Why You 100% Need a Balloon in Your Pocket the Next Time You Travel With Kids

It almost sounds like a riddle: what takes up zero space, grows exponentially in size, and keeps kids entertained for hours?

The answer, a balloon, is the latest parenting travel hack that you are going to want to try for yourself this Summer.

According to a parent on Reddit, family trips — particularly those with long airport wait times — are saved with just a handful of balloons:

We've played with them in a hotel room when the kid need to get energy out . . . They are great for airports, especially on the way home when the kids are sick of all the toys they brought. When I had a plane that was delayed at O'Hare, I was able to whip out a balloon that was in my carry-on and blow it up. We found a gate that was empty and played volleyball over the seats for 90 minutes before the plane boarded. There's almost infinite games you can invent with a balloon, and they work as well for 15-year-olds as they do for 2-year-olds. All hail the great balloon.

Another parent took to Reddit to echo these sentiments and offer an alternative, for those who don't want the risk of a balloon popping: "I do this but with inflatable beach balls. You can collapse them down to nothing and then inflate them in, say, an empty-ish gate of a layover airport to get some good run-around time in, then deflate them again to board."

Before your next trip, head to your local dollar store for this cheap, space-saving travel solution.