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16 Useful Packing Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Kids

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Embarking on family trips, whether by road or air, is stressful enough, let alone multiple kids. I would pass on to someone traveling with kid(s) what I know and after learn so much during all this year raveling with mt kids.

Packing for multiple kids can be stressful, adding stress to your journey. To help ease the burden, I’ve gathered essential packing tips tailored for families with kids. Whether you’re traveling by road or air, these tips aim to simplify the process and reduce stress. So, if you’re preparing for a family adventure, keep reading for valuable advice to lighten your load and make traveling with kids more manageable.

1. Choose the Right Bag and a Good Suitcase

Investing in quality luggage is essential for any trip, considering factors like duration (such as a weekend getaway), transportation mode(whether it’s by plane, train, or automobile), and packing volume. For international travel, a sturdy roller bag serves well as a carry-on, saving you extra fees. Personally, I recommend the Gregory Mountain Products Facet 55 for durability or the Osprey Farpoint 40L backpack for ample space and durability.

Find Osprey Fairview 40L Women’s Travel Backpack in Amazon

Find Gregory Backpack in Amazon

Also when it comes to travel convenience, carrying both a large handbag and a checked-in suitcase ensures easy access to essentials. For families on budget airlines, packing one clothing packing cube in each child’s backpack is a practical strategy to avoid extra expenses. In this post, I’ll detail how to navigate this effectively.

During our travels, we put one carry-on suitcase like SwissGear Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels for bulky items like shoes and sweatshirts, avoiding extra fees and waiting for baggage. By consolidating luggage into one carry-on, you can streamline the travel process and get to your destination faster, whether it’s avoiding fees or getting to the pool quicker.

Find SwissGear Expandable Luggage in Amazon

As for carry on lugagges here are my favorite:

Find Gregory backpack carry On Amazon

LEVEL8 Rolling Carry on Luggage Airline Approved

And for kids the jet kids Includes Kid’s Ride-On Suitcase & In-Flight Bed for kids Ages 3-7

Find JetKids by Stokke Travel Bundle here

And for kids travel backpack here, I like to have room to grow

Deuter Unisex Kid’s Junior

2. Create a Packing List:

Making a packing list is crucial to ensure you have all the essentials for your trip. You can easily find pre-made lists online or create your own to fit your destination. I have a comprehensive packing list available for download that you can customize to your specific needs. You can create your own and saved and reused on your phone’s notes.

Additionally, consider Your Children’s Needs, the items you pack may vary depending on the ages of your children. For instance, traveling with toddlers may require different essentials compared to traveling with a baby. First and foremost, jot down everything you think you’ll need to stay organized and avoid forgetting crucial items.

Be sure to Pack Wisely and Include essentials such as diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, snacks, and any necessary medications. When it comes to clothing, opt for a minimalist approach. Young children tend to get dirty quickly, so pack enough outfits for each day with a few extras just in case. Remember, you can always do laundry during your vacation if needed.

For example kids water shoes for every kid for beach time if needed, or rain coat if need.

Find it SAGUARO Kids Water Shoes Boys Girls in Amazon

A rain coat iis useful many times, we use one very light even during summer in Paris so it is importat to check the weather.

Lightweight Breathable Raincoat

3.Pack Clothes that Matches  

When packing for a trip, prioritize clothing that can easily mix and match. For adults and kids. Select tops and bottoms that coordinate well together, enabling versatile outfit combinations. Merino wool garments are especially beneficial due to their natural antimicrobial properties, allowing them to be worn multiple times without developing odors.

Merino Wool Base Layer for Kids

Kids Unisex Long Sleeve Shirt Thermal

Aim for 3-4 versatile tops that can be paired with different bottoms. Include 2-3 pairs of bottoms that complement your selected tops to create numerous outfit combinations. Opting for coordinating clothing pieces maximizes wardrobe options while minimizing the number of items to pack.

4. Follow the formula when packing for kids

When packing for a week-long getaway, aim for practicality to avoid over packing. For a 5-day trip, pack 2-3 pairs of versatile shorts or pants, ensuring suitability for various activities and climates. Bring along 3-4 mix-and-match tops for outfit variety, along with a light layering jacket or heavier coat if needed.

For beach vacations, pack 2-3 swimsuits or trunks to ensure a dry option is always available.

Include 4-5 pairs of underwear and socks for each day of your trip, along with 2-3 undershirts for comfort. If space is limited, pack fewer undergarments and plan to wash clothes during your stay.

Many accommodations offer laundry facilities, allowing for convenient wardrobe refreshment during your travels. Utilize these amenities to keep your packing streamlined and your trip hassle-free.

5. Toys yes or not toys?

When it comes to toys and entertainment, opt for a few compact, lightweight items. if possible none.

A favorite blanket or stuffed animal offers a sense of comfort and familiarity, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Additionally, books and small toys are perfect for keeping children entertained during quieter moments.

6. Use Packing Cubes They do Save Space 

I swear by packing cubes for optimizing space and staying organized during family travels. These handy tools revolutionize the packing process, especially when juggling the needs of multiple family members. By assigning each person their own cube or utilizing gallon-sized Ziploc bags for kids’ clothing, you ensure easy access to everyone’s essentials throughout the trip.

Packing cubes are particularly invaluable for families on the move, offering a semblance of order during the hustle and bustle of travel. Whether embarking on a brief weekend escape or an extended adventure, these cubes helps with efficiency and ease transitions between destinations.

Opting for transparent packing cubes enhances visibility and accessibility, allowing you to quickly identify the contents of each cube without the need for extensive rummaging. By allocating specific cubes for items like swimsuits and pajamas, you can easy the packing process and ensure that essential items are readily available when needed. Additionally, rolling outfits together can help maximize space within the cubes, enabling you to fit more clothing items while keeping everything neatly organized and compact.

Packing Cubes

7. File and roll your clothing

Improve your packing process by rolling your clothing instead of folding it. This simple and effective method not only conserves space but also minimizes wrinkles, ensuring your attire remains fresh and presentable throughout your journey. To use this technique, lay your garment flat and fold the bottom 2 inches (5.1 cm) inside out to create a secure base. Then, tightly roll the item from the opposite end until you reach the folded portion, and fold one side over to secure it in place.

In addition to this for organization ad using packing cubes to keep your rolled clothes neatly grouped together and easily accessible. Additionally, maximize space by storing socks and undergarments inside your shoes, maintaining both organization and structural integrity. When loading your bag, prioritize heavier items such as shoes and toiletries at the bottom to prevent them from compressing or wrinkling your clothing.

With these you’ll be surprised by how much you can fit into your luggage while still leaving ample room for essentials and souvenirs. Bid farewell to bulky, disheveled suitcases and embrace the simplicity of hassle-free travel packing!

8. Get AirTags

I got AirTags not only for my checked luggage to safeguard against potential loss but also for each of my kids to wear as a precautionary measure. This way, in the event of accidental separation, I can swiftly locate them. If you feel like the wristband holder foryour kid solve this relocatiing it on his ankle, and concealed beneath his pant leg.

Air Tag

Air Tag Bracelet

Air tag insole holder

9. Wear the Heavy Clothes in airplane 

Wearing heavy clothing items, like jackets or sweaters, on the airplane can be a smart move for managing luggage and ensuring comfort during travel, especially to colder destinations. By donning your heaviest outerwear onboard, such as a sports jacket, you not only stay warm during the flight but also free up valuable space in your carry-on luggage for other essentials. Additionally, if traveling to colder climates, consider wearing or stowing your coat with your backpack to further streamline your packing process.

10.Packing Liquids for kids for airplanes

When packing liquids for kids’ air travel, it’s crucial to follow TSA regulations for a seamless journey. Each liquid container should not exceed 3.4 ounces to comply with these rules. Avoid wrapping gifts, as security may need to inspect them, which could cause delays. All children’s grab-and-go items, like toys and snacks, must be contained within a bag for security screening.

Parents of infants or toddlers should note allowances for breast milk, baby formula, and baby/toddler food. Pre-packaged food for kids is considered medically necessary liquids and can be brought in larger quantities. This includes gel or freezing packs to keep these liquids cool. Importantly, children don’t need to be present for parents to carry these items onboard. For more detailed guidelines, parents can visit the TSA government website.

11. The Secret to Packing Shoes

Stuff socks inside! By doing this you save space in your suitcase and keep smaller items organized. Wearing a pair of walking shoes during travel not only ensures comfort but also reduces bulk in your luggage. Make the kids wear the heavy sneacker and pack the filp flops.

Encourage family members to wear their largest shoes, like casual or athletic ones, on travel days to further streamline packing. Stack sandals to minimize space, and consider storing shoes in a separate bag to prevent dirt from spreading. With this method, you can bring two pairs of shoes and wear one on the plane, making your travel simpler and more organized.

I bring two pairs of shoes and wear one pair on the plane. Life is so much simpler that way.

12.Gather your luggage and everything you want to pack in one place

Gather all your luggage and essentials in one spot to stay organized. Aim to pack everything for a 5-day trip in one bag or suitcase. Keep luggage and items for each person separate to avoid confusion and ensure nothing gets misplaced.

13. Pack Light & Pack Layers

Essential items for traveling with young children include a stroller, car seat, and portable crib or playard, which offer familiarity and ease during transitions. Avoid packing bulky toys or equipment that take up space unnecessarily. Embrace a minimalist approach to luggage, focusing on essentials like layers for varying weather conditions and comfortable pillows for everyone . I am big in neck pilows for comfort for kids and adults.

Consider investing in quality gear like Ergo and Kelty backpacks,if you have little ones. It help to move around instead of having a big stroller and ensuring comfort and independence for both parents and children. Take advantage of flexible school calendars to travel during off-peak seasons and manage expectations regarding children’s behavior and routines. Leave some days free in your itinerary to allow for spontaneity and relaxation, ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable family vacation.

14. Have this handy during your trip: 

Be prepared for your long-haul flight by keeping essential items in your carry-on. Bring cash or credit cards for purchases and emergencies, along with entertainment like books, toys, and devices, plus earplugs and eye masks for relaxation. Inflatable pillows offer neck support, and don’t forget headphones for entertainment. Chargers keep your devices powered, while snacks and a refillable water bottle keep you hydrated and satisfied during the journey.

Personal Items to Pack handy

Passports/documents (make sure they’re up-to-date!)

Glasses

Phones

Laptops

Tablets

Chargers for all electronics

Cameras

Headphones

Reusable day bags

Outlet adapters if traveling abroad

Below are some outdoor recreation essentials you should keep in your bag when going to tropical destination:

Sunscreen

Bug spray

Hat for each family member

Sunglasses

Lip balm

For cold-weather destinations, don’t forget to bring:

Wool hats

Gloves

Hand warmers

Here is some medical stuff you should pack:

Insurance card

Medications

Children’s Tylenol/Ibuprofen

Motion sickness medication if necessary

Hand sanitizer ( spray version is especially good for kids!)

Small first-aid kit (include anti-itch cream, Band-Aids, tweezers)

15. Keep toiletries to a minimum

Keep toiletries to a minimum to avoid overpacking and comply with airline regulations, especially for air travel. The TSA allows travel-sized containers of liquids, gels, creams, and pastes up to 3.4 ounces each in a quart-sized bag for carry-on luggage. Choose travel-sized versions to save space and minimize spills. Essential toiletries include shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, razors, deodorant, makeup, and skincare items. Packing efficiently ensures you have what you need without adding unnecessary bulk to your luggage.

16. Download electronic versions of books and magazines to save space.

Download electronic books and magazines for family trips to save space and entertainment options. Use devices like iPads or Kindles to access digital content without adding bulk to luggage. Many subscriptions offer free electronic access, making it easy to enjoy reading on the go. Opting for electronic versions helps lighten your load and keeps everyone entertained during travels.

Rocio

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I am Rocio

Hello there! Thank you for stopping by. My name is Rocio, and I’m a Latina mother with a wanderlust. I believe that family trips are important in forming well-rounded kids. Even when you have kids, you can still travel, so I help busy parents figure out how. Through my blog, Real world Mami, I want to give you tips that will help you plan epic trips to both well-known and less-known places around the world. Happy Travels!

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