I found this book while looking through family travel sites on the web– “Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids” by Ashley Steel. It’s currently a free borrow with Amazon Prime so I downloaded it. It is a GREAT resource for not just family travel, but even eating out domestically. There’s a lot for smaller kids and even breastfeeding which I skipped over since it doesn’t pertain to me. What I love the most are all the charts and worksheets that you can copy and paste into a journal for the kids to work on. There’s a lot of ideas for keeping kids engaged and interesting, and a lot of fun games and ideas for things to do while waiting in an airport. So many of these don’t even have to be used while traveling – there are many restaurant dinners where I wished I’d had some of these ideas! One example: the game “pancake” in which one person is “it.” The other family members go around the table and ask whatever question they would like but the only answer they can give is “pancake” and they cannot laugh! Whoever makes them laugh first is “it” and gets to pick a new word. Many of the ideas are grouped by age so it’s not one-size-fits all.
There are travel checklists and even checklists that are done with pictures so non or early readers can pack their own suitcases. I especially appreciate all the advice on how prepping your kid for the trip and what to expect makes everything smoother.
While I borrowed this on my Kindle I think I’m going to order the paper version so I can make copies of all the helpful charts and games that they include to put into the kids’ journals and take along with us. If you’re considering a similar trip (or hell, even a trip to Chipotle) I would check this book out for some truly wonderful ideas.