Traveling with kids is nothing short of an adventure. Whether it is a two hour road trip to grandma’s house or flying across the world with them, you need to be prepared!
I was never a checklist packer – I would just throw what I thought I needed in a bag, and double check everything before I left. Then I had kids and suddenly checklists became essential. While I can just do without something I’ve forgotten for a few days, kids are not usually so forgiving.
Here are 10 things you need to be sure you have before going on a trip with the kids this holiday season.
New Toys – If you are going to be in the car or on the plane longer than an hour or two you will need to up your toy-game considerably. Random things from their room are not going to hold their attention for long. Stop by a dollar store and grab some new coloring books, crayons and even little junk-y toys that you know will break after a week’s use. You don’t need them to last a week, just a car/plane ride! You’ll want to pack a few of the old favorite toys as well. Find the balance between new and old to keep their attention for as long as possible.
More snack options – I don’t think I know of a single mom who intentionally leaves the house (for any period of time) without snacks in her purse. But this is another point where you will really need to pick it up. They’ll need extra servings and extra options to keep them happy until you arrive at your destination. Whatever you have packed now…double it and it might be enough.
Drinks – In the car, it’s natural to just throw a case of water in the trunk and call it a day. However, for flying it’s not as straight forward. Try packing empty sippy cups for your kids and filling them with water from the water fountain when you’ve made it through security. That way the kids can drink as much as they’d like while waiting to fly, and on the airplane. You’ll also want that lidded cup for their juice or anything else they want to drink while on the plane. Those plastic cups the stewardesses give out are just a mess waiting to happen with kids!
Strategic pit stops – If you are driving, these can come in handy! Search your maps or GPS for pet stores near the interstate and try to stop at one at the halfway point. The kids can walk around for a few minutes in a fun store that will hold their attention. They might even get to pet a little bunny or kitty! I find every one is happier after a trip inside a pet store.
Purge – Yes, I’m listing off things you shouldn’t forget, but make sure that you don’t take too much either. Having bags full of things you’ll never use on your trip adds to the stress. Keep things as minimal as possible so that you can enjoy your trip as hands-free as possible.
Good shoes – Are your kid’s shoes always lost? Yep, mine too. Which means I don’t often notice right away when they’ve grown out of them or if they don’t have any close toed shoes and we’re going on a trip to see cousins in the snow. No worries though moms, just run to Payless. You can snag some amazing deals and get your kids the shoes they need. And because of the way the store is laid out (by size) the kids are able to shop for themselves, which my preschoolers are obsessed with. Mommy isn’t allowed to help with anything anymore!
My son was ecstatic when we found these Payless on Pinterest. They fit him great and are comfortable and warm, which is so important for a trip. You never know if you might be walking or exploring outdoors when you go see family, so make sure their feet are prepared both in comfort and warmth!
You just might find something awesome for you too…I came across Payless on Pinterest while we were shopping for my son and they were on clearance for $5. Awesome, right. Doesn’t matter where you are going, these need to be on your list of essentials, you know?
They have pretty adorable boots too, which took everything I had not to snag about a dozen pairs in various colors and styles.
Are you taking any holiday trips with kids this year? Where are you headed? Do you have all these things for your trip?
Ps-be sure to follow Payless on Pinterest!