Travelling isn't fun for anyone - hours in a hot car or plane, with little to do can make the best of us feel cranky.
However, it can be particularly problematic if you're travelling with children, who naturally need plenty of entertainment and suffer when they can't run around and blow off some steam.
We consider how you can avoid the dreaded 'are we there yet?' by creating a handy travel busy bag.
What's a Busy Bag?
A busy bag is essentially a way to keep your little ones quietly occupied - perfect for those long journeys, when all you want is a little peace and quiet! They're filled with games and activities that encourage individual play and can be utilised in a variety of situations from events to long car journeys.
What to Include
Putting together an effective busy bag is simple. We recommend including a number of different activities, to prevent your kids from getting bored. Here are some suggestions:
Games and Activities
Mini-games and activities are a great addition to a busy bag. A particularly tricky maze game or an engaging puzzle can keep the kids occupied for hours. Some great busy bag fillers include:
- This Motorbike Maze
- This Monster Jigsaw Puzzle
- This Smiley Pinball Game
Get your little one's creative juices flowing on your journey with some imaginative activities. A colouring book or an absorbing word search can be a wonderful distraction. Why not try:
- This Junior Word Search
- This Jungle Sticker Activity Book
- This Colouring Book
All kids love sweets and they can be a good option on shorter journeys. However, they probably aren't a great idea for longer journeys, as the sugar can make kids over excitable.
- This Haribo Star Mix and Lollypop will go down a treat
Alternatively, if you're pushed for time and would prefer a readymade solution, a prefilled travel busy bag is the thing for you.
- This Transport Travel Busy Bag can easily be customised by adding the suggested products.
Aside from a busy bag, there are other things you can do to keep your kids occupied.
We all have childhood memories of playing games like 'Eye-Spy' and '20 Questions' in the car. Playing games as a family is a great bonding experience, as well as helping to relieve the tedium of the journey. The AA suggests some brilliant travel games that you can play together.
Invest in Technology
A portable DVD player has become many a parent's friend. Stick on some Disney classics, and give them head phones, and they'll be occupied for hours without you having to know a thing about it. Downloading some story books onto an iPod or other music player is also a good idea.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Food
A hungry child is never going to be fun to share a confined space with. Make sure you take plenty of travel-friendly snacks such as sandwiches, crisps and dried fruit.
Travelling with kids doesn't have to be hassle. By creating a travel busy bag and deploying some well-timed diversions, you can ensure that your journey runs smoothly.
Do you have any suggestions for occupying children on a long journey? Let us know in the comments.