The long summer holidays are here. It’s the time for long car trips to see family, road trips and travelling from here to there. Over the years, our family has done a lot of travelling and I often make up individual packs for the kids, depending on where we are going and how long the trip is. Doing this adds to the excitement of the trip and anticipates the children’s needs so travel runs as smoothly as possible.
I recently discovered the option to download movies to the iPad from Netflix so we can watch movies without the need for wifi. This is perfect for travelling. Just in case you’re not sure how you can do this (like I was), I’ve detailed further below how to find the movies that are available to download.
Creating a Travel Pack for Kids
Find a bag
The first point of call is to find a suitable case. I have used clipboard boxes before, which are great, however I find a small bag is ideal. I purchased SabUrban Daypacks from Zelows and they are brilliant but they don’t make them anymore, unfortunately. Any small backpack will do.
Drink & Snack
FOOD! Must have food! Always plan for the least messy items, like trail mix, cut up fruit & veges, crackers.
It’s so handy to have iPads for travel these days. I certainly don’t think you need one and we have done many trips without them but we need them for school so all our kids have one. During school terms, they are predominately used for school, however when it comes to the holidays, they are great for games and movies. See further below for instructions how to download movies from Netflix.
I find wireless headphones the best for travelling (rather than earphones), especially if they assist in noise cancelling and don’t get tangled up. The only thing is to ensure they are sufficiently charged. Regular headphones/earphones are great too, whatever is preferred.
Something comfy is great for travel. Something like a small blanket (I was gifted the one in the image by Netflix as part of their StreamTeam) or travel pillow, or teddy etc. I have tried head pillows with my kids but they find them uncomfortable, however a small blanket can be more versatile and be used as a pillow and blanket.
I usually pack at least one activity for the kids to take with them. This post has loads of ideas. Small items can be placed in a ziplock bag, pencil case or small container. I made a DVD Case Drawing Kit this time.
More Activity Ideas
- Small cars (like matchbox cars)
- A small bag, box or large pencil case to keep things in
- Finger puppets
- Mini balls
- Tennis ball
- Travel games
- Fabric balloon cover
- Pipe cleaners
- Playing cards
- Small toys
- Plastic animal figurines
- Colouring pad & pencils
- Aqua doodle
- Paddle pop sticks
- Clip Board box with pencils & paper
Depending on where and how we are travelling (by car/air/train), I sometimes include:
- Spare change of clothes
- Lip balm
How to download movies from Netflix
1. Log on to Netflix on your device.
2. In the upper left-hand corner, press the menu button (which is three horizontal lines)
3. Click the ‘Available for Download’ button.
4. Browse the movies and when you find the one you want to download, press the movie and then look for the ‘Download’ button at the bottom right.
Below are some recommendations for movies available to download from Netflix for kids this summer:
- Happy Feet
- The Lego Movie
- Spirit – Riding Free Episodes
- Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Prince of Egypt
- Charlie and Lola Episodes
5. When you’re out and about and want to access the download movies, simply open the Netflix app on your device and look for the ‘My downloads’ button in the menu list.
I recently downloaded The Lego Movie for my daughter who had a day of dancing rehearsals (and a lot of waiting in between) and it was great. It was there sitting waiting and my daughter could access it without the need for wifi. Just be aware that each Netflix download has a different expiration time. Movies and TV shows that expire in less than 7 days will display how much time is left in the ‘My Downloads’ section of the Netflix app. Some offline viewing must be completed within 48 hours from when you press play.