21 August 2013

Family Road Trip Destinations And Activities

I dream of traveling with my children to interesting places in the future. I read somewhere that travel is a good education, and I would love the little ones to experience different places. Here's a guest post by John Gower on great destinations where the family would enjoy. During the road trip, I am sure the kids would get bored, included are fun activities for them to while away the time on the road.

Top Road Trip Ideas 

Whether during summer break or winter holidays, traveling is one of the top activities that families do together year-round. Whether you’re going to a popular tourist place or an in-the-whole treasure trove, most likely, you’ll be driving from your home to your family vacation destination. If you have small and young children, it can be a bit challenging to entertain them for hours. In this list, you'll find example road trip places and travel destination suggestions plus activities kids will love while on the road.

1) Disney World Road Trip
Disney World is the number one place in the world for a family’s vacation. What better way to spend it than to revisit classic Disney movies on the way to the most magical place on Earth? Present your kids’ favorite Disney movies on portable DVD players or DVD players installed in your car. Here’s a compilation of great Disney classics in special edition 2-disc DVD sets at Amazon:
Another way to let your kids have fun on the way to Disney is by creating their own Disney Characters autograph books to get their favorite. Give them a blank, small, and hardcover journal, Disney stickers and embellishments, permanent markers, regular markers, crayons, and other crafting tools to create their own autograph book. They can make frames for the blank pages and personalize them for each Disney character they want an autograph from. Here are a few Disney stickers you can purchase for your children’s autograph books:
discover more destinations and activities...
2) San Diego Zoo
Take your kids to a place full of exotic creatures and critters from all over the world: San Diego Zoo! The San Diego is a safe harbor for over 3,700 animals and insects that originate from different areas of the world, from Asia to Africa. With such an exciting and educational place to go to, prepare your kids for their learning adventure at the San Diego Zoo with a few activities.
  • Print out the San Diego Zoo map and let your children create their own zoo map by looking at the original one. With markers, crayons, stickers, stencils, and printing paper, tell them to note the exhibits they want to see the most and create pathways to go see those areas.
  • If you have young children in grades Pre-K to First, then try out this fun, animal-centered memory card game on the way to San Diego Zoo.
    Amazon: Pre-School Animal Memory Game = $10.95
  • Print out your child’s favorite animal coloring pages on National Geographic’s website for coloring entertainment on the way to see the real animals in person.
  • Get your kids to create a colorful alphabet book using animals as letter images. You can create your own booklet with regular sheets of paper or purchase a small sketchbook. Decorate the book with ribbons, stickers, and crayons.
  • Give your kids a zoo animal treasure hunt right in your car! Take a clean and empty plastic water bottle, fill it up 3/4 of the way with dry rice, and place miniature animals inside the plastic bottle. You can create the animals by paper to easily place them in the bottle. For a sweet twist, add animal-shaped candies in the bottles.
  • For older kids, you can load San Diego’s ZooNooz magazine on your iPad and let them read about animals, culture, and more.
3) Florida’s Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
Curious children always want to learn more about Mother Nature and its many inhabitants. If you’re looking for somewhere to do just that for your kids, then Florida’s Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory is a go-to travel hotspot. If you’re planning to go to this beautiful location already, entertain the kids on the way there with butterfly stencils and window-friendly markers. Your kids can draw on the car windows and make their own butterfly garden right in the car.
On the way back home from this scenic reservation, stop by the gift shop to find other activities for the kids.
  • 1001 Bugs to Spot Book = $9.99
    Find bugs on every page in this adventurous book.
  • 48-Piece Wooden Framed Butterfly Jigsaw Puzzle = $12.95
    Take along a medium to large baking sheet with you and help mold your kids’ puzzle-solving skills with this lovely puzzle.
  • Wooden Stamp Set = $12.95
    Let your children create an adventure journal after their visit to the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory with this wooden stamp set. 

Other Fun & Versatile Travel Activities For Kids:
  • Baking Sheet Wonderland: Take a regular baking sheet and place assorted magnets on it to keep your children active on the way to your family vacation spot. You can either buy magnets at a store or create your own paper magnets of characters, landscapes, etc., for your youngster’s entertainment. Whether you’re heading to the Grand Canyon or SeaWorld, this versatile activity can be used to help develop your kids’ imaginations and form their own worlds or what they see when they think of the family destination. Add onto the magnetic cookie sheet and coat it with chalkboard paint to allow your kids to draw on it.
  • License Plate Scavenger Hunt: Print out a license plate scavenger hunt sheet online or create your own and see if your kids can get them all before you arrive to your vacation spot!
  • Homemade GAK: Whip up your own play slime for your children and watch them have hours of fun feeling and molding this wonderful creation. Kids can use this to create shapes to represent the travel destination, such as a large Jelly Bean if you're heading to the Jelly Bean factory. 

If you want to go simple on activities, simply stuff a travel bag with goodies for your kids to use to entertain themselves. By doing so, your children can find imaginative ways to make long driving trips seem much shorter.

John Gower is a writer for NerdWallet, a site that helps consumers locate online coupons.
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