Taking vacations as a family is one of the best ways to unplug, reset and make lifelong memories together. While there is plenty to be excited about when traveling with children, it can pose its fair share of headaches and stress. For that reason, many parents pack the whole kit and kaboodle to avoid any meltdowns or poor sleep and stay prepared for any accident.
While it’s certainly true that luck favors the prepared, there’s also the truth that most people pack way more than they’ll need on their trips. If you’re looking to save room in your suitcase but make sure you’ve got all bases covered when it comes to your kiddos, keep reading for the only must-haves you’ll need.
White Noise Machines
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or young at heart; everyone sleeps better with some white noise in the background. When traveling, you have zero control over the noise around you. Even if you rent a house through Airbnb, you never know what the neighbors will be up to. A white noise machine is a must if you’re in a hotel. You can either pack the machines you use at home or purchase smaller, lightweight travel white noise machines.
While it’s a given, you’ll bring your child’s favorite blanket or lovey and leave the rest of the toys back home.
The truth is, your kids don’t need that much to keep them happy, and studies have shown that fewer toys promote a stronger imagination, a longer attention span, and much more. Don’t bog down your luggage, filling it with items your kids won’t even touch on your vacation. Even if there’s bad weather on your trip, plenty of indoor activities require just a little creativity and imagination.
The same way adults get fatigued or suffer foot pain and blisters in the wrong footwear, kids are best off in a pair of comfortable sneakers no matter where you’re traveling. If your vacation takes you to the beach, you’ll need sandals too.
One of the best parts of visiting new cities is exploring them on foot to ensure an authentic experience. Make the day’s activities last by keeping your kid’s feet supported and comfortable. Shoes take a lot of space in a suitcase, so be mindful about how many pairs your family brings.
Be Swimsuit Smart
You don’t like putting on a cold and wet bathing suit, so keep in mind your children will be even more particular about their swimwear. Swimsuits are one area you want to overpack if heading to the oceanside. Several baby girl swimsuits, multiple trunks for your boys, and even an extra for you are smart. And don’t forget a wet bag to keep the rest of the items in your beach bag dry!
If your children are quite young and prone to spills and accidents, doubling up is advised. You may be able to pack like a minimalist, but your kids are bound to make a mess, and you may not be able to find a replacement depending on where you’re traveling. It’s worth it as a parent to try to wear a capsule wardrobe on your vacation to make room for the extras your kids will need. The fewer decisions to make regarding your daily outfits is another way to keep your vacation stress-free.
Of course, you want safe travels all around on the trip for you and your loved ones, but we’re talking about safe ways to carry your baby here. When strolling the streets of a new city, you want your hands free to shop, eat, and anything else.
Keep your baby safe and close with a wrap (which takes up the least luggage space) or a suitable carrier. Even young toddlers can enjoy a ride on your back in the right carrier and help them rest if they’re doing a day-long excursion.
Your individual family’s needs and lifestyles will add other items to your list, and of course, you want any daily medications or supplements, important identification documents, chargers, etc. But, you should have your bases covered with just the items mentioned above. Happy Trails!