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Add some Extra Adventure to your Summer Vacation with a Travel Activity Book

As we prepared for a five hour trek to the beach with several friends and relatives, we came up with the idea to create beach themed activity books for all the kids (and some of the adults!) to help offset riding-induced boredom.  We printed out all kinds of free coloring pages, mazes, dot-to-dots, scavenger hunts, maps for license plate games, and lots more.  I created a cover using Serif PagePlus (available for free!) and some clip art.

If you would like to embark on a similar project, I’ve included links to many of the pages we used, as well as downloads of a few I created myself, just for the occasion!  I also have some helpful tips on how to make the most of these activity books:


  • You’ll probably want to have extra ink cartridges, or (preferably) bulk ink to refill your cartridges cheaply, especially if you are making several copies of the book.  (We made 18!)
  • Some of the pages and activities in this book are “beach themed”.  If you are traveling to a different destination, it should be pretty easy to find good links to more suitable substitutes for these.  I found most of my links with very simple Google searches.  Many of the links listed here are not destination specific.
  • There are a number of approaches you can use for binding your activity books.
    • We had recently invested in an inexpensive laminator (Walmart often has for $25!) and Pro-Click binder, so we used the spiral binding on our books.
    • You could also put these in a three ring binder.
    • Or,  just hole-punch the pages and tie them together with pieces of yarn
  • Our children LOVE it when we print out a map to our destination and a list of directions to go near the front of the book.  (I recommend Google Maps, but you can also use MapQuest or Yahoo Maps to print out your route.)  Then, they like to follow along and color in our progress as we drive.
  • To create the front cover, I printed out a cover page (see below for the download) and then laminated it.  You could also use heavy paper or card-stock for a good cover.
  • For the back cover, I used the two-pocket portfolios that are often available very inexpensively at back-to-school sales.  These have the advantage of being sturdy (which gives a nice, firm writing surface) AND they will have pockets in the back of their book for keeping momentos.
  • We put a selection of crayons and a pencil in a plastic baggie, and then store them in the pockets in the back cover!
  • We also created bookmarks for all the kids, and used the back pocket to store them until they were needed for use.
  • Some of the pages had links to image files that printed out in a small size.  If you have trouble with an image not covering the whole page when you print, I found that if you right-click on the image, save it to your hard drive, and then use that file to print using a full page option, you will get a nice, big, full-page image for your book.
  • Many of the coloring page links are of characters that our children were excited about.  You can easily substitute other coloring pages, including ones of characters that your children enjoy, if desired.  Ask your children if there are any that they’d like to include, type it into Google, and you’ll have it in just a few seconds!


Beach Adventure Cover Page -

This cover page that I made is suitable for a beach themed activity book.

Beach Trip Scavenger Hunt -

This scavenger hunt is designed to be used in the car on the way to the beach. Everyone in the car works together to find as many of the listed items as possible. Fun for all ages - pictures are included for the benefit of children who are pre-readers.

Create your own treasure map -

My kids loved this blank map template that they could use to design treasure maps of their own.

Links to most of the other pages we printed out:

Character pages –

Mandalas and geometric shape coloring pages –

Color by Number and Connect the Dots –

  • Color By Number – Lots here, but we chose the Butterfly and the Fish.
  • Connect the Dots – Again, lots of choices, but we chose the Seashell, to go with our beach theme.
  • Advanced Connect the Dots – Fun, unusual dot-to-dot that requires you to also print out the instructions in order to correctly complete the picture.  Great for the slightly older kids in your family or group.

Mazes –

  • Beach Maze - This is a nice beach themed maze.
  • Kite Maze – Another summery themed maze, this one has a beach background, and a maze made out of kite string.
  • Crazy Crayon Maze – This “maze” has interesting facts about crayons.

Drawing  –

License Plate Game –

  • License Plate Game – We printed the “USA with State Names” map so the kids could color in the states of all the license plates they saw on the way there and back.

Hidden Pictures –

Beyond these links, I can think of many ways to expand the scope of these books in the future.  Depending on the ages involved, you could include nature journal or regular journal pages, pages for photos, Treasure Hunts, and lots more.


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