Travelling with children can often feel like a daunting task, and after taking my children overseas every year for the past eight years, these are a few items that we pack that have made our travels a lot easier.
What you pack is often difficult. Nothing is worse than over packing, or forgetting something that makes your life easier on a holiday. Here are ten items I never leave home without when going on a family holiday.
1. Travel Pillow
Not all planes have blankets and pillows. The neck ones you buy are too hard for children to use and sometimes hotel ones aren’t the best either. My solution was to sew a pillow from home in half. Our little DIY pillows fit into their carry on bag, and they are perfect for planes, long train rides and in the hotel.
This little gem can be used as a blanket during travel as it is light but enough to keep the cool air off little ones. Pack one per child, then it’s yours poolside when you arrive.
3. Scrapbook & Activity Bag
This is a great way to keep track of your travels day by day. Collage the flyers, brochures or tickets from the day’s fun and stick them all in the book. It also keeps the kids busy on the plane, in a restaurant or on public transport if you have some colouring in pencils too for them to personalise their “travel book”. We also have an activity bag that has some surprise toys (wrapped really tight with sticky tape if you want to keep them busy!), colouring books, some puzzle toys, and of course kids padded headphones and fully charged electronic devices (which I always keep as a last option to entertain).
4. Hand Sanitiser
This is a must when travelling with kids. Children touch every hand rail, dirty pathway and unhygienic item they see and sometimes it’s hard to get their hands washed before a snack. THANKYOU do a non toxic version which is fantastic.
5. Lip Balm
My boys get lip burn from being in & out of air conditioning and without management it can get quite sore. Pick one with some sunscreen in it.
6. Drink Bottle & Carrier
Keeping hydrated whilst travelling is essential, so pack a bottle that you can fill up whenever you see a water fountain. This saves adding more plastic waste to the place you are visiting. We also have insulated bottle carriers so that the boys can carry their own water around their shoulders which is really handy.
7. Medical Kit
Nothing is worse than the family getting ill whilst you are away. Pack Vitamin C and Multivitamins, children’s paracetamol, Aqua Ear, Hydralyte and other essentials like bandaids. Some countries don’t have (or it’s really hard to find) over the counter medications like antihistamines. I strongly advise you have a well packed medical kit.
8. Baby Wipes
Let’s face it – they come in handy for everything.
If your kids have a favourite snack, pack it. I pack salted popcorn packets as they are a serve of vegetables. Snacks are light and they are replaced with souvenirs on the way home. We also take a tube of vegemite and sandwich Tupperware boxes so that a simple sandwich can be made and taken every day (I’ve never had a problem finding a loaf of bread overseas). In some countries you won’t be able to read the labels, so if your children have sensitivities to food like mine do, it is much safer to take a few essentials yourself. Just make sure you declare it if you are travelling overseas – most packaged foods are no problem at all.
10. Small sachets of washing powder and a travel clothes line
Some destinations like Bali are easy to get your clothes washed, other places are hard to find. Or it’s so expensive that it’s cheaper to just buy new clothes. I prefer to be prepared and able to hand wash things like underwear and socks.