Packing Essentials for Traveling with Kids

Packing Essentials for Traveling with Kids

By  Michelle Mady

I’m a mom of five, and that in itself takes some organization to get through every day. However, I also happen to be a mom of five who loves a good vacation. It could be a day trip, a road trip, or a full-blown week of traveling, but traveling with so many children along has forced me to figure out all the best hacks and tips for packing with kids.

We all know to pack the basics. Children need clothing and bathing suits, diapers and wipes, and of course a few loveys and things to do during down times. We can all get the basics together with relative ease. But there are some other items that I have found to be essential when traveling with children. Like:

Favorite Snacks

I happen to have a child who lives on Goldfish crackers and Cheese-Its. Whenever we travel, I pack a few packages of his favorite snacks. I also toss in a few juice boxes and fruit pouches.  This helps any long legs of travel, as we all know that truck stops and airports don’t always have what you need - and if they do, they are three times as expensive.

First Aid Supplies

I’m not just talking Band-Aids (although those are a top priority). Bring along medicine in the form you know your child will take - liquid, chewables or capsules. Don’t forget an antihistamine (like Benedyl or Zyrtec) in case of new allergens. Add a thermometer, diaper cream and anti-itch lotion. Being somewhere new might cause an issue getting the types of medicine your child is most familiar with, and when you don’t feel good - it’s not time to try something new.

Individual Backpacks or Bags

If you have multiple children, don’t think about combining their toys or entertainment into one bag! Allowing them to each have their own backpack for the travel time gives them a bit of ownership. Let them help to pack the bag, too. Not only will this help them prepare for being stationary during travel, it will also lessen (but not eliminate) arguments over who’s turn it is with a toy!

Allowing them to each have their own backpack for the travel time gives them a bit of ownership.

A Present

For extra long travel times, add a bit of excitement to the mundane. Bring a wrapped present and give it to your child when you are halfway to your destination. It doesn’t have to be anything big, a few items from the dollar store are totally sufficient. As long as it is something new and different. For the older crowd, downloading a new game or movie onto their electronic device can also help aid in the travel boredom.

Low Expectations

Keep those expectations low, and you will be SURE to meet them. Vacations are not always about those picture-perfect moments or Instagram-worthy posts. They are about connecting with your family without the stress of home. However, they do include the stress of parenting.  So don’t have lofty goals for your time away, as that will just add to the stress. Let the road take you wherever it takes you, and try to enjoy to ride!

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