Are you traveling with your kids this summer? In this blog I’m sharing my simple packing tips and must-haves when traveling with kids.
At the top of my list for traveling with kids is an activity pack. You probably thought I was going to start with packing clothes. That’s an obvious necessity. But I’d honestly take them wearing the same outfit twice over them whining about being bored. I know I’m not alone in this thought!
Anywho… be sure to include pencils, crayons, a small notebook or coloring book, and crossword puzzles all in a ziploc bag. Make sure you label each child’s name so that there’s no arguing. If your children bring backpacks like mine do, you can drop these activity packs right in their bags. One less thing for you to be responsible for. Don’t forget their tablets too, I'd say a little extra screen time is acceptable in this case.
Travel snacks is next on my list when traveling with kids, and is right up there with activity packs. I don’t want my kids begging me for snacks or saying they're bored. It's all about priorities for me! Use your personal discretion when it comes to packing snacks, but as a word of caution I'd say go light on the sugary snacks. I promise you don’t want your kids hopped up on sugar on an airplane or stuck in a car for hours. I typically stick to healthier options like Nutrigrain bars, popcorn, pretzels, apples, oranges, etc. I may slip in a cupcake for them to eat close to arriving at our destination, as long as I haven’t had to yell at them on the way.
Now that the important stuff is out of the way, let's get into packing your kids' clothing. I’ll start by saying don’t bring their entire room. When you travel with kids you definitely want it to be comfortable and feel like home, especially for younger children. That can be accomplished by bringing a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Less is more when it comes to keeping your packing simple. You should also only let your child pick one or two small toys to take with them. Not their entire Lego collection or a monster truck.
My children are well beyond the stroller stage, but I’d say bring the most compact stroller that you can, to get through the airport quickly if you’re flying. Again, less is more when traveling with kids and is key to simplifying your packing.
In terms of clothing I say keep the kids outfits as easy as possible. If your kids are older like mine, I would encourage you to let them select their own clothing for the number of days that they'll be away. This would include pajamas, swimsuits, and of course two extra changes of clothing. This creates independence and it’s a thought process that they need to learn.
Of course, make sure you look their bags over to be sure nothing is missing. But the sooner they learn how to do it, the quicker you can remove it from your to-do list. Our children have been packing themselves since the age of four, and it’s definitely a game changer. Be sure to bring a hoodie for each child too, for changes in the temperature during the day.
You can simplify your packing by using packing cubes in different colors for the entire family, not just the kiddos. I swear by packing cubes and we use them any time we travel. Most packing sets also come with a laundry bag for dirty clothing and a shoe bag. Packing cubes makes it easier to pair up outfits and keep track of your kids belongings so that they're not completely tearing through the bag to find a pair of socks. Or is my family the only one that does that!?!
Check out this video to see how my children pack their cubes.
Last but definitely not least, be sure to pack a mini first aid kit for all the scrapes they'll get while enjoying themselves on the trip. You can never have enough band-aids, alcohol wipes, and Neosporin. Don't forget to add a few aspirin for all the fun you'll be having, too ;-)
Make a morning-of checklist for anything that can’t be packed in advance.
I hope I didn't overwhelm you with these tips for traveling with kids. I’d love to hear your simple packing tips for traveling with your kids! Feel free to comment below.
This page may contain affiliate links. This means that I earn a commission from qualifying purchases you make through my links. This is no additional cost to you. Happy shopping!