In an earlier post, I offered four tips on how to pack for traveling with kids, so you can learn from my mistakes and avoid some of the trial-and-error I’ve gone through in trying to streamline family travel. This post will focus on some of the hacks on what to pack that I’ve figured out over time.
If this is your first trip with little ones, you need this list of my what to pack must-haves for travel with small children:
What to Pack when Traveling with Kids:
1. Two Nightlights, an Outlet Adapter, and a Noise Machine
How does your little one sleep at home? Many kids have nightlights
I’ve also learned to bring one of those multi-outlet adapters
2. A Collapsible Diaper Caddy and Crossbody Diaper Pouch
We don’t use a diaper caddy
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I also keep a very streamlined diaper bag – a diaper pouch
Having a crossbody strap is critical; I always have my hands full between squirmy kids and other gear. Mine (a baby-registry freebie) came without a strap. So I added loops and attached a small carabiner and spare clip-on strap to the corners. That way, I can either clip the bag onto a carry-on or stroller, or wear it crossbody.
3. Two Diaper Covers
I’ve tried several different brands over the course of cloth-diapering our two girls. If covers are something you’ll be using every day with cloth diapers or inserts, it pays to do your research to see which covers will stand up to thousands of uses and hundreds of washings. But if covers are something you’ll just use for travel, there are plenty of reasonably-priced options
Travel is full of the unexpected, including unexpectedly long stretches between diaper changes. Having a diaper cover can mean the difference between a blowout contained and a kiddo who has to travel the second half of the trip in soaked-through bottoms, or a carseat cover steeped in poop. (Been there, done that on both counts; not fun, trust me.) And by the way, these are not your momma’s diaper covers. Modern covers are made of soft PUL fabric, which line-dries overnight. One to wear plus a spare can save you lots of mess and dirty laundry over the course of a trip.
4. Special “Travel Toys”
Did you ever make a special “Road Trip” mix when you were younger? Or save a stack of trashy novels for summer vacation? Acquire some special travel diversions for your kids, and even a long trip will go more smoothly.
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And don’t forget the bedtime stories! We have several “travel” hardcovers with enough reading material for a week, and save them for trips away from home. For the littlest travelers, a volume of nursery rhymes or first prayers works well. For slightly older kids, try a collection such as The Complete Beatrix Potter
It may seem daunting at first, but traveling with kids DOES get easier with practice! Starting your kids early will make them travel pros in no time. And these what to pack must-haves will help your travels go smoothly.
What’s on your must-have list for what to pack when traveling with kids? Let us know in the comments!
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