Screen-Free Traveling With Kids

It may surprise you to know that even though we have three kids under 5 years of age, we take our road trips screen-free. We’ve been doing this for years. It always surprises me when I see people looking for portable DVD players for road trips. I’m not criticizing people who do use screens to travel; it’s just a reminder that we do things differently. I thought I would share what we do to travel screen-free. Maybe it will encourage you to try out a screen-free trip too!

When we travel, I make sure we have lots of things to keep them occupied. We pack bags of books, coloring books, and their favorite toys (dolls and cars work great for our crew). This helps with keeping them entertained as we travel down the road.

Here are our tips:

1. Each child brings 2-3 toys. My boys are really into the Cars 3 characters, so we have a collection of matchbox cars. My daughter carries her favorite blanket and a few of her favorite items (usually a princess crown and a doll).

2. We bring LOTS of books. The books are usually themed to the trip we are taking. If we are headed to the beach, I pack up all our beach themed books for us to take.

From Left to Right:

– Paddle-to-the-Sea

– 1,2,3…By the Sea (this is an Usborne Books & More book)

Max and His Big Imagination at the Beach (see my book review)

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

– If You Ever Want To Bring A Piano to the Beach, DON’T!

– Under the Sea (this is an Usborne Books & More book)

– The Seashore Book

– Llama, Llama Sand and Sun

Seashore Life (see my book review)


3. Coloring books and crayons. The coloring books vary; I usually grab a few from the Target Dollar Section or from the Dollar Tree, but this time I had the cat coloring books, so I knew those would be a hit with my animal-loving kids.

4. Audiobooks. Of course, we always travel with audiobooks. I always grab 2-3 new audiobooks to listen too. You can find out the audiobooks we’ve loved by clicking here and here. My husband likes to keep radio going by switching between the news, sports and music, so I choose audiobooks that are less than 3 hours in length. This ensures that we can finish the books on the trips! It also means if we listen an hour at a time, we still make progress.

We do travel with snacks like granola bars, apples, animal crackers and fruit snacks. That helps to keep our kids occupied during our trip.

Once we have rotated through the books, audiobooks, coloring books, snacks and toys, my kids love to sing along to the music on the radio, or point out traffic issues to my husband. Gotta love a vehicle full of backseat drivers!

I won’t lie to you, there are numerous potty breaks and occasionally, a screaming child who is tired of being confined to a car seat, but overall, we have a great time. We’ve found traveling screen-free to be a great way to really enjoy the trip as a family.

I would love to know; what screen-free activities do you incorporate into your family road trips? Share below!

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One thought on “Screen-Free Traveling With Kids

  1. Using a metal 9X12 cake pan with sliding metal cover works great to put magnetic puzzles, characters, props, writing and coloring materials and the hard surface cover (lid) can be used with for a desk top or magnetic board.

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