Travel Necessities when You Travel with Kids
Listed below are 16 Items you might not think of that can come in handy when traveling with kids.
KEEP THEM OCCUPIED
- Crayons, mechanical pencils, highlighter (works the best for word search printouts.)
- Paper, game printouts. Each child can keep their own papers organized in a small 1″ three ring binder.
- Deck of cards. Be sure to bring a zip lock baggie to store the cards in. Also a travel soap box works well for storing cards.
ON THE GO
- Band-Aids – carry a few in your wallet, they can be a life saver for an uncomfortable shoe is encountered.
- Antiseptic hand gel or pre-packaged hand wipes
- Folded tissues and/or napkins stored in a baggie. They will stay much cleaner and more organized this way.
- Sun screen, chap stick, insect repellent – depending on where your day takes you.
- Zip lock bags – so many uses; collecting shells, wet clothes, keeping phones dry during a rain storm, storing leftover food or snacks….
- Always keep a good clear photo of your child on your phone, just in case you get separated from them in a crowed area.
AT THE HOTEL
- A rubber door stop can provide extra level of security for a hotel room door
- Small plug-in nightlight – to help find the bathroom in the middle of the night. Some children might also like to have a mini flashlight nearby in case they get frightened or confused in the darkness.
- Multi-plug socket – by keeping all rechargeable items in one place, you’ll have less chance of forgetting a device or charging cord.
KEEP IN THE CAR
- Sun glasses, hats and/or visors
- Light weight wind breaker
- Umbrella, rain poncho
- Extra copy of birth certificates, photo id, travel reservations, airline tickets
Helpful items for a Road Trip with Kids
- Frisbee – Great for some quick exercise when making a stop. A clean Frisbee also makes a great plate when eating fast food in the car.
- Plastic boxes – One for each child, to hold their supplies – the lid makes a great desk or a table top for food.
- Clean water – Several bottles of water work best for drinking, a quick wash up, cleaning a scrape and so on.
- Lightweight blanket – Small child’s blanket for cuddling with at nap time. Also great for a chilly restaurant.
- Paper towels – Keep a roll in the car – use a large rubber band to keep it from unraveling. A must have for quick clean ups.
- Snacks – Saltines, goldfish crackers – any kind of lightly salted dry cracker. Hard candy, such as life savers or tick tacks.
- Compass – Fun for the kids if they want to help navigate.
- Trash bags – for storing laundry, wet items or just for trash.
- Book lights – or small flash lights for night-time trips.
- Car Games– a listing of easy games to play in the car, including some printable games to bring with.
- Vacation Memories – a fun way for kids to write about the places they stopped at during their vacation.
Easy Travel Food for Kids
- Individual applesauce and fruit cups (don’t forget plastic spoons). Not the best for eating in the car but handy for fussy eaters who don’t like anything on the menu.
- Granola bars
- Yogurt – if packing a cooler
- F&V – bananas, apples, celery sticks, carrot sticks
- Raisins and dried fruits
- Dry crackers – small snack pack size or fill individual snack sized baggies.
- Water bottles – keep a permanent marker handy to label bottles.
- Cereal boxes or snack sized baggies with your child’s morning favorite. This comes in handy when they don’t like anything on the menu.
- Juice boxes and bags
- Jar of peanut butter and loaf of bread (don’t forget a plastic knife.)
- Small packets of ketchup. Believe it or not, some restaurants don’t have ketchup, and we know how our little ones love to douse everything in it.
Family Packing Advice
One to two weeks before the trip make a list of what will be needed on the trip. As you gather these items, store them in a large bag or box.
Provide each family member with their own container/case for toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo and soap. Trial size baby bath works well in place of bars of soap.
Make a list of like items that each family member will be responsible for packing. Have them check off the items as they pack.(ex. 5 pairs sox, swim suit, jacket …)
Allow each child to bring a small bag or games, toys, stuffed animals or other personal items to make them feel comfortable being away from home.
Several months before a trip, find a few small toys that your child enjoys, but hasn’t played with in a while and pack them away. Bring these toys with you on your trip for something ‘new’ to play with. Small ‘disposable’ toys like the ones found in happy meals work well with this idea.
You can reduce wrinkles by hanging up 1 to 2 items inside a plastic dry cleaning bag before hanging them in your garment bag.
Helpful Internet Sites
- Shell – Motorist Tips & Advice
- Fodor’s Travel Online
- Go Camping America
- LL Bean – Park Finder – enter in your state and activities you are looking for.
- MapQuest – door to door directions are great to print out for the kids to follow.
- The National Park Service – park information
- Gorp – Great Outdoor Recreational Page