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5 Non-Screen Activities To Keep Kids Busy When Travelling

August 11, 2023 3 min read

Image of two young girls sitting at the rear end of an open station wagon vehicle.  There are suitcases stacked inside the car and the girls are looking at a travel map.

Travel can be an exciting, fun-filled adventure for the whole family, but it’s natural for parents to have concerns too: how will I keep my children safe while we’re away? Will they enjoy being away from the familiarities of home?  How can I keep them busy on the journey?  In this guide we’ll be looking at the latter. 

As much as having access to screens such as phones and tablets while travelling can provide an easy solution when it comes to entertainment, it’s important to find balance. By introducing non-screen activities into the mix, parents everywhere can keep their children engaged during transit without relying too heavily on devices. To help make this process a bit easier, here are five ways you can keep your little ones occupied throughout your next adventure.


1.  Play some games

Not only do games pass the time, but they also help families to bond. Bring along a few that are easy to play and don’t take up too much space in your luggage. Things like small alphabet blocks, a Rubik’s cube, Go Fish or playing cards all fit the bill. And don’t forget about the classics like I Spy – you can even use your Re-FUN-able™ Colouring Set for this game!

2.  Put together a travel journal

Encourage kids to document their journey with diary entries and drawings. You can include some prompts and activities to get them started and encourage them to keep up with the journal throughout your trip. Once you get home, they’ll have a souvenir of treasured memories and you can even get some of their favourite photos printed and added too. Look online to find some fun prompts and ideas for kids’ travel journals or purchase a pre-made travel journal for kids.

3.  Have an art hour

Bring paper, pencils, and crayons for drawing and colouring, or keep it simple with a colouring set. What better way to unleash their creativity? Watching children do art and colouring while travelling is a joyous sight. Seeing their minds unravel through colours and lines, as they get lost in their own world, is truly magical. It's not just a way to pass the time, but also a way to inspire young imaginations to soar.

4.  Bring books with you

Try bringing books with interesting stories and exciting illustrations to help keep keen readers engaged. Old favourites will soothe nervous travellers, while new titles will offer some novelty. Just be mindful of motion sickness – save the books for when you’re waiting at the airport or train station if you need to.

5.  Encourage imagination

If all else fails, ask kids to think of fun, imaginary scenarios while looking out the window – this can help pass time quickly!


Ultimately, travelling with kids can be a lot of fun if planned well. These five non-screen activities are great for eliminating excess screen time and providing an environment of learning and exploration. With so many options available, you don’t need to worry about how you’ll keep your children occupied when travelling. You just need to decide which activity or combination of activities are right for your family. 

For more helpful advice on travelling with kids, check out 5 Tips For Planning The Perfect Family Trip.



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