11 Things to Pack When You Travel With Kids

Do you travel with kids often? Travelling with your kids can be exciting and scary all at the same time, mostly because it always seems as though you can never pack enough when you’re travelling with them! Whenever I travel with my kids, I often get nervous because based on my experience, my first would always get sick or found it hard to adapt when we went on trips. As a result, sometimes I tend to overpack many things because I was afraid of the idea of not having something important especially when I’m in a foreign land, in case an emergency happens. With that being said, I’ve also had emergencies when I go on short trips within Malaysia. Here, my sister and I share our experience and tips on how to pack when you travel with your kids.

#1  Most important thing to pack: kids’ medicine

 We don’t intend on being a party pooper, but based on my experience travelling with kids, I think their medicine is the first thing you need on the list. This includes their paracetamol, cold meds, inhaler, and the list goes on. When we went to our trip to Turkey, on the first day itself my daughter fell sick and had bronchitis. Thankfully, we had a friend (my friend’s friend actually) who brought us to see a doctor in Istanbul. The doctor prescribed her with antibiotics.  

#2 Some easy snacks and food

 Although my family and I are quite adventurous when it comes to eating, I highly recommend bringing some snacks for your kids. Sometimes, they might get hungry or bored in the journey to your destination. You’d want to prevent them from being cranky, so make sure you have the following items:
  •       Snacks
  •       Milk/formula
  •       Instant noodles for adults (just in case)
Going for inter-state travel with your kids? Read how you can keep a baby happy in the car seat here. 

#3 Pack your kids’ activity kits/books

 If you’re planning on going on a long haul trip, or even a short one, it’s always best to bring some activity kits/books or toys.  As a parent, I would prevent from giving them the phone when I can so I would always bring some colouring books, sticker books or other activity kits just so that they won’t get bored through out the entire trip. Naturally, they won’t play with these books, activity sets for the entire trip but it’s always great to pack it just in case.

#4 Extra clothes – for kids and parents

 You won’t make a mistake by packing extra clothes for you and your kids. Why do I recommend this? Because on our trip from Istanbul to Bosnia, our daughter had diarrhoea and we had to change her diaper like 6 times in 2 hours! On top of that, we also needed to change her clothes because it leaked! Yes, we did pack extra clothes and we were so thankful we did that.

#5 Hats

If you’re travelling to some place sunny, it’s always great to bring your kids’ hats. It prevents their face from getting exposed too much to the sun.

#6 Sunscreen

In addition to hats, bring sunscreen especially if you plan to swim or be outside for long hours.

#7 Extra wet wipes

This might sound like common sense. But I feel like you would always need a lot of wet wipes. It’s useful to not just change their diapers, but wipe their mouths, hands especially when they are eating.

#8 Small garbage bag to throw their diapers

I didn’t use this amazing thing until recently. You can actually purchase small plastic bags to dispose your diapers. It’s much more convenient than bringing those bulky plastic bags because as parents of small children, you already need to bring a lot of things. Therefore, these small garbage bags are space-saving and efficient! You wouldn’t want to dispose diapers just like that because it make the space smelly.

#9 Essentials – lotion, toothpaste, baby soap and shampoo, eczema lotion, barrier cream

So these are the essentials, especially for your kid. If your kids have sensitive skin, it would be practical for you to pack their lotion, toothpaste, baby soap, shampoo, eczema lotion and barrier cream. Having these items will save you time (and headache) from having to look for the best creams to keep your kids’ skin moisturized. If you are going to a country that is cold, you need to keep their skin moisturized because their skin can get dry easily. But if you are going to the beach, depending on your kids’ skin sensitivity, their skin might get irritated easily. These are the creams and lotion that my children use on a daily basis:
  • QV intensive lotio
  • QV bath wash
  • QV bath oil / flare up – when their skin gets really itchy
Going on a long flight with kids? Read how to travel with kids on a long flight here. 

#10 A good diaper bag

When you are packing before you go travelling with small kids, having a good diaper bag is important. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be parent and baby friendly. So what I mean by that is, you would need to get a bag that you are comfortable with and one that has several pockets inside and outside of the bag. For instance, personally I like to use a back pack baby diaper bag. But my husband, on the other hand, prefers a sling diaper bag because he says it’s easier for him to take out things and much more comfortable for him. Since he carries the diaper bag most of the time, we agreed on getting another diaper bag that was much more comfortable for him.

#11 Baby carrier

I almost forgot this one, just because it’s COVID-19 and we have not travelled for 1.5 years. But yes, everyone with a small kid will need to bring a baby carrier because based on my experience, it’s space spacing to bring this instead of a stroller.  Also, not all countries are stroller friendly. Once, I brought my stroller on our trip to Bosnia and Turkey but we never even used it! The reason is because the roads are made of cobble stone, so it would be difficult to push the stroller on the road.  But if you are just strolling in the city, then yes, you could benefit from bringing the stroller.  As a parent, I find that these are the 10 essential items that you must pack when you travel with kids, especially young ones. With that being said, different parents may have different lists of essential things to pack for their kids when they travel. If yours is different from mine, let me know what other things you pack!  
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About Me

Sofiya Wan Mohd Nor

A full time mom, a freelance proofreader and a PhD student specializing in Educational Psychology.

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