Kids Packing List: 3 Essentials to Create the Best Family Trip

Travel with kids is daunting.  As parents, we worry about our child’s safety.  We worry if will they eat, will our kids get enough nutrition.  We worry about our children being annoying, annoying to us and annoying to others.  Then we worry about what to pack for kids on a family trip.

It’s enough to make you question whether you really should embark upon any family travel?  But I’m here to tell you it’s totally worth the effort.  It’s so worth connecting as a family and building those family memories.  So to take some of the stress out of embarking on a family holiday by starting with a simple kids’ packing list.  Then all you need to do is just add this packing list for kids onto your main travel packing list.  This completes your family vacation checklist.

So what should you pack for a trip with kids?  I’ll detail three items to add to your family travel packing that will get you travelling with ease.  It won’t matter whether if it’s a road trip, flight or cruise.  Whether it be a two-day getaway, a two-week luxury vacation or even a two-year globe-trotting adventure.  Once you have these items packed for the kids, you’ll alleviate most of those worries.

This Article Will Give In-depth Details About These Three Essentials for Your Kids Packing List:

travel packing for kids to add to your family vacation checklist
Do you know someone who would find this useful?
Please share this with them.

This post by Tips 4 Trips contains affiliate links*.  This means I may receive a small commission if you click on these links. Learn more at the bottom of this post.

Top 3 Items on My Packing List for Kids.

1. Medical Essentials

Full disclosure: I am not a medical professional, just a mum offering you practical tips based on what I do when travelling with my son.

Let’s start with your concern about your children’s safety during a trip.  Packing a few simple items into your family medical travel kit can save you the worry of being unsure about a foreign medication should your child fall ill or get hurt.  Plus you will have the added bonus of having a few medical items to use immediately should a minor emergency occur.

I find that these three medical items can get me through most simple medical dramas.

when travle packing for kids add a medical kit
Essential kids travel medical kit checklist
  • Pain Relief/Paracetamol

When it comes to packing a pain relief for my child I like to choose liquid age-appropriate paracetamol.  This liquid is easy to administer due to the syringe applicator.  Whether my son Lewis has a headache, cold or fever paracetamol seems to alleviate the symptoms.  I would suggest you pack a brand that you and your child are familiar with, the last thing you want is to have to purchase an unknown one in a foreign country that you can’t read the label.

You may also find it useful to slip the pain relief into a clear ziplock bag and pack it into your hand luggage in case of sore ears during the flight.


Pain relief can also be really helpful during teething.  Oh, the screams those poor babies have during those torturous months.  But don’t think it’s all over once they have all 20 teeth, a few years later the adult teeth start coming through and they also cause more pain for your child – it’s just that they can tell you about it instead of crying.  There’s nothing like teething to ruin a family holiday.

  • Antiseptic Cream

Toddlers and kids are forever falling over and getting various scrapes.  I find some antiseptic cream is the best for small scratches and wounds.  It seems to ease the pain and also kills any germs.

  • Band-Aid

If the blood’s not stopping, nothing fixes a small wound like a band-aid.  I know of some kids who just instantly stop crying once a band-aid is applied.  When packing your family’s medical kit why not just include your child’s favourite themed band-aid.

Top Trip Tip: When packing liquids (including children’s pain relief) into your carry-on hand luggage for a flight don’t forget the 100ml/3.4oz global airline restriction.

2. Snacks

The next concern is your kids eating habits and nutrition.  I find having a few simple healthy snacks on hand in my hand-carry alleviates the wails of “I’m hungry” and also appeases me to know they have eaten something healthy (ish).

Add snacks to your family vacation packing list
Include snacks on your family travel checklist
  • Water

It doesn’t matter where we go I always take Lewis’s water bottle with us.  If you have young children and carrying sterilised water, just declare this as you go through security – it shouldn’t be a problem.  Once your children are older you will need to empty the water bottle in the bathroom prior to making your way through security, then once you are in the secure area, find a drinking water fountain to refill your bottle.

  • Food

As soon as we get in the car Lewis thinks it’s time to eat, this doubles for a flight.  So I normally have a snack-sized option of rice crackers, dried fruit, Rice Wheels, and Tiny Teddy’s.  Some of these come in pre-packaged in snack sizes or you can create your own with small zip lock bags.

  • Milk

If your child is still having bottle or cups of milk and you will be out or be flying during their milk time you will need to add this to your travel packing.

When we travelled overseas I continued to buy Formula for my son right into the pre-school years.  Formula is handy as you don’t need to keep it cold or heat it in the microwave.  I also like it when we travel as it has extra vitamins and minerals in case he does not eat properly while we are away.  Don’t forget to pack your formula dispenser, I particularly liked this style* as they were easy to fill and you could also fill the individual containers with food.

Top Trip Tip: Choose foods that your child will eat and that are relatively healthy.  Nobody wants a sugar rush 🙂

3. Toys

Your third concern is wails of “I’m bored” it’s enough to drive anyone insane.  A few simple activities can help calm your kids and keep them entertained for a time in most situations (flights, road trips and restaurants).  These are my goto favourite travel activities I have packed for kids.

top packing tip when packing for a family trip take toys and actvitities
Keep kids entertained on a family vacation with activities and toys
  • Snuggle Friend

I have to say we can’t go anywhere (except school) without Lewis’ Bear. If it’s a trip in the car or on a plane Bear is there.  Bear helps ease anxieties, loves a cuddle or just a chat.

  • Colouring and Activity Books

I always pack a couple of colouring and activity books* when we go away.  It provides a quiet activity on the plane, in the hotel room, or when we go out for dinner.  Once the kids get a little older, they really start to take an interest in your family vacation destination.  I’ve recently discovered these Travel Guides for Kids* – there are guides available for each country to help the kids learn about their travel destination.

  • Favourite Game

At the moment Lewis’s favourite game is Lego.  A few years ago I purchased this set of creator Lego that came in a solid plastic case* since then I have added a couple of smaller sets to this set.  I love Creator Lego sets as they can be built into several different configurations.  The hard plastic case help organise the Lego pieces and keeps them all locked away during transit.

However, your child might have a favourite doll, cars, dinosaurs or plastic animals; work with what your child likes to play with.

As your child get’s older don’t forget old favourites like a deck of playing cards or a more specific game like UNO (this one comes in a tin keeping the cards safe when travelling).  Or you can always go down the electronic route as well.  There’s nothing wrong with playing a bit of Candy Crush or Juice Cube 🙂

Top Trip Tip: Choose games and activities that are compact for ease of travel packing.  Check out these kids’ travel toys for more inspiration. Hopefully adding these few items when you are packing for kids will keep your children safe and happy on your next family trip, whilst also appeasing your worries.

More Family Travel Packing Lists

If you would like more packing lists for kids?  Check out these (PSST there’re free printable downloads with them):

⇓  PIN THIS  ⇓


  • Featured Image by free stock photos from from Pixabay
  • As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
  • Affiliate links with Book Depository
    • This means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link, however it does not cost you any extra to purchase through these links.
    • For more information please visit my Disclaimer Page and Privacy Policy.

Similar Posts