Saturday, February 26, 2011

Travelling with Kids- A Visit from the Backpack Fairy

A few years ago, at the Osaka airport, I let my kids get their first Happy Meals from McDonald's.  The toy that came with the meal proved to be a gem on the flight.  The kids must have played with them for at least two hours each.  The next time I flew with them after that, I put a few toys that I had secretly hidden from Happy Meals in their suitcases and a few toys from the "gumball" machines that are EVERYWHERE in Japan.  The next thing I knew, they started talking about their visit from the backpack fairy, and the tradition was born.

The night before we travel on a big international trip, the kids leave their carry-on bags open next to their beds and when they wake up, they are closed and filled with new goodies for the trip.  It is in a way more exciting to them than Christmas.  It makes the night before traveling a joy for me because they want to go to bed so the fairy can come sooner.  However, the next morning can be a bit chaotic as they excitedly unpack their bags to see what treasures they received and I have to try to make them keep it in the bag and not lose it before the trip.

As we haven't travelled back home in a while and we were moving, this was a BIG visit from the backpack fairy.  Here is a picture of the goodies lined up on the table before I went to fill the bags.  Normally, there is not this much stuff, but since we were moving from our home and all the fun goodies that are available in Japan, I couldn't resist the extra stuff.

Some items that I have put in the bags in the past are:
the plastic bubble toys you get at the outside of the grocery store (I never usually let my kids buy them, so they are a real treat for them to open)
scratch and sketch books
invisible ink books
coloring books
new markers or crayons
a glo stick
a book to read
a magazine
a small stuffed animal
new toy matchbox car
sticker book with stickers
pez dispenser with refill
new Nintendo DS game (if they are REALLY lucky)
new DVD
travel game
mad libs
book of puzzles

Here is a bag open at the airport, while we were waiting to check in:
Thank you backpack fairy for making this move as stress free as I hoped you would!

1 comment:

  1. This is BRILLIANT. I made milage bags for my younger sisters for long car trips (after a certain number of miles they got to open a grab bag), but your idea has the added benefit of incentivizing kids to be totally packed by the night before!