Travel Journals

Most trips involve some downtime in a hotel, a relative’s home, or in the travel itself. Starting each trip with a brand new notebook for each member of the family can be a great way to pass the time and document the journey. You can set a rule that everyone has to write at least a few sentences a day or draw a picture of the day. When you return, the kids then have a journal of their favorite parts of the trip! Plus, your kids’ teachers will thank you for keeping their writing skills going while on vacation.

Old Fashioned Games

Some games never go out of style! I like to travel with a deck of cards, paper, and pens/pencils for games of tic-tac-toe and hangman. Another family favorite in our family is the “alphabet game” (pick a category and take turns finding an answer for each letter of the alphabet.

5 Travel Boredom Buster Tips for Kids

There’s also the “scattegory” take on this game as well where people take turns coming up with a letter and three categories that you have to name (example: letter “b” for finding an animal, food, and a TV character that starts with a “b”). These are great games for emerging readers and spellers, but also fun for adults. In a hotel or a relative’s house you could also try “hide and seek” or a scavenger hunt, just set some ground rules about where kids can and can’t go!


I try to stay as healthy as possible when I travel with my family, but I’m okay with a few special treats, too. The more rare the treat is at home, the better “boredom buster” it will become.

5 Travel Boredom Buster Tips for Kids

Sometimes kids can be put off by eating too many meals in a restaurant, or by eating unusual foods, so snacking can actually become a necessity while traveling.

And, if all else fails, you can always play “The Quiet Game” – ha!