Packing for a vacation with children can be daunting and overwhelming. Below is a list of tips to help make packing for your trip a little easier. The specific items you will need will depend on the age of your child(ren), your destination, and travel method.
• Bring your own diapers, baby food, and medicine. Although some airlines or resorts might provide these, they may not have the brand or style you prefer and availability should not be relied upon.
• Check with the resort in advance on which amenities they provide to avoid having to bring things like a pack-n-play, high chair, or beach/pool towels if they are not needed.
• If you are renting a car, call ahead to find out if the rental company provides car seats.
• Don’t forget comfort items like a night light, pacifier, lovie, and special books.
• Depending on the age of your child, bring any child proofing gear you might need, such as outlet covers and night lights.
• Bring clothes that don’t wrinkle easily.
• Avoid light colors that stain easily.
• Pack an extra bathing suit so a dry one can be put on while the other one dries.
• Bring clothing that you can easily mix and match.
• Pack layers to adjust for changing weather.
• Bring along “new” toys. They can be used toys you get a garage sale, toys that were packed away in an effort to rotate toys, unopened gifts you stashed away, or toys from the dollar store. New-to-them toys are much more captive then ones that have been played with many times. Consider saving some to pull out at different points throughout the trip, especially for the journey home.
• Get a portable lap tray to make activities like coloring easier and reduce dropped toys.
• Consider a portable DVD player.
• Snacks, while not toys, can be just as effective as toys at providing distraction, plus they help fight off hunger. When traveling it can be hard to eat healthy, so bring healthy snacks.
Be sure to check the weather prior to leaving. Just about everything you would consider packing could be purchased at your destination, but the less time you spend shopping the more time you have for fun.
Do you have any packing tips? What works well for you and your family?