Ask almost every parent out there and you’ll hear them say “traveling with kids isn’t a joke”. And for sure, it really isn’t. However, with little and good preparations—arming yourself with the right travel essentials you can make the trip fun. Your vacation will be a source of beautiful memories that every member of your family will be looking forward to.
And so, to help you with the planning process, here are the 12 travel gear and essentials you need to bring on along.
Travel Essentials to Pack for Vacation With the Kids
1. A suitcase (vacation for kids or grown-ups–this is your top must-have_
This is obvious and a must-have gear—you know.
Most likely, your kids have more luggage than you do, and so, it would be wise to get a suitcase that accommodates the most number of items. Remember it doesn’t necessarily have to be big in size but one with compartments and enough space for what your kids will need.
If you’re traveling by air, then perhaps, you may want to try a Trunki Children’s Ride-On Suitcase or MiniMax Kids’ Carry-on Trolley Suitcase. These are perfect examples of stress-free kids’ travel gear.
2. Extra clothes
Here’s one of those somehow overlook travel essentials–and it can have disastrous results. Pack extra clothes for yourself and the kids in your carry-on bag, where they’re accessible to you. Packing all your outfits in your suitcase, stowed under the airplane, won’t be of much help in certain situations.
Who knows—one minute, it could be a diaper explosion and the next minute a vomit. No one wants to stay in soiled clothes, so carry extra clean ones for easy change.
3. ID bracelet
Kids have the tendency to wander from parents, something that can really stress you out as a parent. Once they sneak between people in a crowded area, you right away begin to panic. And so, to save your sanity, consider investing in an ID Bracelet.
It carries all the emergency information that can be easily used to reunite you with your young one.
4. Portable baby high chair
In addition to making feeding time fun and easy, portable travel baby high chair also provides you the convenience of having your kids next to you even in public places—which is what every parent wants. Just to keep an eye on the young ones.
It easily slips over the back of any type of seat and allows your baby enough room to comfortably move while eating and playing.
5. Infant headrest
…Or simply, infant pillow.
You want to carry this if you’re planning on traveling with an infant. The pillow helps prevent the baby’s head from rolling around, and you can comfortably use it on any seat you want.
Also, remember to pack in some neck pillows for your toddlers. You never know when and where they’ll fall asleep; plus you want to prevent the most dreaded “nap neck” moments.
6. Car seat
It might seem heavy and bulky, but it offers your little one the much-needed safety when traveling by car or plane.
7. Baby monitor
Imagine this; you’re extremely tired from a long day trip and then you want to struggle to fix a Wi-Fi- enabled baby monitor; figuring out how to shore it up on a table next to your bed…! It’s more than stressful.
And to add on to your frustrations—the Wi-Fi buffers…ugh. You can go crazy.
To avoid all that, get a non-Wi-Fi baby monitor. It’s more secure, safer, and difficult to hack—compared to the Wi-Fi enabled one. It also provides for easy positioning options so you can put it anywhere in the room.
8. Baby wipes
You definitely want to find some space for this very crucial item, regardless of whether or not you’re traveling with kids. They’re usually anti-bacterial, and therefore, helps keep off infections.
Throw in some pull-up diapers as well, especially if you’re potty training—just in case things go a mess.
9. SitAlong Seat
Carrying your little one on one hand and rolling a wheelie on the other hand; while rushing through to an airport’s security check is almost an impossible task…
Let alone pushing your infant on a stroller.
But it’s all different with a SitAlong toddler luggage seat. Simply attach it (the seat) to your carry-on luggage and move around stress-free with your kid on board. The seat is also foldable, so you can store it together with your luggage in the overhead compartments once you get to the plane.
10. Lots of snacks
Snacks are good for anxiety management in kids. More so, if you offer them those that they can identify with.
Ensure you pack more than enough snacks to help keep those “hunger tantrums” at bay. One more thing; when your kids are less anxious you also automatically become less anxious, and therefore, able to maintain your sanity throughout the trip.
11. Baby air flight vest
This vest easily locks into on-flight seatbelt—for enhanced security and safety of your little one(s). It also helps create mobility between you and your little one.
12. Quality camera
No one wants to lose track of good memories, which is the reason why you want to bring along that camera; so your kids can keep themselves busy in taking photos of those breathtaking and fun moments of your road trip.
Forgetting this important item will imply the inconvenience of having to hand over your phone to the kids every time they want to take a picture of something. Plus, it can easily lead to the fight of who is holding mommy’s phone…?—a situation that you obviously don’t wish to find yourself in.
The Bottom Line: Packing the right travel essentials equals a fun vacation with kids
Whether you plan to fly or road trip to your destination, the principles are the same. Things like play toys, kids’ iPads, and some art tools (like drawing books and coloring objects) are must additions to your luggage to help keep the kids occupied. Otherwise, they can easily get out of control for lack of patience. These activities will make parenting an easier job as you travel.
Also ensure that you follow these tips to plan a vacation with kids:
Plan in advance and leave plenty of time
You realize that when you vacation with kids, everything takes longer than when you travel alone. From security checks to restroom visits, and to plane boarding; everything slows down. Therefore, allow plenty of time by leaving home earlier; so you’re able to accommodate such “go wrongs”.
Overpacking only makes the packing process even more stressful. Want to capture all the good moments of your trip? Then travel light.
Book everything you’ll need in advance to avoid inconveniences
…and especially if it’s a new place you’re heading to. Advance booking will also allow you enough time to relax when you finally get to your destination; so you can enjoy every moment of your trip.
Other than the flight, also consider pre-booking things like lodging, private and public transportation, sightseeing tours—which should also include getting those advance tickets in the case of museums or theme parks.
Take time and explain the trip to the kids
Let them know everything—what to expect. Whether taking a flight or a road trip, tell them where you’re going, what things they can expect to see there…that way they’ll get excited and constantly look forward to that travel day; as opposed to when you just leave them in the dark. In fact, if you don’t let them know your plans in advance, they’ll easily get bored.
Kids don’t like it when there are too many new happenings around them; more often than not, this raises their anxiety levels thus making them uncomfortable and unhappy.
Also, consider using this moment to set straight how you expect them to behave throughout the trip.