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5 fun unplugged activities that are perfect for long family holiday trips on a plane, train or car

From group games to reading and more, we’ve got you sorted for making the lag between the thrill of travelling and adventure as fun as the trip itself. Picture: Leah Kelley Pexels

From group games to reading and more, we’ve got you sorted for making the lag between the thrill of travelling and adventure as fun as the trip itself. Picture: Leah Kelley Pexels

Published Mar 31, 2022

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When you’re going on a family holiday, the last thing you want is your kids glued to their screens every chance they get.

From waiting in the queue to board before jetting off to a new country to sitting in the car for hours on a road trip, one thing is for certain, your children will likely have some form of technology either shoved into their ears or in front of their faces.

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While this may keep the peace in the short term, it’s not really conducive to the bonding experience you had in mind when planning the trip.

Fortunately, there are an array of fun and engaging group activities that can take place on the plane, train or car so you can enjoy interacting with one another while remaining unplugged.

From group games to reading and more, we’ve got you sorted for making the lag between the thrill of travelling and adventure as fun as the trip itself. As a bonus, if as parents you’re getting tired of little ones continuously complaining that they’re bored, there’s sure to be a ton of entertainment to keep those comments at bay.

5 unplugged activities perfect for long family trips:

Reading/audiobooks

While on your travels, the family can read together. If everyone is on the same reading level, try picking a book everyone would enjoy and have a family book club while you road trip. As an exception to the no-tech rule, you could also listen to the same audiobook together on the car radio - ideal for little ones who can’t yet read. This activity builds knowledge and literacy skills important for growing minds and helps the family bond.

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Crosswords

Sudoku, crosswords, word searches and other puzzles are fun on flight entertainment for the entire family. Rather than staring at a screen, you can work on completing as many puzzles as you can together on the flight and aim to beat your score for the last time you flew. Working as a team can help improve social bonds and communication as a team.

Journalling

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Family vacations are something to truly treasure especially during post-lockdown periods of Covid. To make sure everyone remembers how special their holiday was, your children write down their experiences during their spare time to reflect on what they saw, ate, and did while away. Drawing pictures is also a really fun way to liven up their journals so they’ll have something special to look back on when they get older.

Navigating

Teach your kids how to navigate using a map or GPS system. This will help them gain a better understanding of where they are and how far they have travelled to get there. Print out your road trip route from Google maps before leaving home, and mark landmarks and points of interest so your kids can follow along from the backseat. As you go, share informational nuggets you know they would appreciate sharing. Let them ask questions, take pictures and share their own knowledge as you go along.

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Car games

From classics like Road Trip Bingo to Eye-Spy, Twenty Questions and Finish The Lyric, car games are a great way to get in some laughs and pass time on long trips. They keep minds engaged and thinking so they don’t drift toward technology. You can also have fun researching new games before the trip or making up your own together to play while you travel.

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