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10 Packing Tips for Traveling With Kids

tips packing with kids | Des Moines Moms BlogIt’s May and for a lot of us that means exciting travel plans with the family! 

Whether it’s a quick road trip or a bigger adventure, here are 10 packing tips to make traveling with kiddos a little easier!

5 Must-haves

1. Snack bags

packing tips | Des Moines Moms BlogWe all know the importance of snacks when traveling, even if you’re only in the car for 10 minutes! Snacks are imperative.

These bags are a really functional and cute way to travel with snacks. If we’re only going a short distance, I load them up! But if we’re traveling a farther distance (we’re going to Florida in June) I pack a few empty ones to fill up on the go.

The best part is that they’re reusable and can be machine washed! Between uses while traveling- I simply rinse them out and let them air dry! You can find them at Buy Buy Baby and other retailers that sell kid’s stuff.

2. Wet/dry bag

This is a must have for the upcoming summer months! We love these wet bags for dirty or wet clothes. Can you say stinky, wet swimsuits?! We pack one for each kiddo and it is a lifesaver.

Additional mama tip- we send these to swim days at school too! Found them at Buy Buy Baby and other retailers that sell kid’s stuff.

3. Natives Shoes

I mentioned these shoes in my spring fashion post for kids, but these shoes are excellent to travel with! They’re sturdier than a rubber flip flop and are SO versatile. They’re great to wear to the beach, pool, or on long walking days! They can get wet, dry fast, wash up easily, and prevent stink! And did I mention, they come in the most darling colors for both boys and girls!?

4. Activity books/busy books

My kiddos love this felt busy book. It comes with a compartment inside for all the felt pieces! This was $3 at Target!

Traveling with kids can be chaotic and messy. Don’t forget to have some activities that can be done on the way there (in the car or on the plane) or while waiting (in lines and at restaurants) during the trip.

I scored these awesome activities at the Target One Spot (averaging $1-$3!), and I’m saving them for our travels in June. I definitely recommend buying some new, fun activities for the kiddos so that the activities are new and exciting for them to play with! 

packing activities | Des Moines Moms Blog

This was also at the Target One Spot, for around $3 each. These will be perfect for the plane and waiting at restaurants!

5. Kid’s travel pouches

I got these super cute, personalized (I’m a goner for anything monogrammed) travel pouches for the girls on Groopdealz for around $9. Unfortunately, they are no longer available, but I saw some cute ones at Target too! I think having something like this for each kiddo would help to keep their things organized and in one spot.

packing ideas | Des Moines Moms Blog

These travel pouches are so versatile. They will be great for art supplies (crayons, etc) or toiletries for the kiddos!

5 Helpful tips

1. When thinking about bags/luggage to pack, I find it easiest to pack a backpack that contains snacks, electronics, and activities for each kiddo that can be their carry-on in a plane or in the backseat of the car. You could easily use their school backpacks that you already have!

packing tricks | Des Moines Moms Blog2. Use gallon zip lock bags for outfits! I saw this tip on Pinterest several years ago, and it’s how I’ve packed for my kids ever since! Pack one outfit in one zip lock, including underwear, socks, hair ties, etc., and label it with the day. Not only does this pack easily and keep their luggage organized, it is so helpful while on the actual trip! No fuss, no muss- just grab the labeled zip lock bag for that day, and you’re good to go!

3. Before packing, I think about where we are going and what we will be doing. I bring one outfit for each day, plus at least 2 extra, for each kiddo, just in case. I also bring extra essentials (underwear for example) plus PJ’s. I try to limit their shoes and pack just one pair that will go with most of their outfits. Depending on where we’re going, I may pack one extra pair, especially if we have a dressier night for dinner or something.

4.  I am a big list maker and I think it makes packing so much easier. I make a list for each person and everything that they need. As I pack, I cross each item off the list. I lay everything out and make sure I have everything before putting it in the actual suitcase. For those last minute items (like the beloved blanket), I put a star next to it to remind myself to pack it the day we leave.

5. The day before we leave, I get out their outfits and lay them out, along with last-minute items to lay right next to their suitcase. I also gather all the backpacks and suitcases and get them packed and ready to go.

And now, you’re ready (with all of your suitcases and your tiny humans!) You may feel like a pack mule going out the door, but at least you’ll be prepared and organized!

What are some helpful travel/packing tips you have found helpful? Share below!

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