49 Essential Things For Packing Your Kids

When I traveled solo, I left my packing for the last minute. It was just me. It never took me more than 1-2 hours to pack up for a 1 month trip. Now we are four and packing for a 3 day trip can take me 4 days to pack.

After many long weekend getaways and even more 1-3 week vacations of constantly forgetting stuff, I can proudly say, I’ve ALMOST got the hang of this packing business.

Our responsibilities in my family are broken down as such:

My husband looks out for himself and I do the rest!

Does that seem fair? Not really, but after many times of recruiting my husband in helping me pack up the kids, it’s proven more work than for him to just do his thing and let me take care of the rest.

Since I’m pretty organized, I’ve come up with some lists that are easy to follow and have minimized my packing time down to a couple of hours per person.

For the Baby

Day pack or carry-on

  • 6 diapers
  • 3 portions of formula
  • 4 Cleaning cloths and bibs
  • 2 water bottles
  • 1 full baby bottle, 1 empty
  • Sippy cup with water or juice
  • Baby wipes
  • Socks
  • Change of clothing
  • sweater
  • Sun screen
  • Baby Tylenol
  • Saline solution for nose drops
  • Crackers or baby cookies
  • Fruit and snacks
  • Toys to keep him busy – this is creativity time. I tend to bring a bunch of little things still in there wrapping so that we go through the process of opening it slowly, even tape, wooden sticks, whatever your kid would be into to make the driving or flight time pass somewhat painlessly.
  • Book for babies to look at

B Boy’s Kid list for Packing

B boy is old enough to help me pick out his toys and of course the use of electronics is unavoidable. This is what we pack up in his day pack or carry-on:

  • One pair of clothes to change into
  • sweater
  • Choice of toys for him to play with
  • Portable dvd player and videos he gets to choose
  • DS and his games
  • Kid friendly camera
  • Drawing book or coloring book and colored pencils/pens/markers/crayons (whichever your child likes the most)
  • Snacks – cereal, cookies
  • Milk or pedisure
  • Water bottle
  • Ipod/mp3 player

Mom’s Packing List for the Family

So where do all the other essentials go for the family. My bag of course!

  • Everyone’s passports and other legal papers necessary for international and even domestic travel
  • Flight or road trip info – reservation numbers and phone numbers
  • Guide book
  • Baby wipes just in case we run out
  • Sweater
  • Sunscreen for the family
  • Water
  • Snacks that my kids would like if they run out
  • Laptop
  • Ipod/mp3 player – to tune out my family
  • Lip balm
  • Band aids
  • Tylenol
  • Antibiotic cream and ointment
  • Sunglasses
  • Perfume
  • Notepad and pen to jot down my big ideas while baby is crying on my lap
  • Change of shirt – in the highly probable case my baby vomits on me
  • Cell phone
  • Tissues
  • Keys to the house

This pretty much covers the essentials. If these items are in our bags at hand, the trip will usually run smoothly!

Now the key is not to lose the list!

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

7 Responses to 49 Essential Things For Packing Your Kids

  1. Allen says:

    Hi Marina,

    Your list is great. It looks like you put a lot of thought into it. I found your web site indirectly by viewing you on Tim Ferris 4 hour work week site. After seeing your interview I had to check your site out.

    It’s a great site and a great idea. I too am a huge Tim Ferris/ 4 hour work week fan.

    Anyways, I thought I would let you know about my site http://www.PackingWiz.com that allows you to create a and save it online. Maybe you will find it useful.

    Best of continued luck with your business.

  2. Allen says:

    Sorry, my last post somehow left out the part that tells you what my site is.

    It’s a travel list keeping site.


  3. Really great lists! Thanks so much putiing putting your time and effort into this and sharing 🙂

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