Packing for kids takes time and can seem daunting at first. I recently did a podcast with The Mom Vent and one of the hosts said that the reason she doesn’t travel as much with kids is that the thought of packing is overwhelming for her. So to make it easier, here is your ultimate guide to packing for kids.
Packing for a trip can be daunting. Packing for a trip with kids can be even more daunting. The clothes, the gear, the toys, what should you bring and what should you not bring? There is a lot to consider. Here are my top tips for packing for travel with kids and my FREE downloadable packing checklists for both newborns/babies in diapers and older kids.
Every place you visit is different and every trip is different. Some trips are for relaxing (ie. Hawaii), some are for activity (ie. hiking in Wyoming), some are for sight seeing (ie. Paris). But there are five things that we do on every trip and you should too. Here they are:
With the holidays here, I am staring down over 30 hours in the car with our kids. 30 HOURS!!!! If you are like me, you will probably be spending some time in the car with your kids traveling to see family or going on vacation during the upcoming holidays. I used to be intimidated by the thought of a long road trip in the car with kids. Anything longer than four hours and I was not into it. Mr. H on the other hand loves road trips. He doesn’t mind driving and it saves us a ton of $$. He once drove to Seattle (13 hours of driving) when the boys and I flew and met him there! After surviving a 9 hour each-way drive to San Diego this summer, I have come around; road trips with kids can be amazing.
I learned I can survive 9 hours in one day in the car with our two kids (2YO & 5 YO), by myself, and actually have fun! Here are my best tips for how you too can survive any length roadtrip with kids:
We love traveling with our kids, it is a lot of work, but still, both Mr. H and I genuinely enjoy taking our kids to new places (crazy, right?!). For this reason, we hadn’t really talked about taking any trips without kids, that is, until we were presented with the option. Mr. H was asked to go to Italy to give a talk, his and a companion’s airfare and hotel covered. Who doesn’t jump at the chance to go to Italy on someone else’s dime?! So we started talking about it, would we bring the kids? Could Big D miss school? How could we make it work? We hadn’t left the kids with anyone for more than a night, so we weren’t sure that was even an option. Unexpectedly Grandma Hope offered to watch the little ones so we could go on our own. “Yes, that sounds amazing, thank you so much!” And this is how our first post-kids, no kids trip was planned.
Summer is almost over, but there is still time left to squeeze in a weekend camping before the weather turns. Camping with small kids can be a daunting idea, but can also be amazing. Kids LOVE the novelty of camping, it is a fun weekend together as a family, and totally worth all the effort, and yes, there will be some effort put in. Here are are my tips for taking small kids camping, surviving, and actually having fun:
We love hiking with our little ones and one of the best parts of San Francisco is its easy access to beautiful hikes. Hiking post-kids is not quite the same as hiking pre-kids, but still can be a lot of fun. Here are my top tips for hiking with kids:
Even with pretty expensive plane tickets, Bali is a relatively affordable international vacation for a family of four. Here is a little insight into how much a week in Bali costs for mid-range accommodations and eating. There is definitely much cheaper backpacker options for everything listed as well as much more expensive, higher end food and hotels.
One of the big reasons I hear people talk about not wanting to travel with their toddler is jet lag. Outside the three hour time difference from US coast to US coast, the time change for toddlers can be big from six hours from New York to Europe to nine hours from San Francisco to Europe or more if you fly to Asia. So how do you deal with the jet lag?
Everyone has different strategies for packing. I am not a super light packer. If there is room in the bag, I tend to throw in one more layer just in case. At the same time, it is a balance; you don’t want to be schlepping a ton of stuff you aren’t going to use. I find it easier to pack lighter for the boys than myself. I thought I would give you a peek into our packing from our Bali/Singapore trip.