6 Essential Items to Pack When Traveling with Kids

Add These to Your Packing List

Traveling allows for new experiences, especially for children. While you might be headed to a destination that is new for the whole family, simpler aspects of travel such as plane rides and sleeping in a different bed might be firsts for a child. While these new experiences impart many benefits to children and adults alike, in order to impart these benefits you need to be prepared for the challenges traveling with kids presents.

Fortunately, knowing what family travel essentials you should bring will make traveling less stressful and more straightforward. While you can look elsewhere for a general family vacation packing list, the following are specific items you may not think to bring that will hugely enhance your family vacation.

First Aid Essentials and Hand Sanitizer

It is rare to take a trip with kids without getting sick. Children may fall ill due to a change of environment, while others may suffer travel sickness. A first aid kit will help you manage emergencies before seeking specialized treatment. Ensure you carry all the essentials, to avoid running around in tight situations.

You can purchase basic first aid kits at your local pharmacy or put together your own in a small container. It should include things like different sized adhesive bandages, gauze, medical tape, antiseptic ointment, scissors, gloves, tweezers and pain relief medication. In addition, including medications for upset stomachs, allergic reactions and other common maladies is a good idea.

When traveling, hands tend to be the first things that get dirty, and you may come into contact with harmful bacteria that may later result in infections. Hand sanitizer will provide protective measures and prevent infections when you don’t have access to soap and water to wash your hands. Ensuring your family uses hand sanitizer before eating and after touching railings and doors in public places will help reduce the likelihood that you will get sick during or after your trip.

A Travel Journal

A journal is a record of activities. A book or a piece of paper that you write down travel encounters qualifies as being a travel journal. You can have a single travel journal for the entire family, or each child may have their own journal.

Children continuously do or say amusing things, especially when they are in a new environment. Their imagination is out of this world, and noting down every happening will give you awesome memories to look back on.

Encouraging children to take notes and write down their thoughts in their own journal will make the trip fun and engage them more in their surroundings. It will also encourage them to explore, due to their aspiration to know more so they can record it in their journal. For younger children, you can work together to make notes about the day and get their unique perspective on what happened.

Later on in life you may sit together with your children and talk about the notes, reminiscing about the trip and recalling details in the journal you may have forgotten about.

Favorite Toys and Blankets

While some children will be excited in a new place and interested in taking in all the new sights, others may become gloomy or homesick. Having something to cheer them up and remind them of home will make the trip enjoyable. A toy or comfort item are great options for this.

You should involve your child when deciding which of their toys to bring along. Anytime your child starts feeling overwhelmed in a new environment, their familiar blanket, toy or stuffed animal will make them feel closer to home and more secure.

Empty Bags

Bringing different types of leak-proof bags is a must when traveling with kids. A plastic grocery bag will allow you to store garbage when you are in the car to be thrown out later. Not to mention a place for a child to vomit if they are feeling car sick. It’s also good for storing wet swimsuits, soiled clothes or dirty shoes until you can clean or dry them out.

A pack of zip-lock bags are great for storing leftover food or pre-made sandwiches for lunch. They are also a good way to portion out snacks on road trips.

An empty fabric bag can be used to carry souvenirs and other keepsakes kids want to bring back from the trip.

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A Map

A map will help you interpret a place and help you visualize where you are. Although we have GPS’s these days, a map can be a great way to see how far you have come and how far you have to go on a road trip. It can also help you get a better feel for a city city when you are walking around. And it can help keep your kids entertained as they follow along on the map.

A map can better help you see attractions and destinations in the area to better help you plan a route and keep kids occupied.

A Kid-friendly Camera

While memories can fade, having pictures of your trip can help trigger memories and immortalize the sights of a location. It is crucial to have a high-quality camera that is also kid-friendly.

Kids love taking pictures of the moments they spend away from home. They love looking back on the images afterward too, and talking about what they enjoyed about the trip.

Giving your kids a camera is a great way to encourage them to more carefully observe their surroundings and capture remarkable memories. While some children will get creative with camera angles and focus, others like taking pictures of things they find exciting such as their bed in a hotel room or their macaroni and cheese at a restaurant.

Giving your child the job of documenting the trip in photos will keep them busy and help break up any times of boredom.


Before packing for a trip, it is essential to have a list of crucial things that you should carry with you, especially when you have children in tow. By doing this, you will minimize the chances of carrying unnecessary items and make traveling easy.

Proper planning before traveling will help meet your kids’ needs while you are away from home. It will also ensure every family member enjoys the trip and wants to explore new places again in the future.

The above items will ensure your trip is hassle-free and will allow you to focus on bonding with your family in new places.

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