Whether you’re planning to take a one-week vacation to Grandma’s house or a two-month trip overseas, one of the most important parts of traveling is making sure that you pack properly. When you’re going on a trip with kids, packing can be tricky. For parents who have never traveled with their little ones before, figuring out what to bring and what to leave behind tends to be incredibly stressful. Fortunately, you can simplify your packing experience with these simple tips.
1. Pack extra diapers
Think your 3 year old is ready to travel without his diapers? Think again. Many children who are potty trained tend to revert back to their diaper days when their routines are disrupted. Even if your child has been accident-free for weeks, you should still pack plenty of diapers or pull-ups just in case you need them on the trip. If your little one becomes scared, nervous, or simply feels overwhelmed, he could need to use a diaper instead of the toilet.
Also make sure that you plan to pack more diapers than you think you’ll need for newborns and infants. While you can always stock up on diapers at your destination, you need to make sure that you have plenty for your car ride or airline flight. Should you accidentally run out of diapers during a lengthy plane ride, for example, you won’t have any way to get new diapers until you reach your destination.
2. Bring plenty of socks
What is it about children that makes them want to pull their socks off? For many kids, being barefoot is comforting and freeing. Unfortunately for parents, most kids who take their socks off tend to lose them. If you have a youngster who loves to wiggle his toes while he travels, make sure that you pack plenty of extra socks. Even if you’re going to a warm destination and plan to wear sandals, you’ll want socks for your child to wear at night and during any times when you’ll be doing lots of walking.
3. Extra shoes are a “must”
Similar to socks, shoes are something that kids tend to lose or ruin during vacations. Pack at least one extra pair of shoes for each child. Make sure that you consider what your itinerary will be and plan accordingly. For example, if you plan to go to a nice dinner, your toddlers light-up tennis shoes might not be appreciated. Similarly, if you’re going to be traveling to a place with a lot of snow, sandals might not be the best choice. Make sure that you pack at least one comfortable pair of shoes for your child to wear and bring an extra pair in case you need them.
4. Bring your own water bottles
Traveling is a recipe for dehydration. Many adults experience increased thirst during trips, but don’t realize that children can also experience this. Consider packing your own water bottles to use during the trip. Even if you’re planning to fly, young children and infants are allowed to bring their water or juice through security. Older kids should each pack an empty water bottle that they can fill once you’re through airport security.
5. Don’t forget the wet wipes
Traveling can be messy. Pack several packages of wet wipes to use on your trip. Even if you don’t have a child in diapers, you can use wet wipes to conquer sticky hands, spilled drinks, and even accidental vomiting. If you’re traveling by plane or you don’t have a lot of room for large packages of wipes, you can purchase individually wrapped wipes or travel packages at most stores.