Travelling with children can be challenging because it requires more than just preparing the basic needs such as clothes and toiletries. With little children in tow, packing requires both creativity and common sense. However, with a bit of know-how, it doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Here are the things you need to include in your checklist:
It almost goes without saying that when travelling, you will want your children to wear clothes more than once before washing them. If possible avoid bringing white or light-colored clothing for young children. Dark-colored clothes are less likely to show dirt marks or food stains. If/when you need to wash clothes you might like to splurge on a laundry service instead of spending your precious holiday time doing the laundry yourself. Most hotel rooms and even ship cabins have air-conditioning so you might want to bring long-sleeved pajamas.
A child is a child, and whether you like it or not, they will want to play and will be looking for their toys even while you are travelling. You’ll have limited packing space so I suggest asking each child to choose 2-3 of their favorite toys rather than trying to take too much. Aside from the usual stash of books, paper and crayons, you may consider bringing some inflatable toys with you. They are soft, easily stowed, and don’t make any migraine-inducing noises! It might be a good idea to bring an Android tablet or iPad if you have one because it is small and condenses many games that your child might want to play without having to bring a bunch of different toys just to keep your child from throwing a tantrum.
Other Things to Bring
There are things you should definitely consider packing when travelling with kids.
Medicine – A visit to the infirmary is only for some serious stuff, but for common cough and colds, bring your own meds. For a quick fix, bring some nurofen for children. It contains ibuprofen that helps with pain and reduces a child’s fever.
Baby Food – while some cruise ships and airlines offer a few selections of baby food, the vast majority do not. The last thing you want to worry about is your child running out of food to eat.
Diapers – Depending on your destination it might take a day or several to find the size and brand of diapers that you need so I suggest taking a supply to get you through the first few days. Once your child is potty trained then purchasing a travel folding toilet seat cover is a good idea and your child will feel more comfortable using a public toilet.
Identity Bracelet – If your child has special needs, get him or her to wear a medical alert identity bracelet that bears the name of the child, medical condition and contact number in case of emergency.
Something I always pack, whether I’m traveling with children or not, is a “pocket pack” or a large travel purse with anti-theft security features, to keep all our bits and bobs that we need in during a day out sight-seeing. Pocket packs squash down and don’t take up much room in the suitcase, and they give you an extra day bag without having to unload your full carry-on bag to use that.
Things to Leave Behind
Some of the things you should leave behind are bibs (napkins will do), beach towels (hotels and cruise ships and adult shampoo (aside from the fact that hotels and cruise ships provide them, you can just bring kids’ shampoo with you and use it for yourself as well).
Traveling is fun especially when you’re with your children. These items will help you make your vacation comfortable and memorable.