Are We There Yet?

It's a wonder more kids don't run away from home after family trips. Seriously. Here at the Maven, our greatest-hits album includes sharing a foldout bed with a cranky — and, for a spell, bed-wetting — little sibling on a Washington-bound Amtrak train; foliage tours of the White Mountains in which Dad would exclaim, "Loooooook at that red tree" ad nauseum; and coolers packed full of bologna sandwiches on white bread.

Thanks to Tracyn Thayer, the founder of Bethel, Maine-based Kids Travel Happy, it doesn't need to be this way. She and her husband were world travelers pre-kids, and they weren't about to change that once their sons arrived. Unfortunately, they found that most traditional travel games weren't exactly practical, and scrambling around for game pieces on an airplane isn't much fun. So they assembled their own collection of smart, globetrotter-approved games and activities for children of all ages.

Among their offerings are triangular crayons and markers — great for travel because they're washable and they don't roll around; peel-and-stick puzzles; magnetic games; and an entire selection of travel trays to keep everything under control on the road, in the air, on a train or at sea. Shoppers can browse by destination, travel mode, age or other factors. Thayer even has options to keep children entertained on a rainy day, during a layover or at a rest stop.

In October of 2008, Thayer launched a Web site and in December, she opened a boutique in Bethel, both of which offer high-quality, "unplugged" items that will keep children happy no matter where their travels take them. 

"We believe we can entertain kids for any real or imaginary journey," Thayer says.

For more information, click here or visit the store at 196 Walkers Mills Road in Bethel.


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