What To Pack for Full-Time Travel: Kid's List
You’re traveling with kids? Hooray! High fives to other brave parents out there who don’t want to think kids “hold them back” from traveling and seeing the world. What those beautiful kid-less singles and couples don’t know is it is actually a million times more rewarding to see the world with kids. I’ve got five. I can say this.
Sure, we are rocking the parent-bods and we aren’t magazine models (some of us never were anyway!), but our hearts are full and happy because of these little little people we travel with.
What to pack for kids to travel full-time? They are pretty easy! Kids adapt to whatever they have, so they will just go with whatever you bring them. Ok, I can’t speak to teenagers, but they are probably packing themselves anyway. I’m talking the 10 and younger crowd. Kids are just happy to be with you and you are giving them more time than ever before. So as long as you are there and their basic needs are met, you don’t need to stress.
However, I’m a planner too and I also wanted a list. So here is mine!
Backpacks: Like Chris and I, we originally thought the kids would also carry all their stuff. This just didn’t work. Travel days were becoming a nightmare with our kids- they wanted to sit at every opportunity, they couldn’t get up with the weight of their backpack, they begged for rolling bags. I was OVER it. So we moved some of their stuff to checked luggage. They now have more free space for their little “trinkets”, toys, stuffed animals, blankets, etc.
In the backpack:
Extra outfits. I waffle between 1-2 depending on how soon I want to break into checked baggage. Also remember extra underwear, PJs (mine don’t wear PJs anymore) and a swimsuit
Travel Journal. This is a treasure and I don’t want to lose it.
Headphones. Keep these handy for the airplane.
Kindle Fire Tablet (Lucy, Grant and Lincoln). Also keep handy for the plane.
Shoes. We do two pairs of shoes for everyone. Hiking/walking water shoes, like Tevas, and tennis shoes. The two oldest also have flip flops, which they also have to fit in their backpack.
Extras. The rest of the space, if there is any, is up to them to decide to fit! I like these mesh bags to keep their “stuff” together.
In our checked luggage:
We use these Thule Bags for our checked luggage and love them!
Clothes. When buying clothes, I look for the best quality I can and solid colors. I buy shirts I can find all three sizes for my boys and have them all roughly coordinate. This way, we don’t have big, bright outlier colors in our family pics!
Pants. For each child, I have 1-2 pair of pants (depends on what weather we may face in the near future. We will head to China in the next 60 days, so I’m keeping some pants and then will likely ditch them until the fall when we buy new ones in Europe).
Shorts. Two pair.
Shirts. You can get away fine with 3. I like to have one long sleeve, but the rash guard shirts can also count for this. If you hate laundry, like me, or your boys get especially dirty every day, like mine, maybe 5.
Underwear. 3-5 pairs.
Socks. 1-2 pairs, but they still lose them constantly.
Swimsuits. I want at least 2 per child so one can be drying.
Sunshirts/Rash Guards. A must in a lot of sun- saves tons of sunscreen time too.
Other kid gear we use:
White noise machines. These little babies are one of our FAVORITE items. We used them at home before we left and they have been wonderful as we travel. When we go to a new city and it is loud, these make the kids right at home. Close quarters with lots of sleepers can also be tricky. White noise goes a long way when Chris has to work and be on the phone all night long.
Fluoride Rinse. Another item that isn’t necessary, but has been a game changer for us. We were dealing with some pretty common cavities before we left and I was worried. A dentist recommended this fluoride rinse and it has turned the tables! We haven’t had a cavity now in over 18 months. It’s heavy and a pain to carry, but we do it. I have only found it in a store once in Hawaii, so I have visitors bring me this item as well.
Toothbrushes. In order to prevent cavities, we also invested in quality toothbrushes for the kids (three to share among the five). We carry just one charger.
Baby carrier. In a big city, it is SO much easier than a stroller. You may need an infant version or a toddler version. We love our wagon to death, but it is a hassle on the trains. I love it when we can get away with the older four just walking and putting Grace in the carrier.
Carseat wheel attachment. This has been lovely. We actually don’t use the car seat for much beyond the plane at the moment, but it’s wonderful in the airport. Grace is strapped in and it’s like a stroller. We take off the attachment at the plane and put her in a seat.
Tell me below what else you might recommend. I love learning new things!