Essentials for Traveling Kids

It’s getting to that time of year when we’re either booking our summer vacation or we’re looking forward to jetting off somewhere hot and exotic soon. When you’re traveling with small children, it’s a good idea to create a packing checklist so that you don’t accidentally forget any essentials. Children are not always the most cooperative travelers. Ensuring that they have everything they need, will likely result in a much happier and stress-free vacation! Here are a few essentials to pack:

traveling with kids


Kids can easily become bored, especially when traveling. Being stuck on a plane for hours and not being able to move around even makes adults crazy!  When unable to get up and move around, kids are more prone to have a tantrum or outburst. Make sure you pack some entertainment for your vacation travels like a tablet or portable DVD player. Books, coloring books and crayons, as well as travel games will also help provide your kids with sufficient entertainment for those long hours on a plane. These items will also come in handy during the hottest parts of the day, when you want your kids to cool off, stay out of the sun, and away from scorching UV rays. 

Safety measures

While traveling with children and exploring new and different surroundings, it’s also important to make sure you’re packing items that could avoid any accidents or dangerous situations with your kids. Here are some ideas on things to pack:

  • Car Seats – If flying with a child under 2, it’s best to bring his or her car seat along for air travel. Your child must have a ticketed seat on the aircraft if using a car seat; lap children usually do not need tickets. It also makes sense to bring the car seat if you plan on traveling by car once you reach your destination. Most rental car companies offer car seats, but the cost of renting one quickly adds up.
  • Life Jackets – When swimming in open water, the sea can quickly become choppy and too much for kids’ little bodies to handle. If you’re looking to buy, gives you all the information you need to buy the right life jacket, ensuring that your little ones stay safe in the sea, and even in the swimming pool. Arm floats and inner tubes are also great for smaller kiddos in the pool.
  • Sunscreen – Sunscreen is one of those items that you know you need, but it’s easy to forget about so be sure to pack it! Buy the best SPF for your needs and remember, the higher the SPF, the better the coverage. You can find many kinds of sunscreen today that are baby safe, reef safe, and are water-resistant. Be sure to pack the kids some sunglasses too!


If you are in a foreign country, it may be difficult to locate or communicate any medication needs that you might have. I always make sure that I have some essential medication packed, especially if camping or overseas. Over the counter pain relievers, allergy medication, digestive relief, and a first aid kit (like this Johnson & Johnson Red Cross All Purpose First Aid Kit, link to Amazon) are pretty much essential when traveling with the family. Also, if your child is on any prescription medications, make sure you pack more than enough for your time away, and always pack these meds in your purse or carry-on. Always carry them with you; luggage can get lost or delayed. Also, try to enforce proper hand washing and hygiene before the trip; no one wants to be ill on vacation, especially kids!

travel with kids

Comfort toys

Finally, being in a strange city or country and in a different bed to what you’re used to can be scary, even for adults. Make sure that your children pack favorite blanket/stuffed animal/ toy to take to bed with them and carry around if needed, just to provide that extra sense of comfort and security for them. This is also another one of those items you want to make sure is packed into your carry-on. It also doesn’t hurt to attach a clip to it so that it can clip onto a stroller or bag and reduce the chance of it getting lost. I’ve been there….my daughter lost her favorite blanket and was in tears. I was fortunate enough to retrace my steps, find it, and ultimately save the day. But that is a lot harder to do when you’re on vacation, in multiple places a day, taking public transportation, and being in a many different environments.

Hopefully this packing list will be helpful to you while getting ready for that big trip. Happy children mean happy parents. Plan and prepare all that you can to ensure a memorable and fun trip for everyone in the family!

Happy Travels!


Travel with Kids

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