Traveling with kids
Preschool,  School Age

Packing Checklist For Traveling With Kids (free download)

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There is solo traveling without kids… and then there is traveling with kids. When you get to the later stage of life, it’s going to need some well-needed adjustments, especially with kids. One of the most frequent concerns for many parents is what to pack while traveling whether nationally or internationally. I know it’s a lot of questions that I may not have the answer to, but I can help you to take one stress off your hands and that’s a PACKING CHECKLIST LIST (free download below) for traveling with kids.

Did you ever start planning for a vacation and then either overpack with unnecessary items or forgot what you really needed? Whatever it is, I know it’s even tougher packing for kids and ensuring that they have everything that they need.

Here are 10 tips that will help you to navigate the world of packing for kids, to ensure that you have just the right amount of clothes and items needed for any trip.

Are you planning on doing any traveling with your kids soon? What are your concerns? Let me know. Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns below. I will be happy to help you!

“Before planning to travel anywhere with kids, make sure to travel with just what is needed to prevent any undue stress”

Tip 1: Travel Documents

What can ruin a trip faster is actually leaving your travel documents, especially if traveling internationally. Make sure that you have the required documents needed for each trip. Some countries may require more information such as vaccination records etc. Therefore before every trip, research what documents are required to ensure a smooth transition while traveling.

  • Passport
  • Drivers license
  • Vaccination records (for certain countries)
  • Permanent resident cards (US)
  • Birth Certificate

FYI: Before traveling check with every country what vaccination-related documentation is required.

Tip 2: Medical Essentials

This is by far the most important thing to bring with you and unfortunately, it’s the most forgotten. Kids are always getting cuts and bruises, sniffles, or tummy aches. Therefore don’t forget to include medical essentials, such as:

  • First Aid Kit (travel version)
  • Prescribed medication
  • Pain/fever medication
  • Cold/Flu medication
  • Stomach related medication
  • Nausea medication
  • Vitamins

FYI: Be sure to any carry any prescribed medications, especially if traveling internationally. It will be challenging to have anything prescribed in another country.

Tip 3: Travel Gear

When choosing travel gear, try to not overspend on expensive luggage that most time ends up getting damaged anyway. The key is to pack smarter by having fewer items that are prone to getting damaged or having too many liquid items in your luggage. Cost-effective luggage that won’t break the pocket is the goal. Also, try to consider the amount of luggage that you have to travel with. The lesser the amount, the lesser the stress, especially with kids.

  • Suitcase
  • Kids-size backpack or carryon
  • Diaper bag (infants)

Tip 4: pack just what is needed

This is the tricky part, and we tend to overpack or miss essential items. My guide with this part is to know the number of days that will be spent on the trip and pack only the amount needed for each day. Packing may also vary depending on the season or climate of the destination that you plan to travel to. Winter travel requires more baggage space due to bulkier items, while summer travel is lighter.

  • Underwear (undershirts, thermal underwear)
  • Tops (shirts, t-shirts, dress shirts)
  • Bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans, pants, khakis, dress pants)
  • Dresses
  • Socks
  • Shoes (sneakers, sandals, dress shoes, swim shoes, or winter boots)
  • Winter coats, rain jackets, sweaters
  • Hats and Caps (seasonal)
  • Scarfs and Mittens (seasonal)
  • Swimwear (seasonal)
  • Accessories (sunglasses, hair accessories, comb, brush)
  • Toiletries ( toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, bath soap, lotion, hair oil)
  • Diapers, pull-ups, wipes, diaper cream (not potty trained), bed-wetting pads
  • Sunscreen, bug spray

FYI: Add extra 2 days of items, just in case of an emergency, potty accidents, spills, etc. in a carry-on or backpack.

Tip 5: Pack fun items

This can get tricky especially when you allow your kids to choose what they would like to bring. I suggest bringing smaller items that can be tucked away easily in a carry-on or backpack. So leave the bulky, bigger things behind.

  • Small toys
  • Small electronic toys (iPad, Kindle)
  • Small activity books and crayons

tip 6: Travel systems

Travel systems are always needed especially when you have kids under the age of 6, and also for air travel or international travel. My suggestion for carrying these items is to have more lightweight, portable easy-to-lift travel systems. That would mean leaving the bulky heavy strollers or car seats behind. Lightweight systems are so much better to have and are less of a hassle especially during the airport or for international travel.

  • Strollers (bring for free if checked or carried on)
  • Baby carriers (preferred with babies for flights)
  • Car seats or booster seats (can be checked for free or optional rental options available at destination)

Tip 7: Pack Sanitizing related supplies

Pack enough sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers. I like to have the small portable clip-on hand sanitizers available for when there is not enough access to public sanitizers at your location or destination.

  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Hand sanitizers (include small portable clip-on hand sanitizers)

Tip 8: Pack snacks and water

Pack just enough snacks and water (must be in a non-disposable water bottle) for just the flight time to avoid having to purchase too many things in different areas, especially at the airport where it can get a bit more expensive.

Don’t also pack too many snacks in order to keep your luggage as small as possible. Depending on where you traveling to, you can purchase the snacks you need at a grocery store in that location.

You are allowed to bring liquids for younger children, however, it has to get checked thoroughly at the security checkpoint and will therefore take up much more time getting through the line.

  • Snacks
  • Cereal
  • Water
  • Juice
  • Pediasure
  • Candy

Tip 9: Pack a carry-on or backpack with enough clothes and supplies for at least 2 days

Things can happen, especially with luggage being delayed or lost while traveling. To reduce as much stress as possible when traveling has at least something with you to ensure you have clothing and supplies available in a carry-on should any problems may arise with your luggage. The goal of traveling with kids is also to be prepared for any stress-related incidents that can occur.

FYI: Should you choose to travel alone with kids or have limited help, be reminded that you may want to pack as lightly as possible. This would ensure that you can bring your luggage safely without any unnecessary stress.

Tip 10: Pack your own blankets and supplies

I recommend packing your own blanket and supplies that your kids may need on their trip to be more comfortable. Traveling can be a bit frightening for some kids. Therefore I recommend having comfort items such as blankets, pillows, etc, that they may need to get them to be more comfortable. Of course the smaller the item the better for travel.

  • Small travel blanket
  • Small travel pillow
  • Earphones
  • Toiletries

FYI: Before the pandemic, blankets, and supplies were readily available, especially on international flights. Now, this may not be the case anymore. Many airlines are offering limited services aboard their flights and as a result, you may have to bring whatever you need onboard.

Here is the FREE Travel Packing Checklist Download for kids that you can use for your next family vacation.

Free Travel packing checklist download for kids

If you need more tips for traveling with kids, also read my blog post on:

Also, check out other travel-related blog posts below:

Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.

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I am Donae! A wife and a mom of 2 kids, ALL boys! I would love to share with you my experience with motherhood. Let my life Inspire, Encourage and Motivate you on your journey through motherhood.

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