Summer is upon us and its that time of year when families will be heading off on vacation. Especially after the last couple years when travel wasn’t as accessible to us. If you’re lucky enough you may get more than one even lol! Traveling with children can be a bit challenging and unless you’re prepared somewhat, it can be a scary experience.
My first experience went better than I thought it would, surprisingly. However I had had some experience traveling while I nannied so I kind of knew what to expect. It is definitely a must to be prepared when you have little ones traveling with you.
Being prepared is key!
Having some time to prepare definitely helps before traveling with little ones. It’s not only less time consuming in the long run but also less of a headache when the time comes to leaving for your vacation.
That’s where lists come in!!
Make A List
I have to admit I’m one of those list lovers. They help me to keep organized and on track when I have a million and one things to do. Being a parent is crazy enough without having to remember so many other things going on.
It doesn’t have to be a crazy long list. When traveling I tend to do several lists for different tasks. You can download one of our FREE checklists below that might make your life a bit easier.
- Your list can be a to-do list. This will make it easier when trying to figure out what tasks need doing before you leave. Things like organizing flights and travel insurance to making sure your passports are up to date. You may not have traveled with your little one before so they may not even have a passport. Always give these things a little time to organize.
- Having a checklist of what you need to pack is also helpful. I know from past experience Ive traveled somewhere and forgotten something important. Of course most things you can purchase when you arrive. But when you forget your child’s favourite stuffy it can be a nightmare to say the least!
- Make a list of ‘things to get’ closer to your trip. Depending on where you are going you will probably need to stock up on things like sunscreen and bug repellent.
Our FREE printable travel check lists are editable so you can add and check things off without having to print your list. We’ve added some items to the checklist to give you a helping hand and get you started. But of course you may not need some of it. Especially if you are nursing or have older children.
Download your FREE travel checklists here!
Just to make your life a bit easier we have made these editable check lists that you can use when traveling with your little ones. Just be sure to open in a pdf reader in order to edit.
Flying is an adventure for children and it should be a fun experience for all of you. You want it to go as smoothly as possible.
Packing for the whole family can be a bit of a nightmare. Even one child can need so many essentials it can be daunting. Children need so many more things that we do in their daily lives. Whether it be diapers/nappies or snacks to keep them happy.
Lets be honest, packing a suitcase for yourself and for your kids are two totally different challenges! We usually know exactly what we’ll need and generally pack light. Unless you are like me and like a different outfit for every occasion. 😉
What To Pack?
So I guess if your just starting out on your travel journey with the kids, you might be wondering what do I pack?! Here is a run down of some essentials that you need for your plane journey and beyond. Of course depending on the ages of your children you may not need all of these.
- Diapers – Babies of course need to be changed regularly so always make sure you have plenty diapers at hand!) IF your child is in the process of potty training, pull ups and a travel potty can be helpful to have with you.
- Formula – This is of course if you aren’t nursing. It can also be handy to have bottles already filled with formula. That way you aren’t juggling trying to measure it out on the plane. The airline staff will usually give you hot water to fill them. Since 9/11 there have been restrictions of liquids taken onboard. But they do sometimes make allowances for passengers with babies.
- Tylenol – Or some sort of pain medicine for kids. Their ears may bother them with take off and landing. Or you may have a teething baby onboard. Always better to have something at hand for any emergency.
- Teethers – If you do have a teething baby, its always good to have something with you that they can naw on. Maybe even take an icepack with a cold cloth for baby.
- Pacifiers – Young children usually need something to soothe them and a pacifier is a good aid for those popping ears on a flight.
- Blankets – Being on a plane especially overnight can get a little draughty. Having a blanket will help to keep the chill off.
- Snacks – Kids are always hungry even on flights they will ask for snacks. This is more directed at older kids but I know little ones like the occasional snack. Snacks will also keep them happy usually too.
- Change of clothes – Even older kids will have spills and accidents. So it is always a good idea to have a change of clothes handy.
Making sure you have everything you need is one thing but packing with kids in tow is a whole other ordeal!
- Books/Toys/Activities – Little ones get bored very easily so I always make sure I have activities for them. Things like colouring books, lego and card games are good options. If your not already familiar with busy bags boy oh boy you have to get on it!! Seriously though these things were a life saver when I was traveling with my son as a toddler. Check out these busy bag ideas https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/20477373296503029/
- Ipad/Device – I was always one of those parents that did not want her child using a tablet. But I can tell you during a 6 hour flight, it can be a saviour lol! You don’t even have to have games on it. Just sync some movies on there and you always have it as a back up in emergencies.
- Wipes – This is a must! Hands get everywhere when traveling with children and often very sticky! I always make sure to have wipes at hand for any accidents. You can also get antibacterial wipes for hands. These are good for kids to use before eating.
- Masks and Hand Sanitizer – Since living through a pandemic, it seems the norm just to be extra cautious. Especially whilst traveling. Younger children may not like wearing masks but if your kids are old enough to keep theirs on, Id always try to encourage it, especially on the plane.
Packing Essentials Only
I will add that when traveling somewhere with children, only pack the things that are essential. Always remember that you can purchase some things once you get to your destination. Depending on where you are going, there will most often be a shop close by or a pharmacy. Or if you don’t need certain items on the plane, just pack them in your check in luggage.
(Top Tip- When packing your suitcase roll up your clothes. Honestly this is a huge space saver!!)
Keeping Kids Safe
The one stressful part of traveling with children for me, was keeping them safe. Airports are very busy and large places. Little ones can easily wander off unless you are keeping your eyes on them at all times. Of course this is unrealistic as there are so many things going on. Getting through customs, getting to your gate on time. Even checking in when you first get there.
If your child is in a stroller at all times then it makes things a bit easier. But of course being in an airport for long spells will make your toddler antsy and they may want to stretch their legs and explore.
Keep them on a leash!
These wrist bands are literally like a leash. They attach you to your child and help to keep your child with you at all times. I will say that little ones often don’t like being strapped to the wrist.
But if I had to choose between my child having a tantrum in the airport or my child wandering off, I know which one I’d rather!
These wrist bands are a great tool for keeping your kids safe and I would definitely recommend. Not only for at the airport but when you get to your destination!
Also take a stroller with you that can be checked in at the gate. If you have really small children with you it is definitely worth being able to strap those little ones in to keep them safe.
When traveling with children, it’s important to notify the airline of any allergies that your child may have. The airlines will usually have nut free flights. I am guessing that this is mandatory now. However your child may have other allergies that need to be addressed. This will help them determine any special meals that you may need during the flight.
Keep Kids Hydrated
When traveling on planes and spending endless hours stuck at airports, it’s best to stay hydrated. Always have water and extra drinks on hand. You can always ask the airline for extra water on the plane. And when you do get to your destination, always have extra fluids at hand for that hot weather.
Take lots of sun protection
Whether you are going to a tropical paradise or skiing in the mountains, it is always best to be prepared for sunny days. And children are very sensitive to the sun. Some more than others.
You can always buy more when you arrive but it’s always good to have some with you.
Some countries have more bugs and insects than others. It’s a good idea to take bug repellent with you just in case. You may also want to look into any any relevant vaccines that you and your family need. Places like Malaysia often have insects that carry diseases. Always better to check before traveling.
Since traveling has started back up again after a pandemic, airlines now require that kids ages 2 and up do have to wear a mask. And most children will be so used to wearing them by now. But I do always make sure my kids feel comfortable in their masks. So taking a re-usable washable mask that fits your child properly is best.
These breathable kids masks are reusable and better for the environment. You can order them in bulk and then you always have extras for your trip.
Keeping The Kids Busy
Last but not least it is always better to keep the kids entertained. And being on vacation is no different. Especially whilst on the journey there. This vacation activity book will keep the kids entertained for hours. It’s full of vacation themed kids activities including word search, dot to dot, word jumble and scavenger hunt!
There are also some colouring pages that will keep the kids entertained for a while. Just make sure you have crayons or markers at hand. From the airport to your destination, your little ones will have something to keep them busy.
You can grab our fun travel activity book here!
You can access our fun vacation activity book right here. Click on the link below.
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