9 Must-Haves for Traveling With Kids

If you’re a parent, you’ve no doubt read your share of articles on travel with kids. Regardless of the duration of your trip – whether its an hour drive or a half a day of air travel – we’ve got some suggestions on what to bring with you so you don’t find yourself wishing you’d never left home in the first place.
We saw a recent post by Kristy Carlson on that reminded us of what it was like when we were traveling with kids ourselves. Here are some of her recommendations, plus a few of our own.
1. Your tablet. If you have a Kindle Fire, iPad, or any other tablet device, this is a surefire way to quiet your kids. Tablets allow for movie watching, reading books, and playing games. Of course you don’t want your child to become addicted to electronics, but if you have a long flight ahead of you, your tablet device is a must-have.
2. Battery backups, chargers, and adapters. We can’t suggest that you bring your electronics without also suggesting that you’ve got an extra battery, charger, and an adapter. After all, what good does your mobile device do with a dead battery? At the very least, bring an extra charger cord.
3. A travel French Press. One of our favorite Kristy recommendations. If you need your morning cup of joe in order to function like a normal human being, consider bringing a French Press with you on trips when you’re not sure if coffee will be readily available.
4. A travel hand coffee grinder. If you’re the type who silently nodded your head when you read our previous recommendation of a travel French Press, consider getting a hand-powered coffee grinder. Bring your favorite beans as well.
5. Self-locking bags. A good, sturdy self-locking bag, like a Ziploc, can store snacks, toiletries, toys, and practically anything else you can think of. You can never have enough. Oh and there’s one more thing you can store in a self-locking bag that we think any parent can’t live without:
6. Huggies Wipes. For many parents, these are a life saver. Huggies Wipes aren’t just for babies’ bottoms. Did your child spill ketchup on their favorite shirt? Use a wipe to clean it up before it becomes a stain. After washing the shirt, you’ll forget the spill even happened in the first place. We’ve known people who continued to carry these long after their kids needed them.
7. Travel diaper bags. If you thought it was hard to change a stinky diaper while on a trip, it’s sometimes even more difficult to get rid of the offending diaper after it’s been changed. A travel diaper bag is something no parent should leave home without.
8. Hand sanitizer. After you’ve changed your kid’s smelly diaper, and before you have lunch or a snack, use hand sanitizer to get rid of any germs the diaper wipe may have left behind.
9. A carry-on just for kids. If your child is old enough, it will be beneficial for overall family packing capacity to provide them with their own piece of carry-on luggage. This will count as your child’s carry-on, rather than you sticking all their stuff in yours.