Packing Hacks for Traveling with Kids
Hello everyone, hope you all are doing great! Today, I will be sharing some of my travel packing hacks that I have learned from my worst packing mistakes over the years. And, these hacks have helped me save my sanity on our trips with our toddler. How? Read on…
The travel planning and preparation does not stop at booking a perfect child-friendly hotel or finalizing the trip itinerary. The next big step is to pack your bags wisely so that it doesn’t become a burden later on. No one likes to pull super heavy and large trolley bags when you have a baby or a toddler traveling with you. That’s just can’t happen.
We usually start our packing with making a packing list, which then leads to a to-do list and a purchase list, and finally to a checklist.
TIP – 1
Before making a packing list, ask these questions to yourself-
- Is it a weekend trip or a long trip?
- For how many days you will be traveling?
- How many hotels you will be staying at?
- Temperature and weather conditions at the destination?
- How much baggage weight the flight allows to carry?
=> For a weekend trip, we only pack 1 medium size trolley bag and 1 backpack
=> For a week-long trip, we usually pack 2 medium size trolley bags and 2 backpacks
TIP – 2
Travel Packing Hacks. What to Pack?
Now while keeping the above pointers in mind, start making the master packing list. You may add more items to the below list.
Main categories –
- First Aid kit/Medicine box
- Toiletries/Make up kit
- Essential documents
TIP – 3
Next step is very crucial but generally, we avoid doing that. Making subcategories of the above-listed items. We tend to think that we can recall all the items by just looking at the main categories. Whether you have a really good memory power or you are another version of Ghajini (Bollywood movie), take 15 minutes out of your schedule and write down the subcategories. Trust me, having this list will make your task 10x simpler on the final day.
- Socks/caps/gloves (for winter vacation)
- Swimwear (for summer vacation)
- Dry snacks
- Juice packets
4- In-flight/In-car/In-train entertainment
- Activity sheets
- Favorite Toy
5- Medicine Box (travel sized kit)
- Basic medicines
- Prescribed medicines along with the prescription
- ORS & Eno sachets
6- Toiletries/make up kit (travel sized kit)
- Soap/shower gel
- Laundry soap/liquid
- Swimming pool essentials
- Makeup essentials (I keep only lip balm & lipstick)
- Mobile phone
- Charger/power bank
8- Essential documents
- Passport (if traveling Internationally) & Visa (if applicable)
- ID cards or driving license if you plan to hire a bike/car & self-drive
- Photocopies of flight booking, hotel booking, etc.
- Hand sanitizer
- Tissue papers
- Candies/chocolates for difficult times
TIP – 4
Once the list is ready, you will get an idea of what all things you need to arrange and what all you have to buy. At this stage, you can prepare your purchase list or a simple to-do list and stick it at a place where it is clearly visible. And start collecting items at a single place.
TIP – 5
Once you have arranged all the things as per the above list, the next big step is putting all the main items in the trolley bag. We usually pack our big bags 2-3 days prior to our trip or even early if it’s possible. And, pack our backpacks a day before the trip since all the last minute things go in the backpack.
Keep ticking off the items which you have added to the bags. And, now you will be left with your checklist i.e. the things which are yet to be placed in the bags. These are the important things that we collect at the last moment from every corner of the house. But with the checklist in hand, it won’t take more than a minute to do that.
Now that you have applied the packing hacks and are almost done with your packing. You realize something is not right. We all tend to do certain packing mistakes which are easily avoidable. So, here are the 6 packing mistakes you should avoid.
6 Worst packing mistakes you need to avoid when traveling with kids-
1- Carrying a handbag instead of a backpack (best packing hacks)
I have seen many parents carrying a heavy handbag at the airport and running behind the kids. Please think wisely when you are traveling with a baby or a toddler. You will need your hands to be free to attend to your kids rather than handling a big handbag. If you want to maintain the style quotient then select a stylish bag which can be used in multiple ways, a handbag, sling bag or a backpack.
2- Don’t overpack clothes & footwear
During our first couple of trips when Nemit was a baby, we did the mistake of packing a lot of clothes with matching footwear, socks, and caps. No need to do that. Pack stuff which goes with everything and can be mix matched.
- Just pack one outfit per day and 2 extra outfits for the whole trip.
- If you are traveling to a summer destination, carry lightweight outfits. You can easily wash them if need be.
- If you are traveling to a colder place, pack dark color clothes. Carry no more than 2 jackets.
- If possible pack only 1 pair of shoes and 1 pair of flipflops. Avoid carrying heavy shoes.
- If you plan to do some shopping, you can always cut down 1 or 2 outfits per person while packing.
3- Don’t pack all the toys or books
- Never do this mistake. You will not like to see your child playing with toys or gadgets rather than enjoying nature and scenery.
- Let them get bored, they will find games to keep themselves engaged.
- Just carry 1 favorite toy, 1 storybook, and a few activity sheets to keep them busy while on a flight or waiting at the airport.
4- Don’t pack perishable food items
- Don’t keep juice packets in your trolley bag when taking a flight. They may puff due to air pressure and leak inside the bag.
- Avoid packing too many perishable food items. Instead, keep a lot of dry snacks for munching during your trip. Or pack some sandwiches for immediate hunger. We usually keep a lot of snacks in one backpack which gets empty by the end of our trip. And, which can then be used to pack extra stuff like shopping items etc.
5- Not checking the essential documents
- Check your passport and other essential documents for any damage before booking your trip. This was one of our worst mistakes ever. My mom’s passport got damaged unknowingly, the last page lamination came off which we were informed by the check-in staff at the airport. It was then too late for us to take any action and my mom had to cancel her flight and go back.
- Always keep digital or hard copies of your marriage certificate and your child’s birth certificates.
6- Not keeping enough photographs
- You will need passport size photographs for the visa.
- Even if you are traveling nationally, it’s always wise to keep a few pp size photographs of all family members.
So, that’s all for today. Hope you found these tips helpful. Do share this post with your friends and family.
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