The ultimate travel packing list for parents and kids

If you’re planning your next family vacation, there’s a huge necessity for travel packing lists. You may be stressing about what to bring. Having to pack for multiple people of varying ages can be a daunting task, and we’re always worried we’re going to leave something essential behind. Whether your family is boarding a plane for a weeklong tropical vacation or hitting the pavement on a 10-hour road trip, we’ve got your packing needs covered.

Teddy bear inside antique luggage
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First-aid items to pack

When it comes to your kids’ health, you don’t want to take any risks. Traveling to an unfamiliar area can really bring on some surprising ailments. From bug bites to nausea, you want to be prepared for any health situation. Be sure to pack standard first-aid items like Ibuprofen, Band-Aids, Neosporin, and Benadryl, but remember to also bring some lesser-used items like Dramamine, Pepto, and even cough medicine.

What to pack in your carry-on

If your family is hopping on a plane for your next getaway, be sure your carry-on bag is packed full of items that will be useful on the flight. Make sure you have a change of clothes for you and the kids, as well as a light jacket or sweater. Snacks are a must, and it’s even a good idea to bring along a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport. Lastly, to be sure your kids are happy and comfortable on the plane, bring along some toys, activities, and even a pillow and blanket if it will be a long flight. Don’t forget to pack chewing gum to help with popping ears!

What to pack for a beach vacation

There’s nothing like the sandy beaches of a tropical paradise. While your little ones will love the swimming and surfing, there are some items that you simply can’t do without when it comes to your sunny getaway.

Sun protection/sunburn relief

Those rays certainly feel great, but they can cause some serious pain and discomfort with your little ones. Make sure you pack a couple of sun hats for the kiddos as well as a good amount of sunscreen, so you can protect them against sunburn.

Even if we’re diligent with re-applications, a sunburn can still happen. That’s where sunburn-relief products can really come in handy on your tropical vacation. Aloe vera gel is a great go-to and has nice cooling properties. There are even some products on the market, like Solarcaine Burn Relief Spray, that contain lidocaine for topical pain relief.

Laundry detergent

While beach vacations are lovely getaways, they can be fraught with dirt and grime. Hand-washing those swimsuits and towels at the end of your beach day can give everyone a bit of a fresh start the next day. You can even just bring a travel-size laundry detergent to save luggage space.

Multiple beachwear items

You may think packing one swimsuit and one beach towel per person is sufficient, but consider the amount of sand, dirt, and seaweed that will come into contact with your kids’ swimwear. Your kids will be cleaner and more comfortable if they can switch off between a couple of swim getups throughout the trip.

What to pack for a road trip

If you’re hitting the pavement for a cross-country drive or even for just a few hours away, you’ll need a few things in the car with you to make the trip more tolerable. Taking kids on a long road trip can be daunting, but with the right tools, your kids will be happy and entertained.

Road trip food

Be sure to pack a variety of snacks, including some healthy options like whole fruits and nuts. Kids can get nauseous easily, so you want to be sure they’re filling up on foods that will keep them feeling great.

Road trip fun

Don’t forget to bring along some toys and activities to keep the kiddos occupied during those long hours and miles of road. Coloring books, activity books, and electronic games are gold when it comes to entertaining kids for hours on end.

What to pack for a camping trip

Camping is a great tradition for the whole family. When you’re packing the essentials for a weekend camping trip, though, don’t forget to bring items that will enhance your child’s nature experience.

Nature activities

Believe it or not, your child might eventually get bored with nature, and they’ll need some extra entertainment. Be sure to pack some fun activities like scavenger hunts, bird-watching guides, and swimming gear. When night falls, it’s always nice to have flashlights, glow sticks, and smore kits to make the darkness more entertaining for the whole family.

Whether your family vacations in the tropics, the city, or the woods, packing for your trip can be a major stressor. When it comes to your family’s comfort and entertainment during your memory-making getaway, you can be ready for all scenarios with a bit of preparation. Cover all your bases during the packing process, and you’ll be able to sit back and relax on your trip knowing you can handle anything that comes your way.

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