Essential Packing List for Kids

Traveling with Kids? Here is a Packing List for Kids that will put your mind at ease, including a free customizable list to download and a visual packing list to involve your pre-reader in the packing process.

Whether you’re embarking on a long-awaited family vacation or simply taking a trip to visit relatives, traveling with young children can be a daunting prospect. There are so many things to remember to pack – diapers, snacks, toys, extra clothing – that it’s easy to overlook some of the essentials.

But don’t worry, this article will help you prepare for your next adventure with your little ones. We’ve got you covered with essential packing items that will make your journey smoother and more enjoyable.

Best travel strollers for easy transportation with kids:

When you’re traveling with young children, a stroller can be a lifesaver. Lightweight and compact strollers are ideal for traveling, as they are easy to fold and carry.

One of the best umbrella travel strollers we found is the Baby Trend Rocket. It has held up through countless trips, rough terrains, and careless baggage handlers.

Once we started traveling with two little ones, we found a lightweight double stroller that collapses pretty flat for easy stowage. It’s the Zoe Twin, which we found used on Marketplace. We love that it has shades with good coverage (sun protection) and reclines far enough for our kids to nap comfortably (up to age 4).

packing list for kids stroller

Fortunately, most airlines recognize the challenges of traveling with little ones and offer parents the option to check or gate check their strollers at no charge. This can be a huge relief, allowing parents to keep their hands free while navigating the airport and making it easier to get around once you reach your destination. So, when you’re packing for your next family trip, be sure to remember that your stroller is one item that you won’t have to worry about fitting into your luggage or paying extra fees for.

Essential packing checklist for traveling with infants:

When traveling with infants, you need to pack several essentials, such as diapers, wipes, and extra clothing. Read on for our packing list for kids medicine bags.

It’s also important to carry a portable changing pad, travel crib or bassinet, and a baby carrier. A baby carrier, such as the Ergobaby Omni 360, is a must-have for hands-free activities at your destination.

The best snacks for travel with kids:

Long flights can be challenging for kids, which is why snacks and entertainment are important. Pack healthy snacks like granola bars, fruit snacks, and crackers. You can also bring some of their favorite books, toys, coloring books, and electronic devices. Don’t forget to download some movies or games for them to enjoy on the flight.

packing list for kids

Choosing the right car seats for travel:

If you will be traveling via car once you reach your destination, you’ll need a plan for car seats. Rental cars typically cannot guarantee availability of car seats as they are “first come first serve” so we opt to bring our own for peace of mind.

The Cosco Onlook 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is our absolute favorite. It’s lightweight for hauling through airports, approved for aircraft use, and easy to install.

Another option to secure a car seat once you reach your destination is to rent one from a third party company like BabyQuip.

Tips for packing medications and first aid supplies for traveling with children:

When traveling with kids, it’s essential to pack medications and basic first aid supplies, such as band-aids, antiseptic cream, and a thermometer. Always carry prescription medicines in their original containers and pack extra doses in case of delays or lost medication. It’s also a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before traveling.

We’ve compiled a list of what we keep in our kids’ medicine bag so you can feel prepared for anything.

Essential clothing items for various climates when traveling with kids:

When packing clothes for your kids, consider the destination and climate.

For beach vacations, pack swimsuits, sunscreen, hats, and rash guards.

For colder climates, pack warm layers, hats, gloves, and boots.

Is rain in the forecast? Bring a rain jacket or kids travel poncho, boots, or a rainsuit.

Remember to pack extra clothing in case of spills, explosions, and potty accidents.

Milwaukee in winter with kids - Sunburst

What to pack for beach vacations with kids: essentials and safety items:

When traveling to the beach with kids, don’t forget to pack essentials such as a beach bag, towels, sunscreen, hats, and a beach tent for shade. Of course, if you are flying to your destination vs. driving, you need to be more discerning about what you bring from home.

It’s also important to bring safety items such as life jackets, water shoes, and a first aid kit. Always keep an eye on your kids and follow water safety guidelines.

Check out our downloadable packing list for the full list of water and beach gear.

Travel-friendly sleep solutions for babies and toddlers:

Getting your baby or toddler to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings can be challenging. Travel-friendly sleep solutions, such as a travel crib, portable bed, or a sound machine make a difference.

White noise machines, like ours, are lightweight for packing and can help block out noise and create a soothing environment. Bonus points if this is what they are used to in their own room at home.

One thing we didn’t know about flying, as new parents. was that if your child is under 20 pounds, you can request a bassinet seat on an international flight! Be sure to request this at check in at the airport.

travel hack - bulk head bassinet - air travel with families

Organizing and packing tips for traveling with multiple children:

Traveling with multiple children can be chaotic, but with some strategic planning and organizing, you can make it easier.

Pack each child’s items in a separate bag or labeled packing cube. This will help you stay organized and make unpacking easier. Depending on the trip, sometimes I opt to put complete outfits for the entire family into a single packing cube, repeating this for each day of the trip.

Don’t forget to include some activities and entertainment for each child.

packing list for kids

Must-have travel accessories for keeping kids comfortable and entertained:

Lastly, there are a few travel accessories that can make your journey more comfortable and entertaining for your kids.

These include a travel blanket, volume controlled kids headphones, a tablet with pre-downloaded movies or apps, activities they haven’t seen before, stickers, and books.

Feeling prepared with these accessories and activities can help your kids relax and enjoy the journey.

You will find tons of our favorite kids’ activities in our shop if you’d like some inspiration by age.

Free Download: Essential Packing List for Kids

Don’t forget a thing on your next vacation with little ones by copying and customizing our exhaustive packing list for the family!

Enable your little one to participate in the packing process by printing our visual packing list.

Final Thoughts on the Essential Packing List for Kids

Traveling with kids is an unforgettable experience that requires a lot of planning, preparation, and patience. With this essential packing list for kids, you’ll be better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way.

Pack wisely, stay organized, and have fun!

Globally Inspired Picture Books

Picture books about unfamiliar places, faces, foods, and customs have generated such wonderful curiosity and discussion in our home.

Here are some of our favorites:

Busy Board

Quiet Books or Busy Books make excellent toys for road trips or air travel. I’ve had a number of flight attendants and fellow passengers take a picture of ours for the toddler in their lives.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links on which (at no additional cost to you) I may earn a small commission. I promise to use any kickback to explore more of our incredible world. Read full privacy policy here

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