10 Packing Tips for Traveling with Children
1. Pack two separate bags for your children.
One bag to go in the trunk, and one bag for the space next to them in the car. Trust me on this. You need to plan ahead and assume that they will want or need something during the car ride. Have a small bag with an extra change of clothes in it that is easy to access, rather than digging through the giant suitcase packed snugly away in the back.
2. Let your children pack their own snack bag.
It’s easier to let them pack their own snacks they will actually eat during the trip, rather than you having to guess what they will want. Giving them a job will also make them feel independent and they will like feeling like they are able to make a choice of their very own. Here are some good travel snacks.
3. Make a list.
What you may think they need may not match up what they think they need. Start their packing list, and have them finish it off with items that, in their minds, you may have missed. Working together will save a headache occurring later down the road potentially by not overlooking a “must-have” item. Here is a free printable packing list.
4. Put a limit on the number of toys they can bring with them on the trip.
If you left the choice up to your little ones, there is a good possibility they would pack each and every toy they own! Limit them to only a few items from home to bring on the journey. It will save space and the chance of misplacing one of those items lessens with fewer to keep track of.
5. If your family allows electronics, charge them beforehand and keep them in close reach for your children to access.
Again, limit this if possible to save room. Bringing every tablet, screen, and computer on your journey isn’t the best way to pack and save room, so figure out the electronics your children will need and want the most, and bring those along.
6. Always pack a couple extra sets of clothing items for your children.
It never fails that kids just find ways to get wet, messy, or just downright dirty. Don’t run out of clothes due to lack of being unprepared! Pack at least 2 extra outfit options in case of an unexpected messy day.
7. Don’t forget the medicine bag with your child’s medicine.
This should be one of the first items that you pack, especially if your child has medication that they are required to take or emergency medication. Then, also add any vitamins, probiotics, and pain relievers that your child may need when traveling.
8. Pack your child’s suitcase according to the weather of where your destination is.
Just because it may be 40 degrees where you live, does not mean the weather and temperature won’t vary elsewhere. Look ahead at the forecast and then pack as necessary. Why pack winter clothes when your vacation is going to land you in 80-degree weather?
9. Keep calm and remember there are always stores and laundry mats along the way.
One of the biggest packing tips to remember when traveling is you will more than likely forget something. That’s okay. Just remember you can stop at a store along the way and purchase any item you may have overlooked.
10. Keep your car organized.
Nothing is worse than having an item fall on the floor during travel that your child can’t reach and you can’t help with because you are driving. Be prepared by having a way for them to store and access their items easily. Having a bin on the seat of your car next to your child is a great way for them to store their books, toys, and electronics.
Packing your children for your travel can be quite simple! Think about the needs versus the wants, and take a look at the room you have allotted in your vehicle. Let your child help in deciding what items they feel they need to bring and then work together in making it happen. The less you can pack, the less crowded you’ll feel in your car and the more room you’ll have to possibly bring home some brand new souvenirs from your destination!