Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Must Haves When Travelling With Kids

We have done a variety of travelling with our three young kids; from backpacking to road trips to flying to SE Asia, our kids are pretty experienced travellers. Our youngest was just 14 months when we flew to the Philippines and Thailand and she was four years old when doing her first overnight hike. We have road tripped to places like Oregon, Tofino, Drummheller and Barkerville–there's always somewhere new to explore! Our kids are currently aged 4-10 and I'm so thankful for the adventures we've had and all that is to come.

Based on our travels, I could include a list with 20+ items but I believe that these are the "must have" items to include each time.

Five Must Haves When Travelling With Kids:

1. Have a detailed plan for lodging and transportation. You might want to be spontaneous but have a well thought-out plan to depend on and if you want to alter it upon arrival, that's fine. From back country camping permits to guests houses across the world, look into reviews and make the bookings in advance. Often it's worth it to pay a little more to have a continental breakfast included so that you're not searching for food in the morning–especially if dealing with time changes.

{If using a tuk tuk, know the address of where you are going. Ahem.}

2.  Pack food along. Yes, it's great to ask others for restaurant suggestions but there have been times when our kids have been so tired that waiting for food to come was a painful experience. When we travel by car or plane, we often have many of our kids favourite snacks along just in case (granola bars, fruit chews etc). This not only can prevent meltdowns but also helps your wallet. An important thing to remember is that milk in other countries can taste quite different so if your younger kids are dependent on fresh cow's milk, make sure you know where to find it (otherwise the chocolate milk in cartons will often do the trick).

3.  Layers. Comfort is so important when our Little Ones are out of their normal routines. I can relax when I know my kids are at a good temperature not only for their well-being but for whining prevention. Layers are key that allow for a variety of temperatures throughout the day. A great rain jacket is important in almost every situation! Bringing a second outfit in your carry on for the plane has helped us more than once.

4. Sealable bags: Ziploc bags are great for small treasures that they find, snacks that are their own, dirty clothes that are very soiled/smelly, and keeping books safe. Each kid has a backpack and it helps to keep it organized. Take medicine along in a sealable bag and be sure to include a thermometer, ibuprofen, and Benadryl in your first aid kit. I've used these waterproof Seal Line dry sacs for my phone, camera batteries, clothes, and passports as well–you never know!

5. Toys/special items: Each of our kids has taken their special blanket along. If your child has started growing attached to an item, try to find a back up immediately! For two of our kids we have split their special blankets in half so that one always remains home in case the other gets lost. If your child doesn't have a comfort item, bring several toys that they can play with during down times. A taste of home is always appreciated. The boys' favourite toys to bring along have been little balls and toy cars as these items can interact with any environment and they're small! We have also brought a novel along to spend down time together in the evenings after a long, busy day (Charlotte's Web in Bohol, Philippines).

There are many other things to include when planning a trip (like making sure someone has your itinerary) but these five basics are ones to help ease the stress level that may rise when travelling with your young ones. What else would you add?



  1. Definitely agree with your tips! When flying in the evening, especially long haul, I always stick to our bed time routine. We brush his teeth, change into pj's, read a story and would give him his comfort item so he knows its bed time. I've even bathed him in airport sinks while in transit. He would fall asleep as we taxi the runway every time :) This is obviously more for little ones. We'll see how we go next time when he is 3 ;)

    1. Yes, we try to do that too (but my kids are terrible sleepers airplanes!). Cool that you have another trip planned!

    2. Yes, off to Bali in March for my 30th :) Very excited!