What to bring on a vacation with kids – Ultimate Packing Guide

What to bring on a vacation with kids – Ultimate Packing Guide


There is nothing more exciting than going on vacation with kids, but remember that if you are packing for the holidays with kids there may be a few more items to bring along than usual. If you are traveling overseas some of your favorite products may not be available such as the particular brand of baby wipes you use, so ensure you don’t forget anything. You don’t want to overpack but there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

Travel with Kids: Tips & Hacks

Here are a few tips for packing with kids:

Air Travel Booking and online Searching

Early booking helps you to select a great flight, time, and seat. If possible, book an evening flight where the kids will sleep and you can rest for most of the flight. Search for the most updated regulations for air travel with kids and you can refer to TSA of the USA, they have excellent tips on how to manage your kids at the airport and during check-in. A very important thing to take into consideration is that an airport officer will not ask you to do anything to separate you and your kid. Ensure to print out maps of the airport to make sure that you know where to check-in and where are the suitable places for your kids to enjoy themselves and use up all the energy.

Finally, if you are traveling on an international flight, make sure your kid passport’s photo is the most recent one.

Teach Kids to be Responsible

One of the things that parents can do to be able to handle their kids well during these travel getaways is to give them the chance to be responsible. This can be done by allowing them to have a certain amount of money with them; this money is something that they can spend, but once it is all gone they cannot ask for more. This way, children will be forced to become more responsible about the things that they want to spend on.

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Depending on where you travel to, your children may get into messes everywhere they go or the bathrooms may not be well equipped. This means that you have to be prepared at all times. Brining around baby wipes will take care of the bathroom emergencies as well as keeping the kiddies very clean. If someone spills something, you’ll have baby wipes to clean up the mess on the spot. You may also want to bring some hand sanitizer to kill those germs especially after sightseeing or playing in a local park.

Choose the Right Seat in Air Travel

Grab a seat near the window as kids are the dream of flying and you can give them some quiz to let them guess you see outside the window during the flight. Select the front seat, aisles, or next to the window and at the seat near to the engine. It is because you need more space for your kids to play and if you’re near the engine, you’ll get even more agitated when your kids get naughty.

Pack light

Do not pack more than necessary. Remember you can mix and match your outfits so for a 10 days trip, do not pack more than 3 pairs of jeans and 5 shirts. Depending on your destination, you may need to pack a warm jacket or some bathing suits. Only pack the essentials and tell yourself ‘no’ if you know that you are bringing too much. Plus, if you are traveling to an area that sells cheap clothing, you may not want to pack all that much either. Leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs and gifts for your return.

Some things are just easier and cheaper to purchase at your destination. Plus, you may not want to lose certain items. Do not risk losing your favorite umbrella, if you can purchase a cheap one while on holiday.


Remember to bring all of the essential items in your carry-on luggage. Pack your child’s favorite stuffed animal, books, and activities.


Pack all toiletries in small travel bottles and place them into a plastic bag. The last thing you want to do on vacation does is the washing as soon as you arrive.


Pack any medicines that your child may be used in a plastic bag. Remember to check in this medicine in case it is a liquid form with a small travel size bottle in your carry on. There are strict rules at the airport with liquids so you do not want this medicine to be taken away.

Travel Snacks

Pack ahead with their favorite snacks, especially when your kids wrangling and misbehave, you may calm them down with favorite snacks. Another suggestion is wrapping their snack as gifts when they behaving well. If your kids eat a lot, make sure to carry a lot of snacks that are small in size but easier to pack. Bring odorless process food including chocolate bars, crackers, apple, and potato chips because the tendency to vomit is lower when they travel for a long distance.

Create a Checklist

Making a checklist will also help you greatly to pack everything you need without forgetting anything important.

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Packing list for kids: list of what to pack

Family trips are not just about fun 100% of the time, especially when you are traveling with your kids. You have to prepare for possible emergencies, dull moments, messes, and a bunch of other stuff. This is why it is important to know what to bring during travels with kids.

Travel Essentials for Kids/Family

Here are the travel must-haves that you need to bring on a family vacation:

Daytime gear

put together a kind of day pack where you can put your money, lip balm, water bottle, snacks, sunblock, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, sweater, and a bunch of other things you might need during the day. This a convenient way to have all the things you need with you while leaving your hands free. Prepare one for every member of the family and spread the stuff around, so no one has to bring everything by him/herself.


Pack each family member’s shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries in water-proof pouches. Choose pouches that are big enough to contain these items yet small enough to pack easily.

At present there are guidelines for carry-on luggage: bottles should be 3 oz. or less in a transparent pouch.

Emergency Kit

A lot of things can happen during a trip so it is best to be prepared. Put together an emergency kit that consists of a mini-sewing kit, a decent all-purpose foldable tool (e.g. Swiss army knife), a conversion plug for electrical devices you’re bringing with you (110/220), and small flashlights. As for medications, take everything is clearly marked original containers to avoid trouble at customs. Include antibiotics, aspirin, anti-itch, anti-fungal, band-aids, thermometer, and a pair of tweezers and put these in a small pouch.

Instant cleaners

You will be spending a lot of time on the road, and at some points, your family will have to eat. Make sure to pack hand sanitizers so every member of the family, especially kids, can clean their hands before touching the food. Food and drinks can easily spill in the car so it is vital to carry antibacterial wipes for quick cleanups.

Pass times

Kids get bored so easily so it is wise to bring stuff that they can use to pass time. These include toys such as playing cards, books, puzzles, Legos; gadgets like tablets; or anything that your kids like that you can stow conveniently in your carry-on. You can also buy new, small and inexpensive toys that you can surprise your kids with. Being stuck in a seat can get really frustrating for kids, but with a new toy as a distraction, it would be a lot more bearable. You don’t have to buy something expensive. After all, they will only be used to entertain your kids.

Packing for infants and toddlers

When packing for infants and toddlers, think that you are going to a childless friend’s house for a long weekend – and then plan your diaper bag accordingly. Sure, you can buy most, if not all the things you’ll need at local pharmacies or groceries, but you wouldn’t want to take a huge chunk of your vacation time doing just that.

Camping with Kids – Tips and Essentials

Here are some tips for making a camping trip with kids safe, fun, and memorable.


First thing first. Teaching kids about staying safe while camping and providing them with things to keep them safe. Make sure each kid has Flashlight and a Whistle. Tell them to stay near the trail and stay close to a big tree if they get lost. Teach them not to touch/feed wildlife. In general, make them aware of safe practices while camping. As adults, you need to make sure you keep first-aid-kit handy. Make sure you have enough water and food while you’re on trails.


Keeping the campsite clean is very important to make your trip enjoyable. Keep lots of trash bags. For clothes drying you can use benches or a makeshift stand. Use trash bags or grocery bags to keep dirty laundry separate. You can keep clothes for each day in one bag and dirty clothes can go back to the same bags.


While with kids, keep cooking simple. You can use Ready-To-Eat packaged food from manufactures like backpackerspantry

Cooking time is a great way to share some quality time with kids. Assign them some small tasks like taking out utensils, throwing away trash, etc. assigning tasks to kids to keep them occupied and make accountable.

Entertainment/Kids activity

Checkout activities provided by the park for kids. There are some great activities provided by many parks for kids that help them learn about outdoor safety, area wildlife, and vegetation. Bring along a bike, a book to read together, some puzzles, etc. Let your kids bring some of their favorite toys as well.


Staying organized while camping with kids will save you a lot of trouble. Separate well-marked bins for utensils, another bin or bags containing clothes, etc. You can keep a reference checklist and keep it handy. Keep the habit of putting things back where they were taken out from.


Practice round is important if you are taking kids camping for the first time. You can set up camp in-house or in the backyard to see how kids adjust to outside living. Take a short half-day camping trip to a nearby park. That will help you double-check your preparations. Like, bring an extra pair of clothes or some sunscreen next time, etc.

Kids camping gear

What kids must carry for a perfect camping experience? Here is a list of 10 kids camping essential gear:

#1 – Camping Lantern

Kids just love carrying lanterns. For walking to the bathroom, finding the great marshmallow stick, or just to get around camp after the dark. Go with battery-operated lanterns because gas lanterns are hot, have a risk of fire, and not safe to use inside a tent.

#2 – Flashlight or, even better, Headlamps

Kid’s flashlights come in bright and cheerful colors. Some have cords to avoid losing or dropping the flashlight. My advice: get one for each kid. They’re not expensive, usually less than $10, and you spare yourself a lot of quarreling. If your budget allows, consider a headlamp. It brings the vision of brave cave explorers and Indiana Jones.

#3 – Bug Jar or Kit

Open a child’s eyes and curiosity to the critters around him. Coleman even has a tall, cylindrical bug kit designed to safely hold fireflies. At night the fireflies turn it into a twinkling lantern.

#4 – Compass

Compass for kids must be rugged, with clear markings. Show a kid how to use a compass with a map and he will learn a skill that’s handy not just for camping, but when he goes backpacking in Europe, or when he hikes up the Himalayans. You can get a basic camping compass for $10 to $15.

If you don’t want to buy one you can simply download a compass app. There are several apps on the app store and google play as well.

#5 – Star Finder

Stargazing is cooler than any video game. Due to the orbital motion of the earth, the sky appears to rotate, so to be successful in recognizing the constellations, you need to know which stars are above the horizon at that time.

A rotating star finder helps kids to recognize the constellations for any given time of the year. Just turn the dial to match the day of the year. Ensure you get the star finder for the specific region in the world.

#6 – Water Bottles

These days, you can get kid-sized hydration packs that can hold 4-6 cups of water. It allows hand-free drinking, which is useful when your hands are occupied bicycling or carrying hiking poles.

#7 – Binoculars

Binoculars are very handy for camping, hiking, bird watching, and general landscape study. For kids, ensure the eye-cups are flexible and comfortable and that it has a cord the kid may put over his neck so he won’t lose it.

#8 – Whistle (a LOUD one)

This is a safety item a kid must have all the time in the wilderness. Find whistles that are light but extremely loud. Make sure it’s around your kid’s neck when he goes exploring, not stuffed at the bottom of his pack.

#9 – Sunglasses

Kids may not be as interested as adults are in the fashion aspect of sunglasses. However, they actually need it even more because

1) kids spend more time outdoors in direct sunlight.

2) they are more vulnerable to solar radiation since their eye’s protective pigments are not completely developed.

For kid’s sunglasses, look for polycarbonate lenses. They are strong, durable, and impact-resistant. Look for 98% or 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

#10 – Backpack

Finally, a backpack to tote all these fun gears. You don’t want them to keep bugging you, ‘Dad, where is my … Mom, where is my…” Get a light fabric or nylon backpack with a simple zipper and a pocket or two. Stay away from those heavy-duty canvas backpacks with 12 pockets and all kinds of straps and contraptions. They are too cumbersome for junior adventurous campers.

Final thoughts

It is good to have your kids with you when you travel; this would surely open their eyes to a lot more new knowledge and discovery. When you bring along the kids in your trips, this is not only a way of bringing them close to your heart but also through this, your kid would definitely make him or her more aware of the world around him or her.

Well, when children are with you, you should be more prepared because as we all know they have their special needs and we have to respond to such needs.

kids packing list FAQs

Q: What is the best age to travel with my kids?

0-3 months: Don’t fly with your kids at this age unless absolutely important.
3-9 months: I have found that the older infant stage is just a great age to fly.
9-12 months: At about the time your kid starts to crawl, things can start to get a little more difficult.
12-18 months: Once your kid starts walking, all bets will probably be off unless you are blessed with the chilliest of children.
18-24 months: Things continue to be a little of a challenge.
2-3 years: This time is when most parents begin to see a true light at the end of the tunnel.
4-5 years: Travel with your kids just keeps getting easier as you enter the older preschooler phase.
6+ years: Home free! Once kids are in elementary school, the vast majority of them will be excellent flyers, especially if you travel regularly as my family has.

Q: What should I pack for a 2-year-old?

Diapers, diaper cream, wipes, and changing pad.
Potty seat (If toilet-trained)
Easy-on, easy-off outfit.
At least two pairs of shoes (They’re known to go missing…)
Rain and cold-weather gear (If the forecast look iffy)

Q: How do you pack lights with kids?

Bring lots of Ziploc-type baggies.
You need more toys than you think.
Laundry soap—bring some in a baggie.
You can save a special toy just for this trip.
Pack some small kid-friendly snacks.

Q: Can I take snacks on the plane for my toddler?

If you’re wondering if you’re permitted through security with snacks, the answer is yes. According to the TSA’s website, as long as the snacks are solid food items and not liquids or gels, they can generally be transported in your carry-on and checked luggage.

Q: Can you bring milk for the toddler on the plane?

Breast milk and juice for kids are allowed in reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint. Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you carry formula, breast milk, and juice over 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag.

Q: How do toddlers survive a long car ride?

Don’t overdo it.
Get in the backseat for playtime.
Distract with snacks and meals.
Keep all family members safe during your road trip.
Listen to music during the journey.
Bring a bucket.
Watch movies on the road.

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