How to Travel With Kids:
Best Tips for Parents
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Our Best Tips for Traveling With Kids
No, you don’t have to stop traveling when you have kids. However, you might need to change the way you do things. Packing the night before your trip? That’s a recipe for a stressed out mama! Check out our list of the best tips for traveling with kids below.
Our best tips for traveling with kids
Taking a trip with your little ones? Remember our three P’s for a hassle-free travel:
✓ Plan ahead
✓ Pack the things you need wisely
✓ Prepare for mishaps
We’ll get into more details with our collection of tips below. But follow these three P’s and you’re already on your way to a fun trip with your kiddos!
Our Tips for Traveling With Children
Tips for General Travel With Kids
1. Start with small trips - If you’re scared to take that first trip with your baby, start small! It can be a short trip to a nearby park or beach. As your baby gets comfy with traveling, go for longer weekend outings. Don’t start with a long haul flight or an international trip with a newborn baby! It can overwhelm both you and your kiddo which makes for a daunting trip.
2. Schedule a doctor’s visit before your trip - Tell the physician about your vacation plans and get the shots (vaccines) required for all members of the family. Must do especially if you’re visiting Asian, African or South American countries. Also ask about what medications you need to bring with you during the trip.
Pro Tip: Don’t vaccinate and fly! You don’t want to deal with poopy diapers, rashes or fever during your fun holiday. Schedule routine vaccinations at least two weeks before your trip.
3. Prepare your kid for what’s to come, in a fun way! - Got a long haul flight before your trip? Read a related story book to your kid to prepare him or her for the flight. We like the Amazing Airplanes (Amazing Machines) because it explains exactly what’s going to happen in an airport, from check-in, to the plane ride itself! You can also explore maps, the history or the geography of your destination before your trip. An interesting film set in your destination is also a good way of preparing your kid for an upcoming trip. A trip planned to Japan or China? Prepare your kid Masterchef style by rustling up dishes like ramen, dumplings, etc.
4. Have your kid’s travel documents ready - If traveling with your kids abroad, make sure they have a valid passport (make sure it expires at least six months after your return date). If only one parent is traveling with the kid (or kids), have a copy of their birth certificate plus a notarized letter of permission from the other parent.
5. Make a “Last Minute Packing List” - Packing lists help a lot in keeping you organized! We’ve got a lot of packing lists on our website, check them out here. Aside from your regular packing list, make a “Last Minute Packing List.” Include indispensable items you might miss packing on the last minute like passports, cash, credit cards, etc. Or those items that are essential to the kids and will make the trip more comfy like their lovey, sweaters, favorite toy or neck pillow.
6. Organize with packing cubes - Get ahead of the packing game with our clear packing cubes. Our Starter Set fits perfectly in a carry on while our Complete Bundle makes sharing a suitcase a breeze. Both sets include a TSA approved clear toiletry bag where you can pack your 3 oz liquids.
Our see-through cubes make traveling with kids easier. Need snacks? Grab the cube with all your hangriness essentials. A massive diaper explosion during the flight? Dash through the bathroom with your diaper changing essentials in a Small Cube.
Here’s how you can use our different packing cube sets:
✓ Complete Bundle - This bundle comes with 2 sets of each size cube, from the Extra Small to the Large. It also comes with packing accessories: a travel laundry bag, a shoe bag and a folding board set. Great for organizing a checked luggage, especially when you’re sharing a suitcase with another family member. Just choose the 2 color combo from the drop-down list and make a note of the colors you’d like to receive.
7. Pack kid’s clothes by outfit - Choose a full outfit for each day of your trip for each kid and organize it in a Small Cube. Include underwear, socks, shirt and pants or shorts. This will reduce stress in the mornings because it’s easy to grab the cube, change and get ready!
Pro Tip: Designate one color cube for each kid (preferably in their favorite color). Great way to avoid fights and whinings over which things belong to whom especially among siblings!
8. Avoiding motion sickness - Going on a road trip or cruise vacation with your kids? These motion relief wristbands work well to relieve nausea. If you have a baby who’s still drinking milk, opt for less but more frequent feedings. Same goes for solids - make them eat lighter but more frequent meals. Also pack some heavy duty barf bags just in case!
9. Schedule your trips accordingly - You can plan your road trips around your kid’s nap times. They’ll be knocked out for most stretches of your drive and you’ll thank us for it. For airplane trips, it’s best to plan a flight away from your kid’s “witching hours.” Check this blog post to learn more about this fussy period. An early morning or late night flight works best especially for little kids.
10. Snacks, snacks and more snacks! - Have more snacks than you think you’ll need! There could be a flight delay or your kid might not love the in-flight meals so you’ll have something on hand to give him. Here’s a few ways you can make snacking entertaining when traveling with kids:
✓ Make a “Snackle Box” - Sounds fancy, right? But this is just a simple tackle box filled with healthy snacks for your child. Include a variety of finger foods like string cheese, sweet cherry tomatoes, carrots, berries, crackers and nuts. Guaranteed to keep little hands and mouths busy for an hour or more!
✓ Keep treats in a Small Cube - Keep some healthy snacks, fruit (and maybe some extra treats) in a Small Cube. Stow this cube in your bag and only give these treats during the last hours of your flight. Also pack a few protein bars for yourself in case your kiddo doesn’t like to share his Snackle Box with you!
11. Invest in kid’s travel gear - They will make your trips more comfy (and will help keep you sane). Here’s our top recommended travel gear for children:
✓ Clear Packing Cubes - Buy our Starter Set in your kid’s favorite color and make organizing a suitcase fun! With our cubes’ see through design, finding the things you need is very easy and quick. You won’t even need to unpack. Use the cubes as traveling drawers and make it easy for everyone in your family.
✓ Meal Smock - Must have for babies and toddlers who are still messy eaters. We like this Paw Legend Long Sleeve Waterproof Bib because of the front pocket (great for catching food) and velcro closure.
✓ Cheap Headphones - These kiddie headphones are great for listening to music or watching their fave shows. Make sure they are cheap so you won’t worry if your kid loses or breaks them! Pro Tip: If your baby is getting some screen time during the flight, practice at home with the headphones to familiarize them with the feeling of it.
✓ Spill Proof Sippy Cup for Kids - This sippy cup is perfect for babies and toddlers still learning to wean from the bottle. And for the older kids, this Contigo Leak Proof Water Bottle is recommended!
✓ Flypal Seat Box / Bed - Transform your kid’s economy seat into first class cabin with the help of Flypal. Simply inflate the cushion and place in the space between your kid’s seat and the front seat. Ideal for older kids who aren’t strapped in a car seat.
✓ Disposable Potty Topper - Essential for potty training your kids or if you don’t want them to get in contact with the toilet bowls in icky public restrooms.
✓ Wet Bag - Must have when going on a beach trip or swimming. Can hold your wet swimsuits, towels or even sweaty clothes.
✓ Lightweight Stroller - The Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller is a mid-range option when you don’t want to shell out more than $150 for a travel stroller. It’s still more durable than a $20+ stroller and fully reclines.
✓ Inflatable Bed Rail (For Babies / Toddlers) - This two-pack portable bed rail is very easy to inflate or deflate. Also way more effective than pillows that take up almost half the bed space!
✓ Pacifier / Toy Clip (For Babies / Toddlers) - Great for keeping a pacifier or a small toy off the ground! This set already comes with two safety straps and is super cheap.
✓ Travel Pillow - Choose a child size one that has ample neck support. We like this one for the kids! Also pack a lightweight blanket in case the airplane or hotel room is a bit chilly.
✓ Carabiner / Stroller Hooks - Great for hanging bags / cubes in your stroller for a hands-free travel.
12. Go for single serve formula packets - These are very convenient especially for flights or road trips! Enfamil make them (as well as other formula companies) Even though on the pricier side, they are so worth it since they’re already portioned and easy to throw into a bottle. No more worries about sticky messes or bulky formula containers!
13. Have diapers and wipes delivered to your destination - Going on a long trip with your kid that isn’t potty trained yet? Don’t bring an entire supply of diapers and wipes with you. Have them delivered to your destination instead. Just bring enough diapers and wipes for your flight plus some extras in your carry on or checked bag. Alternatively, buy what you need once you arrive to your destination.
14. Dress in comfy clothes - For babies, this footed onesie is easy to change in and out of (more importantly, no missing socks). Great for quick bathroom emergencies! For the older kids, dress them in layers, a comfy shirt and jogger pants, plus a lightweight sweatshirt for warmth. Don’t forget the socks and slip on shoes. And for the supermoms, wearing a long shirt and leggings is a plus. Something that will stay put even if you run, bend over or reach up for things!
16. Give yourself lots of extra time - Whether it’s going to the airport or touring a city, you’ll need lots of extra time when you have kids. Allot at least an hour or two extra for your family. Kids are attracted to all shiny (or not so shiny) things and they have to go at the worst times (i.e. 3 minutes before boarding time)... It’s nice to have that extra time just in case!
17. Divide and conquer - Now isn’t the time to be the hero of the family. Traveling with your partner? Give your spouse a set of responsibilities to keep your load light. For example, if mommy’s already got the job of packing, let daddy prepare the snacks for the trip. At the airport, mommy can keep track of the kids while daddy handles the baby gear (like stroller and car seat). You can even allot smaller tasks for the kids like carrying their own bag or filling bottles with water after security.
18. Make your own Kid’s First Aid Kit - Make sure you travel with all the kiddie medications you could possibly need since they might not be available at your destination. Here’s a few items to keep in your kid’s first aid kit (use our TSA approved bag for storing these items!):
✓ Children’s Chewable Tylenol - Great on-the-go option for pain relief.
✓ Children’s Chewable Claritin - Must have especially for allergy prone kids.
✓ Cute Bandaids - How cute are these Paw Patrol bandaids?! You can find bandaids in other designs that your kids love.
✓ Digital Thermometer - To keep track of temperature during fever infections!
✓ Travel Size Neosporin - Must have for disinfecting wounds!
For more tips on building your own first aid kit, check this blog post on creating a DIY first aid kit.
19. Ditch the diaper bag, a good backpack is your friend - You’ll need both hands when traveling with your kids. A bulky diaper bag or an over-the-shoulder tote just won’t help with that. Livi Harris (@xolivi and one of our favorite mommy bloggers) swears by this Ju-Ju-Be Diaper Backpack. It has tons of storage and has a stain repellent fabric. Plus the funky design is too cute (totally beats those boring diaper bags).
20. Invest in a small digital camera (For mom / dad) - The key to great family photos? Take lots, sorry, tons of them! We love the Canon G7 X since it’s compact yet takes superb quality photos. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, easy to take out for snapping pictures as quickly and discreet. Leave that bulky DSLR camera at home, it’s just added weight in your bag.
Pro Tip: When traveling with kids, don’t be too obsessed with taking perfectly posed photos. Kids get really bored with posing too much. Sometimes the best photos are the ones that you didn’t pose for or shot on accident!
21. Avoiding fights among siblings - Ah, sibling fights... Not only are they annoying, they can turn a trip into a nightmare if you don’t know how to prepare or deal with them. Luckily, we’ve got a few tips to help anticipate (and thus minimize) fighting:
✓ Same snacks, same toys for everyone - Remember that Snackle Box? Make sure you fill it with the same snacks for each kid in your bunch. Same goes for toys. Save your sanity and hopefully avoid the question, “Why does she have that and I don’t?”
✓ Make sharing easy - What if kids have to share one tablet for screen time? Invest in a headphone splitter so they can share the device, watch a movie or play a game together. Only have budget for one set of wrapped toys? Have turn times for each kid so they can enjoy playing with the toy within an allotted time.
✓ Rules still apply - During trips, parents become more lax when it comes to family rules. Don’t! Especially when it comes to respect among siblings. So if back home you have rules like no name calling, screaming or hitting, make sure that the kids know that these rules still apply during your trip. And of course, those who don’t follow will be dealt with accordingly. #Parentingishard
22. Sign up your kids to a Frequent Flyer Program - If your trips involve a lot of flying, don’t forget to sign up your kiddo to a Frequent Flyer Program so they can start racking up miles as well. Some airlines allow Family Pooling which means that you can transfer miles from one family member to another. If you’re worried about the points expiring, here’s a great guide that shows the expiration term for the most popular airlines around the globe. Check your airline’s website for ways to keep your kid’s account active (without booking a flight). It can be as simple as signing up for a loyalty dining program or donating to charity. By the time your kid reaches legal age, they could have enough points for some free flights. Thanks Mom and Dad!
23. Fly direct if possible - Or if you can’t avoid it, find flights that only have a two to three hour layover. The extra hours spent in the air are manageable compared to the added hours spent collecting luggage, running to the gate and messing up your kid’s sleeping cycle.
24. Max out your carry ons - Buying your toddler his or her own seat? Little kids might not be old enough to haul around their own carry on. But it is included with the seat that you pay for. Take advantage of that and bring an additional carry on (also works well for those planning on traveling with a carry on only). On a related note...
25. Pack your carry on wisely - When traveling with kids, the key is to know where everything is. If you pack your carry on strategically, you can avoid breakdowns and tantrums during your trip. If your airline allows you to bring a personal item, that’s better because you can stow this bag under the seat in front of you! Here’s a few notes to remember:
✓ Keep a change of clothes for each family member - There’s nothing worse than starting off a long haul flight covered in vomit or poop! Pack a change of clothes for each family member in a Small Cube. This size can hold lightweight clothing items like a shirt and leggings. Don’t forget to pack some underwear in case you lose your checked luggage or experience a delayed flight.
✓ Pack your own “Diaper Changing Pouch” - Pack a few diapers, wipes, a changing mat and some diaper trash bags (great for smelly nappies) in a Small Cube. With our cubes’ easy pull handle, you can grab your Diaper Changing Pouch during emergency bathroom breaks. No need to bring a bulky bag in the tiny plane’s lavatory!
✓ Place items strategically - Place the items that you won’t need during the flight or your trip at the bottom of your bag. Pack those items you’ll most likely need (like toiletries, snacks, etc.) at the top of your bag. This is easier if you’ve packed similar items together in clear packing cubes.
26. Cosco Scenera is the best travel car seat - Instead of constantly removing and reinstalling your main (and more expensive) car seat from home, buy a lightweight and cheap travel car seat. Just make sure that it’s FAA approved like this Cosco Scenera Next one. Pair it with a car seat stroller and you can enjoy a hassle free trip especially in a busy airport!
Pro Tip: A car seat is essential not just for car trips but also for flights. Aside from the safety factor, it keeps your kid from running around during your flight. Put your child in the car seat and they’ll know that you mean business! Or at least that they’re meant to sit still and stay on their seat for the rest of the flight.
27. Maximize your time at the airport - Find an empty terminal where your kids can run and play around. Bonus: If your little one is loud or whiny, they get to do it for a different set of strangers, not the ones you have to sit next to on the plane. If the airport has a play area, use that to burn off your kid’s energy.
Pro Tip: If you want to secure overhead bin space, send your hubby early to board while you run the kids around the terminal.
28. Kids get to keep their shoes on during security - Yes, one less thing to fight about during airport security! Kids aged 12 and below can keep their shoes on during security screenings according to the TSA. Here’s some more things to prepare for when it comes to a TSA inspection:
✓ Trinkets like toys, loveys and stuffed animals need to go on the x-ray machine
✓ Gear like strollers, car seats, booster seats, etc. also need to go on the x-ray machine (Make sure you know how to collapse your stroller!)
✓ Liquids (other than formula or baby food) must be under 3 oz and should fit in a clear quart size bag
29. Book one seat elsewhere on the plane - One parent sits with the kid while the other enjoys some rest. Parents can switch seats every few hours during the flight. This way, both parents get some rest and recovery even on a long haul flight with the little one.
Pro Tip: For families of four members and above, consider booking 2 rows instead of booking an entire aisle of seats. Place the youngest kids (or those who just love kicking the front seat) on the back row. That way, even if the kid kicks, a family member is in front instead of a stranger.
30. Use an overnight diaper for a long flight - This is a lifesaver for a long flight with a baby or toddler! We like The Honest Company Overnight Diapers because they’re thin and absorbent. In case your little one has to really go during turbulence or while napping, you’ll love having this on them.
31. Register with the Mobile Passport app - Unlike Global Entry, downloading the Mobile Passport app is free! Plus, you can create profiles for each family member who’s traveling with you. You’ll need to enter your basic personal info including your passport number. The best thing about the app is that it expedites the customs immigration process (you answer the questions directly on the app and receive a QR code). Then at the airport, you can bypass the regular immigration queue and head on to the Mobile Passport lane (which almost always doesn’t have a line). This tip alone can save you over an hour of time!
32. Family restrooms are the greatest - They are bigger and can accommodate your family plus your stroller. Just about every airport has them! Very convenient for a family, everyone can take care of business at the same time and it just makes things more efficient.
Pro Tip: Do one last bathroom break before boarding! Change your baby’s diaper, have the older kids take a potty break (even if they say they don’t have to go).
33. Dress simply, avoid the “extras” - Try to simplify dressing up as much as possible. Any other extra accessories like bows or a cap can get in the way. They become another item to hold, drop or worse, lose!
34. Put a sticker on each person’s passport - Attach specific stickers to each person’s passport. That way, it is easy to find each person’s passport during check in and security.
35. Pack saline spray - This travel size nasal spray is perfect for flying. A quick squirt before and during the flight can help save you some headaches! Bonus: It can also help with clearing the nasal passages and avoiding ear pressure pain.
36. Have remedies for ear popping - Be prepared for ear popping by letting your baby nurse or give sippy cups to your older kids. You can also give your kids something chewy to munch on like raisins. We love this option because it encourages lots of chewing and swallowing plus it’s healthier than candies or gum.
Entertainment for Travel
37. Pack a “Busy Bag” for your kid - Keep the kids entertained with a Busy Bag. You can DIY your own activities or buy them if you don’t have time. Then pack them in a Small Cube and take out one activity at a time during a long flight or road trip.
Below are some of our faves:
✓ Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles - We love that it comes with compartments for the different puzzle pieces! Plus, it also has a lid that your kid can use as a building frame.
✓ Crayola Color Wonder Markers - These markers only work on the special paper that it comes with. So no messes on the airplane table tray or your hotel’s walls!
✓ Reusable Stickers - Snag some window gel clings or reusable stickers that come off easily. We like the reusable stickers from Melissa & Doug (this one is perfect for boys and the princess dress up version is perfect for girls).
✓ Lego Travel Case - You can DIY or buy a ready made one. We recommend the ModFamily My Brick Case, it’s small, portable and fits with classic size legos! Great to have for a long haul flight or car trip to avoid losing those precious lego pieces.
✓ Tegu Wooden Magnetic Blocks - These wooden magnetic blocks are perfect for toddlers. They are ideal for travel and even come with their own pouch!
✓ Pipe Cleaners - These pipe cleaners come in assorted colors. Kids will have a blast making various shapes, numbers or letters. Let their creativity shine!
✓ Wipe Clean Book - Perfect for keeping little hands and minds busy! Just wipe clean with a wet wipe and you can reuse the book for your trip back home.
✓ LCD Writing Tablet - Ideal for the artsy kids, scribble, erase, scribble, erase...great for entertaining without the mess!
✓ Wrapped Toys - You can also wrap some cheap toys like matchbox cars, squishies, animal figures, etc. Have your kid unwrap one toy per hour of your road trip. These are perfect for keeping kids still when they’re becoming antsy.
38. Bring some infant specific toys - Newborns and infants don’t require as much entertaining. Hopefully your little one sleeps through most of your flight or road trip! But nothing beats being prepared. Here’s a few baby-specific toys you can bring with you:
✓ Sophie the Giraffe - The universal teether that all babies love!
✓ Ring Links - Great for attaching toys to a stroller or carrier but also a wonderful sensory toy for the bubbas.
✓ Cloth Book - Perfect for little hands, soft yet durable and won’t rip. Perfect we tell you!
39. Decide on “Screen Time” - Most families aim to be screen free on regular days. But taking a long haul flight is a different story. Usually all bets are off if you want to keep the flight smooth (for you and everyone else). Here’s how to prepare for screen time for flying:
✓ Download games or videos to the tablet before your trip - Download your kid’s favorite apps, games or shows before your trip. Most of the in flight entertainment are suitable for older kids, not toddlers. A few of our fave apps to keep little hands and minds busy are Sago Mini, Duckie Deck Giggle Glass (great for kids who love taking photos) and Toca Life.
✓ Charge devices the night before - You don’t want the tablet turning off while they’re watching their favorite show on the flight!
✓ Bring kiddie headphones - Preferably cheap ones you won’t mind losing!
✓ Have a plan for screen time - Do not give out the gadget before takeoff or landing. Plan on how you’re going to hold off on screens during these times. Best to give the gadget only after you’ve exhausted all items in your “Busy Bag.” Pro Tip: Have a technology freeze a few days before your trip. Your kids will miss technology so much that you’re going to enjoy at least two hours of peace during your flight.
40. Download an audiobook or series you like - Don’t forget about yourself! Download an audiobook (or book) that you’ve been meaning to read. Or maybe a series you’ve always wanted to watch.
41. Give them their “own” camera - Have them snap their own photos and see the world through their eyes! We hear you, they’re not old enough for that expensive camera. We love this cheap kiddie action camera instead, it’s waterproof too! We’re sure your kid will be thrilled to have their own gadget.
Traveling With a Baby
42. Use old bibs / clothes you don’t care about - Especially for little babies who mess up their clothes so often! Use old bibs or onesies you don’t care about so you can wash (or trash) them once they have served their purpose.
43. Decide on buying a seat for your baby - Children under 2 years can fly free domestically and have discounted fare rates internationally. Some babies love their car seat and might silently nap if they are comfortable. Other babies despise the car seat and would just make the flight a nightmare. You know your baby best!
44. Check your airline’s policy for lap infants - Some require you to fill out a form online declaring some info about your baby. Others require parents to obtain a boarding verification pass or document before the flight. Check your airline’s website or give them a call before your flight to be on the safe side!
45. Invest in baby travel gear - Newborns and infants require some different gear to make travel more comfy for everyone. Here’s our best baby gear recommendations:
✓ Playtex Drop Ins Bottle With Disposable Liners - Makes cleaning super easy while on the go. These bottles come with disposable liners so you only need to wash and sterilize the nipples, very convenient when traveling!
✓ Portable Bottle Drying Rack - Check to see if the room you’re staying in has a dishwasher. If not, best to bring your own portable bottle drying rack to keep your baby’s bottles safe from contamination (the kitchen or bathroom counters aren’t the cleanest places).
✓ Travel Size Dish Soap - Don’t forget to bring your own bottle brush cleaner or sponge as well!
✓ Fitted Sheet for Pack and Play - Some hotels provide a Pack and Play but not the fitted sheet. They’ll give you twin size flat sheets that you have to fold to fit into the Pack and Play. Bring your own from home instead, it will also be more comforting for your baby as the smell is familiar to them.
✓ Baby Proofing Stuff - These are often small and won’t add to your baggage weight. We recommend a few plug covers and a doorknob lock to keep little hands away from danger areas. Painter’s tape works too (for plugs or sharp corners) and is mighty cheap.
✓ Ergobaby Carrier - Pass through security easy, use your two hands for other activities, a baby carrier is a must!
✓ Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat - Lightweight enough for your travels while still keeping your baby safe whether on a plane or road trip.
46. Bring extra dummies and socks - These items always seem to disappear during trips!
47. Have loads of nappies, baby food and formula - Make sure you have enough just in case a flight delay happens. Most importantly, have the same plan for the way back home. Go for a quick trip to the grocery before going home to replenish your stock.
48. Ear plugs for your neighbors - We love this individually packaged ear plugs. When your little one starts fussing, offer ear plugs to your nearest neighbors on the flight. Great and cheap bribe!
49. Ask for an empty seat - Traveling with a lap infant? Before boarding, ask the crew if there’s any empty seat in the flight. If there is, they’re more than willing to give you that empty seat to keep you and the baby happy.
Pro Tip: Choose your seat wisely. The bulkhead seat is ideal for babies 6 months and below. Reserve the bassinet early on, it’s like a small cot your baby can sleep in during the flight. Otherwise, reserve a seat near the end of the plane if you want a bit of privacy, preferably a window one (especially for breastfeeding mommas).
50. TSA 3 Ounce Liquids Rule doesn’t apply to baby formula / food - If you’re traveling with a baby less than two years old, you’re allowed to bring baby formula or food in reasonable amounts. However, these items are subject to inspection so have them easy to access during security.
51. Feed baby during takeoff and landing - Nurse your little one or give them the bottle. This will help with the ear popping and is also a good distraction from all the noises and turbulence.
Pro Tip: Prepare a bottle of formula before leaving home. You won’t need to mix a bottle during takeoff and it just makes it easier for everyone. Just make sure you use it within 2 hours!
52. Pack something familiar from home - Aside from your stash of new toys, don’t forget to bring some familiar stuff from home as well. Toys that keep your kiddo occupied the longest or a lovey that tames any tantrum. A good balance of new and old toys is sure to keep your little one entertained for a loong time.
53. A blanket always comes in handy - This soft baby blanket is the perfect size for travel! Use it for keeping baby warm, as a changing pad, for an impromptu picnic and more.
54. Gate check your baby’s stroller - It’s okay, you can schlep your baby’s stroller until your boarding gate and use it as a cart for all your bags. Most airlines allow families to check a stroller or car seat for free. But don’t forget to pack your baby gear in a protector bag. We like this stroller bag and car seat bag from JL Childress.
55. Download a white noise app - No need to bring an additional white noise machine! Very helpful for babies who can’t sleep without white noise.
Safety During Travel
56. Make identifying your kids easy - Dress your child in bright colors that easily stand out in a crowd. Or give your kid an accessory that is easy to spot like a neon-colored hat or light-up shoes. You can also attach a temporary safety tattoo or a travel ID wristband with your contact information on them in case you get separated.
57. Most recent photo - Take a photo of your kid in the morning so you’ll know exactly what they’re wearing in case he or she gets lost.
58. Incentive for staying together - If you’re going to visit a densely crowded place, promise a reward to the kids if they stay together until the end of the day. It’s a good and effective incentive to avoid being separated!
59. Designate a meeting point - In each new place you’re visiting, designate a “meeting point” in case someone in the family does get lost. Make sure it’s an easy one that even the little kids can locate it without any problems.
60. The right people to approach - Teach your kid to find the right person to approach in case he or she gets lost. A police officer, staff in uniform or just someone with a badge. Even finding another mommy or family is helpful because they’re sure to empathize with a lost child!
61. Never send your younger kids to the restroom alone - Have an older kid or parent accompany them especially in a crowded place like a theme park or airport.
62. Act it out! - Act out what could happen and practice what your child needs to do in that situation. Have him or her recite their name, the names of both mommy and daddy and any other important information they might need.
Travel Tips for Your Destination
63. Plan one activity per day - Traveling with your kid isn’t a marathon or a race that you need to win. Take your time and do things slow. Plan one activity per day. If everyone is up for more, then do more. But don’t plan on doing more than one thing per day!
64. Switch activities - Plan for activities that each age group in the family will enjoy! For example, first day could be a visit to the theme park which the kids will enjoy. Second day could be a picnic in the park with games (and wine for the parents). Make sure each age group in the family has something to look forward to in the trip.
Pro Tip: Let your kid pick the first thing to do at your destination. Kids love that special attention and privilege! They will be more willing to try other activities if you let them have their moment first.
65. Allot down days - For everyone’s sanity, plan for down days during your travels. That first day after a long haul flight is a perfect example. Down days are also good for when someone in the family suddenly gets sick.
66. Choose lodging that works for your family - Lodging can be tricky for a family traveling with a kid. There’s many options though! A well-known hotel is still the safest option but can be expensive. An Airbnb or VRBO is more affordable especially for a bigger family. But always, always check for reviews and make sure that the property you’re staying in is safe. For any type of lodging you book, check ahead of time if they provide for your baby’s sleeping essentials like a crib or cot.
Pro Tip: Most tourist accommodations aren’t kid friendly! So after checking in, inspect the room or property to make sure it’s safe for your kids. Check the locks on the windows and the doors to ensure that they’re working. Any railings or wobbly balconies need to be checked as well. Check that the bedsheets are newly washed and under the bed for foreign objects that could be a choking hazard.
67. Create functional spaces in your hotel room / Airbnb - Very important especially when you’re traveling with a baby! Create a small play area with a clean blanket and some toys on the floor. Designate a couch or table as your changing area with some wipes, diapers and a changing mat. If you have older kids or teens, it’s a must to have a Charging Station using a portable power strip.
68. Research restaurants in advance - Is there a picky eater in the family? Don’t wait until anyone in the family gets hangry. Find restaurants that match your family’s meal preferences in advance. On a budget? Some restaurants offer a “Kids Eat Free” promotion, take advantage of that!
69. Pick places with things to do, not just see - While you might enjoy visiting museums all throughout your trip, your kid won’t, trust us. When planning for your trip, research if your destination has kid-friendly attractions. Places where your kids can burn off that extra energy like playgrounds, waterparks, beaches, etc. If not, consider other destinations that the whole family can enjoy instead.
70. Look out for special lines for families - Families with small children can usually bypass long immigration lines at the airport. Also check if museums or other attractions offer such special lines for families as well. This can seriously save you some time during your trips!
71. Schedule “road trip stops” for running / exploring - Kids won’t sit still in a restaurant after a long car ride. #obviously Better schedule your stops for exploring a park or an open area. Have meals while on the road - saves you money and takes up some time too!
72. Head count, bag count - This tip is for those large families with kids. Before leaving the airport, count all your bags including backpacks, luggage and handbags. Or before leaving an attraction, make sure everyone is accounted for by doing a head count. Designate this task to the oldest ones in the family!
73. Check the website of the attraction before your visit - Just to keep track if there’s any changes to their schedule. This is a must do especially for places like museums or water parks (different schedules depending on season or if it’s a weekday / weekend). Sometimes, these changes can be small hiccups in your trip or could impact your plans so much that it ruins your entire day’s itinerary.
74. Keep things organized as the trip goes on - Kids have a tendency to mess up an organized suitcase within just a few hours of arriving at your destination. When you’re trying to get ready on mornings, the last thing you need is to be digging through an endless abyss of a chaotic suitcase. #momproblems
If you organize with clear packing cubes, it’s way easier to avoid this problem. Each night of your trip, don’t forget to reorganize any suitcases or day bags that you’re going to be using the next day. Repack your “Diaper Changing Bag” with diapers or wipes. Lay out everyone’s clothes for the next day to lessen the rummaging that could happen.
75. Allot some time for playgrounds - No matter how many amazing attractions you visit, kids will always have a soft spot for a playground. We love the Playground Buddy app for this very reason! You can search for the nearest playgrounds to you from anywhere in the world. Plus, it also highlights the deets about the playground, from how you get there and the amenities available.
76. Kids adjust well to jet lag - You can help them by attempting to change over to the local timezone as soon as you land at your new destination. Plan for outdoor activities to keep the kids awake. But let the little ones nap as they want especially if you’re feeding on demand.
Budget Travel Tips
77. It doesn’t have to be extravagant - Travel doesn’t have to be a break the bank experience where Disneyland or the Swiss Alps are involved. Have kids that love swimming? A simple staycation at a hotel with a nice swimming pool will keep them happy. Adventurous kids? A hike in the mountains is cheap and equally exciting. Consider your kid’s interests and plan trips where you can make endless memories (even on a budget)!
78. You don’t have to see ALL the attractions - Pick a few that you know each member of the family will enjoy. You don’t even have to pay to see some of the attractions. It costs nothing to have a picnic near a popular landmark and you still get to enjoy the awesome views!
79. Don’t eat out for every meal - It’s way easier to go to a restaurant for your meals but it can be pricey. You can instead make a sandwich for an easy breakfast or brunch meal. Get some bread, cured meat, cheese or other spreads from the local grocery instead. No need for cooking or even a fridge for these ingredients and you save a lot because you don’t need to eat out!
80. Use public transport or walk - Cab fares can really add up! If possible, opt for public transportation like buses or trains. If you’ve booked your hotel near attractions, it’s also nice to just walk around to get familiar with the surroundings.
81. Everybody loves farmer’s markets - It’s fun to see what local goods are available and you can get them cheap in markets instead of malls. You can also find tasty but affordable meals (mostly snacks) in these markets.
82. Avoid onsite hotels / resorts - Staying onsite has its benefits but it’s just not ideal for the budget travelers. If the price per night is more than $50, you’re better off finding a nearby hotel. You can save that money for other important things...like food or souvenirs!
83. Give the older kids a spending budget - For kids aged five and above, teach them how to spend money wisely by giving them a budget. Put aside an amount of “Trip Money” for each kid that they can spend on extras like souvenirs, toys, candies, etc. It teaches them responsibility at a young age!
84. Save the best attraction / activity for last - And by best we mean most expensive! Make it a surprise for the kiddos. We find that if you do the best experience first, nothing ever lives up to it. But save it for the last and your trip ends on a positive and high note, especially for the children!
We hope we got you hyped for your next trip with your kids! If you’re struggling to find the best products for your children, keep reading because we got some more goodies for you below.
The best travel items for infants / babies
Our Recommended Gear:
✓ Small Packing Cube (Great for organizing a diaper bag/ backpack)
Snacks & Drinks:
Unique (Optional) Items:
✓ Travel Portable Bassinet Diaper Bag (versatile, use as a sleeping cot, changing station or baby bag)
✓ Snuggle Me Lounger for Baby (less expensive than the famous DockATot)
✓ Yoomi Self-Heating Bottle (if no stove or microwave available)
The best travel items for kids / older babies
✓ Clear Packing Cube Set (This set comes with four cube sizes, choose your kid’s fave color and color code the suitcases!)
✓ Wet Bag
✓ Inflatable Bed Rail (For Babies / Toddlers)
✓ Pacifier / Toy Clip (For Babies / Toddlers)
Snacks / Treats:
✓ Dum Dums Lollipops (Bring a few for takeoff and landing or for kind bribing)
Unique (Optional) Items:
✓ My Little Seat Travel High Chair (For Babies / Toddlers)
✓ Kid-O-Bunk Portable Bunk Bed (Great for older kids)
✓ Piggyback Rider (Carrier Backpack for Hiking / Camping)
So where’s your next destination with your kids? Traveling with kids is a whole different ball game. There’s a lot of things to remember and travel essentials to bring with you. But you’ve got this, mama! Take a deep breath, remember our handy tips above and just enjoy the journey because they really are only little once. Make the most out of this short time!
Safe Travels :)
- The EzPacking Team