If you’re taking a trip with older children, you can almost guarantee there’s going to be some long periods where they’ll need some entertainment. Colouring books, puzzle games and smartphone apps can only go so far – sometimes children need something that’s going to demand their full attention when they’re waiting out an airport delay or sitting on a long train ride.
Travel journaling is a fantastic way to keep older kids happy during long journeys or waits – and it doesn’t take much to get started. Keeping a journal provides plenty of educational opportunities, and it gives them a great souvenir to take into school for ‘show and tell’ when they return to class. Here are our top tips to help your little ones get started with their own travel journal:
Buy or make the journal itself
There are a multitude of fantastic kids’ travel journals out there to buy – head to Amazon or Etsy to browse the collections. The Journey Journal by Etsy user ‘crackeddesigns’ is a great option and Sukie from notonthehighstreet has a personalised travel journal packed with cute illustrations.
Alternatively, you can make your own! All you’ll need is a notebook (make sure it’s a durable one so it can withstand all of the travel) and some pens or pencils. Many prefer to leave the notebooks totally blank to encourage their children to come up with their own content, but if your little one is struggling, you could write some prompts on the first page for them.
The best prompts to use
Using questions as prompts helps keep little ones inspired and ensures they don’t miss anything out. Here are some of our favourites:
- What is the date today?
- Where are we today?
- What did we do today?
- What was your favourite / least favourite part of the day?
- What did we eat today?
- Did you learn something today?
- What was the weather like?
Of course, there are a multitude of other things to write about, but these are just helpful prompts to get children started.
Encourage your little ones to save little souvenirs that they can stick into their journal when they get some downtime, or when they return home. Travel or attraction tickets, receipts or napkins from restaurants, postcards, stamps and other small collectibles make great additions to any journal.
You could also include a map of your destination in the front of the journal, and ask your child to mark off the places they’ve visited. This helps with their geography skills (especially if you’re travelling between countries or cities) and it might also help them to understand why they have to spend so long sitting on a train or waiting in an airport!