My husband and I have been traveling with kids since our daughter was born 10 years ago. We have traveled by car, plane, train and ship both domestically and internationally. There are some items that we never leave home without. They make every trip easier. Here is my list of top twelve items to pack when traveling with kids.
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Baby Wipes are awesome for cleaning up messes while traveling. I use them to clean sticky hands, dirty shoes, you name it.
Fire TV Stick
Hotel TV options can be very limited, and sometimes kids just need to watch their favorite shows from home. A Fire TV Stick is lightweight and easy to connect to any Wi-Fi network, and gives you access to YouTube, Netflix, and other entertainment options.
Frisbees are great fun to play with in a park or at the beach. On a road trip, let the kids play for a while to stretch their legs at a rest stop or use it at the park or beach at your destination. This is also great when traveling internationally as you can find a park and play for a bit with your kids.
With two kids five years apart in age and two adults in one room, we never agree on the same thing to watch. Headphones save everyone’s sanity, mainly the adults. For our younger child, we like headphones that have volume controls to prevent ear damage. We also try to bring a splitter, so that the two kids can watch the same video on an iPad if they want to.
We have taken laundry bags with us on our last few trips. Each member of the family has one and we just put dirty clothes in the laundry bag. When the trip is over we just put the laundry bag in the suitcase. No folding of clothes necessary. We get ours from the Dollar Store.
When traveling with my kids, I wipe down all handles, switches and phones in our hotel room to try to eliminate a lot of the germs. On the plane, I wipe down the tray table, remote and arm rests so the kids can feel free to touch things without having to constantly clean their hands.
Take a lightweight blanket along with you on your trip and have a picnic in the park for lunch or go to the beach. We forgot one on our last big vacation and it was sorely missed.
Everyone in our family travels with electronics, and there usually aren’t enough plugs in our hotel room to charge everything. I recently found a power strip with USB ports and that is now my favorite to travel with.
Whether traveling by plane, train, or automobile there are inevitably delays. Having snacks can keep kids and adults from getting hangry as well as keep you from having to buy more expensive snacks while traveling.
On the last couple of trips we brought along a journal for my daughter. We really like the Kids’ Travel Journal. It has games and activities she could play while traveling, asked her questions about her trip and gave her sections to fill out based on her travels. My son is getting older now and I will get him a travel journal for our next big trip.
We bring each kid a stuffed animal to cuddle with at night. Instead of bringing the favorite one from home, I bought each of them a travel bunny that only comes out for trips. They are both by Jellycat and are super soft. The kids love them.
A Pack of Cards
If my kids get bored, travel is no longer fun for everyone. Yes, they have their electronics, but they don’t come out of the hotel room with us during the day. If we time when we are just sitting around waiting, we can whip out the pack of cards and instant fun for everyone.