Traveling with young children can be both exciting and challenging. As parents, we want to ensure that our little ones are comfortable and well-prepared during the journey. Today, let’s explore the essential items that every parent should consider when traveling with kids under 6 years old.
From keeping them entertained to ensuring their safety and comfort, these travel essentials will make your family adventures more enjoyable and stress-free. Whether you’re planning a short road trip or a long-haul flight, having the right items on hand can make all the difference in creating memorable experiences for both you and your child.
Let’s dive into the world of travel essentials for kids under 6, so you can embark on your next adventure with peace of mind knowing that you have everything you need to keep your little ones happy and content throughout the journey.
There is nothing like a bored child that has nothing to do for the entirety of your trip. It sounds dreadful, to be honest. As parents, we always strive to strike a balance between keeping our children entertained and ensuring their well-being. Screentime is always a big topic amongst parent groups, but that iPad or Fire Tablet can come in handy on trips as a helpful tool to keep children engaged and entertained during trips. From downloading select movies from Disney+ and other apps to downloading educational games, you’re providing entertainment for your kiddo.
Our kid loves having his iPad for long trips. We just took a four hour flight a week ago and his iPad kept him content for the entire flight. He took a little nap towards the end, but those three hours kept him busy. We didn’t have to worry about any issues or a tantrum.
Blanket + Pillow
Cozy essentials should be a travel essential for everyone. If you don’t have the cozy items, you are not ready for your flight. It is freezing on airplanes and we’re not fans of that over here. A blanket is a must-have. There is no way that we’re going to freeze 20,000+ feet in the air. You can grab one of those fleece blankets from Wal-Mart that are around $6 or go all out and order teh blanket + pillow set from Amazon. You can’t go wrong with one of those sets. Don’t skip out on the pillow either, if you’re going to buy everything separate. An airplane pillow is around $12 at Target and Wal-Mart and it’ll get you plus your kiddos right.
As a mom, I always have snacks on deck and the plane is no exception. Fruit snacks, granola bars, chocolate, and chips are my go-to. There are flights that will give you snacks and there are flights that you have to pay for them on. Avoid the overprice airplane/airport food and pack your favorites. My pre-schooler loves when I pack Cheez-Its or Pringles — they are his favorite. For myself, I’ve leaned more into healthy snacks that I offer to my picky eater. From strawberries and grapes to a pack of Skinny Pop White Cheddar popcorn, there’s a variety when it comes to our trips. Just make sure you pack something for those long flights, trust me.
There is never a bad time to have hand sanitizer, lotion, and mini bottles of Tylenol or Motrin on deck. After COVID and the pandemic, we should all be a bit more careful and prepared to wipe down our seats and germs. You can’t blame a girl for trying to keep herself healthy in a world of billions. Besides the healthy stuff, you never know what could happen with your bag so having travel-sized soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste on you should always be the goal. Throw in a pull-up because those long flights aren’t made for little bladders.
Never forget your sun protection — sunscreen. That’s a rule. You can’t forget the sunscreen. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’ll burn, because you never know. I never burned until after I had my son which is similar to my mother. It’s just something I refuse to leave the house without after getting a sunburn on my back. Plus, we want to protect ourselves from the UV Rays and skin cancer possibility. That sun is harsh out there and these temperatures in all parts of the country should be the telltale sign that sunblock needs to be applied everywhere including your scalp. Pack a hat and some cover-ups, stay away from those harsh rays.
Toys + Activities
Please don’t tell me that you travel without things for your kids to do. Are your children for real life?! Outside of the tablet and iPad, try to incorporate things that will make will your kids think or engage. Coloring books and books have been a great addition to our trips. Throw in toys like monster trucks or cars that they can drive around their seats or in a small area and we’re all set. Things that are small and won’t get thrown out in TSA are what we like to consider when packing: flash cards, small games (UNO, Gold Fish), books, coloring books, play-doh.
Last but not least, always pack extra clothes for yourself and your children. You never know what could happen. Delays (that seems to be a consistent thing these days), an accident, or you’re not comfortable in what you originally have on — all reasons to have a back-up on you. My child had an accident on the plane while he was asleep on a 4+ hour flight and after that happened, I made sure to have back-up clothing on hand. You just never know what will happen and you don’t have control over things like this. Bring the carry-on or large personal item bag that will hold extra clothing for the littles and some leggings or a hoodie for yourself. Be prepared, always.
Traveling with kids is not as bad as people make it seem.
Or maybe it’s just my kid….? Just kidding. I truly don’t think children are a hassle when it comes to traveling. If you’re prepared and have things together then there shouldn’t be an issue. Yes, a child can become restless and agitated, but so can an adult. It’s all about grace and minding your own business.
If you’re new to traveling with your little one or ones, there is no shame in overpacking and being overprepared. You will never regret overpacking, you’ll regret the moment you don’t have that one specific item.
Here’s to good + safe travels! Explore the world with your children and let them enjoy the experiences of seeing new things.