3 CREATIVE TRAVEL ACTIVITIES ON AND OFFLINE
No one wants to be bored. Boredom is a thief of enthusiasm that leaves us wanting to do something— anything—to cure it. That is why entertainment is such a big industry today. People want to be distracted, entertained, and anyone who is very proficient at entertaining quickly becomes a star. Pop stars wearing meat dresses to celebrity gossip to the latest action-adventure superhero romp all provide a cure for boredom.
Gaming of all kinds of a huge industry that creates billions in profit each year, keeping millions of people entertained at home and abroad. The latter, traveling, is one of the largest causes of boredom. Road trips are fun, but long rides or flights can leave you feeling restless and cooped up with nothing to do.
Tackle Boredom Like a Pro
Music, movies, sports, all of these things are engineered to shoo away that pest we call boredom. However, games are a classic way to keep boredom at bay, or drive it away for good. Especially for children, games provide an interactive experience that even the most exciting movie can’t match. You may play through a music playlist two dozen times during the trip and grow bored after hearing the same tune again and again, but a game that plays differently each time can keep the whole family happy.
While adults usually have the experience to be calm during a long trip, even if they’re bored, kids don’t typically have that ability. It can be a harrowing experience traveling with kids who, understandably, need some sort of activity to keep them occupied.
With any luck, though, that problem is in the past, and you’ll turn a frustrating lengthy trip into a memorable experience.
Here are three of the best kinds of travel games, both online and offline, to help keep you and your family entertained during those long trips. These game ideas will be sure to slay that boredom faster than your little gamers can mash buttons!
Boxed Up: Puzzle Games are Always a Classic
The first, of course, are puzzle games. The Internet is awash with a lot of puzzle games that have been created specifically to chase away boredom. They are usually very easy to download, very simple to play, and have very attractive colors for children, making them a good option especially for younger children. They are also quite safe for children and do not contain harmful ads or content.
Additionally, they can be played on any smart device of your choice, be it a smartphone or a tablet, and easily shared. A variety of multiplayer games exist to help make sure there’s no fighting over turns.
Puzzle games offer several advantages over the other kinds of games. For puzzle games, no two games are exactly the same. These often challenge our thinking or reflexes or both, making them great brain-teases that can help keep travel fatigue from fogging your mind. Because they require concentration, they are great for long trips in relatively stable environments, such as a long ride or an international flight.
Some puzzle games, including trivia games, are fun for an entire family to play while traveling. Parents may even be able to sneak a little educational content in by choosing puzzle subjects that are relevant to the destination.
Are Traditional Puzzle Games Ride Worthy?
Truly classic puzzle games (the kind that aren’t contained within a screen) might be a little impractical compared to the other options on this list, depending on your method of travel.
Handheld options are best for children, especially ones without little pieces to lose in the car or on the plane! If you have a way to keep the games well-contained and organized, however, puzzle games are the best for cutting through the fog of long travel.
Board games are difficult to use while on the road—a single pothole may ruin that entire Checkers board—but they’re great when you’re stopped at a picnic rest area or in a hotel room. Grab some dinner, then break out a favorite board game to give everyone a little taste of home.
Shuffled Up: Card Games can Royal Flush Boredom Down the Drain
The second travel game idea is more practical, especially if you are away from the internet or electricity. No network? No problem, when you have a deck of fun cards to play and hands to hold them. Card games especially help satisfy idle hands.
There’s nothing quite like the feel of cards in hand as you stare down your opponent, from Rummy to Go Fish to any number of popular collectible card games based on cartoonish monsters battling. Those types of card games, or popular deck building games, contain all you need to be transported into a fantastic world that ignites the imagination.
Deck building games are similar to collectible card games in some ways, usually offering some exciting premise such as battling hordes of slavering alien beasts, playing great heroes on a mystical quest, or conquering exotic lands in the name of great empires. The difference is that deck building games are complete in the box, like a board game.
Rather than buying individual cards and constructing a competitive deck, true to their name in a deck building game, you build your deck from the pool of cards as you play. This also has the benefit of making each game experience a different one without having to break the bank.
For enterprising parents, playing card games with kids also has some potent learning elements.
Math is one skill, but the ability to plan ahead, strategically play cards in response to an evolving game state, and executing strategy are all things that card games can teach. Of course, simple games like Go Fish, Rummy, and War are always young kids’ favorites. What is there not to like?
Encouraging Creativity: Soft Toys with Creative Stimulation
You have other options, as well. Feel free to get creative. That’s how simple games like “I Spy” were born. Such classics are often still fun. They encourage creativity and awareness, which helps to get children engaged with the act of travel itself.
After all, the trip should be a learning experience. The more you can get your children to interact with the travel experience itself, the better they’ll enjoy it. These types of travel games require no board, no cards, and no LEDs. They are powered instead purely by imagination and interaction.
Other creative possibilities exist. Some have built entire businesses out of this kind of approach. For one example, Handmade Entrepreneur, Renae Christine has developed a brand helping at home craft makers establish profitable businesses that bring value to the customers. One of her protégés Ruth Rau created a brand of soft puzzle toys that really encourage creative stimulation in children.
She did this in response to her preferred line of toys being canceled as a potential hazard, and she managed to turn that into fuel for entrepreneurial success. Today, she runs Mouse Loves Pigs, a soft toy company that creates toys tailored to spark intuitive creativity for kids.
Getting Handsy with Handheld Screens
Handheld electronic game consoles are also helpful options. Encourage your children to set goals so they don’t get lost in mindless button-mashing—and neither do you! Try to beat a high score, or win a game on a new difficulty setting, or try a new path in an adventure game.
Similarly, things, like choose your own adventure books, can provide both reading and also a game-like experience. Keeping an open mind will help you find all kinds of entertaining experiences, even with nary a wifi signal in sight.
With a combination of puzzle games, card games, and soft toys, it is hard to imagine a world where you will have a tough time keeping your kids content and quiet.
And if they’re not quiet, it will be for the right reasons: cheering for a game, interacting with the family, and happily enjoying the trip.