Taking your kids on a trip to a far off destination or just a few hours away to their grandparents can be as exciting or as boring as you make it. Making sure you have enough activities (and distractions) to keep your little ones from asking "are we there yet" will keep you from going stir crazy. We've got 5 great items you should absolutely pack in their Kiddietotes Luggage with your next trip.
A Brand New Activity Book
No matter what your destination is, there will always be some waiting around while you’re on vacation. For kids, 30 minutes is an eternity and it’s hard enough getting them to sit still when they’re at home and have everything they could want at their fingertips. Out and about, it’s important to have something at the ready to entertain or distract them without disrupting folks around them. Being somewhere far off and unfamiliar will make it difficult to quickly find something nearby to do the job, so packing and planning ahead should be your first course of action. Whether they like coloring books, sticker books, or just a good book to read, packing all the essentials and keeping them at the ready in a Kiddietotes Backpack is a great way to be prepared.
Cozy Sweater or Blanket
Little ones are much more susceptible to the cold than adults, and not just referring to different climates, even an air conditioned movie theater can be too much for their little bodies. Pack a blanket just large enough for them to wrap up in and get cozy yet just small enough that it can easily squeeze into their backpack and be with them at all times. For younger and older kids alike, having a light sweatshirt and a heavier sweater to pick from depending on the day is important too! Carrying around a sweater all day will feel like a hassle, but you will save yourself and your family when the sun sets and the temperature starts dropping. You’ll thank yourself when you don’t hear any complaints walking around Disneyland at night about how cold they are. You can of course plan to buy a sweater while you’re there, just expect to pay gift-shop premium prices.
Some Favorite Snacks
With vacations come a lot of expenses, food being one of them. It’s easy to forget that during your week away from home you will be away from any kitchen or pantry that you would normally turn to satisfy appetites. Instead, dining out for a family of four will add up rather quickly when it’s every meal. Have an idea of where and what you will have for each meal and fill the gaps with some prepared snacks you pack along with you. Have a small, dry snack like pretzels or crackers you can take on the plane and your kids can have when they start getting hungry, just to tie them over until you get somewhere that isn’t expensive airport fast food. For the rest of the trip, hit up a local grocery store and pick one or two easy items that you can have with you throughout the day while you’re around town, but not so much that you throw away two full nearly-full boxes of snacks when you head home.
Their Best Stuffie
Every child is different, but almost all of them have that special stuffed animal that puts them at ease. Have your child pack their favorite plush with them or build hype at a new stuffed animal they will get while you’re on vacation. Depending on your child’s attachment to their favorite plush and how likely it is for them to lose it, consider the risks involved with traveling somewhere far off and unfamiliar with it; losing it at a restaurant back home is at least a quick retracing of steps, but losing it at a theme park and it may as well have never existed. Losing a treasured stuffed animal is devastating, but it’s entirely random, which makes getting a “travel buddy” that’s new to this trip the safer option.
We are totally used to having a camera in our pockets at all times with increasingly higher quality every year. Even still, a cheap disposable camera, digital camera, or higher-end Polaroid will fascinate kids of all ages, and it gives them some freedom to take pictures of anything and everything they want to. The newer Polaroids have film cartridges you reload every ten pictures, but it allows you to quickly change film as the day goes on. The quality of these film pictures will look exactly as you remember them, so if you want some higher quality pictures for essentially free, consider just bringing along one of your old smartphones without a SIM card and treat it as just a camera.
These are definitely our top 5 things we pack when we travel with our kids, but there are certainly many other items you'll learn to bring for a smooth trip. Remember to have fun, enjoy yourselves, and keep in mind that forgetting any of these behind won't break your trip; you'll still have plenty of memories to make when you arrive