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Packing checklist for traveling with kids (free download)

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Summer is fast approaching, and I will assume that for some parents it's time to shake the pandemic bug and weariness off and venture out on a well-needed long vacation. Yes, I admit quarantine with the kids was a drama in and of itself, but now it's time to embrace more fun, adventure, and exploration.

Where should we travel to? What should we expect? What should we look forward to with the pandemic?

I know it's a lot of questions that I may not have the answer to, but I can help you to take one stress off your hands and that's a PACKING CHECKLIST LIST (free download below) for traveling with kids.

Did you ever start planning for a vacation and then either overpack with unnecessary items or forgetting what you really needed? Whatever it is, I know it's even tougher packing for kids and ensuring that they have everything that they need.

Here are 10 tips that will help you to navigate the world of packing for kids, to ensure that you have just the right amount of clothes and items needed for any trip.

FYI: Traveling with kids especially during this time of a pandemic may be different, and does cause for a lot more strategic planning and precautionary measures than any other time of travel before.

Are you planning on doing any traveling with your kids soon? What are your concerns? Let me know. Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!

Tips and a packing checklist for traveling with kids
“Before planning to travel anywhere with kids, make sure to travel with just what is needed to prevent any undue stress"


What can ruin a trip faster is actually leaving your travel documents, especially if traveling internationally. Make sure that you have the required documents needed for each trip. Some countries may require more information such as vaccination records etc. Therefore before every trip, research what documents are required to ensure a smooth transition while traveling.

  • Passport

  • Drivers license

  • Vaccination records (for certain countries)

  • Permanent resident cards (US)

  • Birth Certificate

FYI: Before traveling check with every state (US) and country what pandemic-related documentation is required (covid-19 test results or covid vaccine records).


This is by far the most important thing to bring with you and unfortunately, it's the most forgotten. Kids are always getting cuts and bruises, sniffles, or tummy aches. Therefore don't forget to include medical essentials, such as:

  • First Aid Kit (travel version)

  • Prescribed medication

  • Pain/fever medication

  • Cold/Flu medication

  • Stomach related medication

  • Nausea medication

  • Vitamins

FYI: Be sure to any carry any prescribed medications, especially if traveling internationally. It will be difficult to have anything prescribed in another country.


When choosing travel gear, try to not overspend on expensive luggage that most time ends up getting damage anyway. The key is to pack smarter by having fewer items that are prone to getting damaged or having too many liquid items in your luggage. Cost-effective luggage that won't break the pocket is the goal. Also, try to consider the amount of luggage that you have to travel with. The lesser the amount, the lesser the stress, especially with kids.

  • Suitcase

  • Kids size backpack or carryon

  • Diaper bag (infants)


This is the tricky part and the part that we tend to overpack or miss essential items. My guide with this part is to know the number of days that will be spent on the trip and pack only the amount needed for each day. Packing may also vary depending on the season or climate of the destination that you plan to travel to. Winter travel requires more baggage space due to bulkier items, while summer travel is lighter.

  • Underwear (undershirts, thermal underwear)

  • Tops (shirts, t-shirts, dress shirts)

  • Bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans, pants, khakis, dress pants)

  • Dresses

  • Socks

  • Shoes (sneakers, sandals, dress shoes, swim shoes, or winter boots)

  • Winter coats, rain jackets, sweaters

  • Hats and Caps (seasonal)

  • Scarfs and Mittens (seasonal)

  • Swimwear (seasonal)

  • Accessories (sunglasses, hair accessories, comb, brush)

  • Toiletries ( toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, bath soap, lotion, hair oil)

  • Diapers, pull-ups, wipes, diaper cream (not potty trained), bed wetting pads

  • Sunscreen, bug spray

FYI: Add extra 2 days of items, just in case of an emergency, potty accidents, spills, etc. in carry-on or backpack.


This can get tricky especially when you allow your kids to choose what they would like to bring. I suggest bringing smaller items that can be tucked away easily in a carry-on or backpack. So leave the bulky, bigger things behind.

  • Small toys

  • Small electronic toy (iPad, Kindle)

  • Small activity books and crayons


Travel systems are always needed especially when you have kids under the age of 6, and also for air travel or international travel. My suggestion for carrying these items is to have more lightweight, portable easy to lift travel systems. That would mean leaving the bulky heavy strollers or car seats behind. Lightweights systems are so much better to have and are less of a hassle especially during the airport or for international travel.

  • Strollers (bring for free if checked or carried on)

  • Baby carriers (preferred with babies for flights)

  • Car seats or booster seats (can be checked for free or optional rental options available at destination)


Pack enough sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers, and masks for everyone. I like to have the small portable clip-on hand sanitizers available for when there is not enough access to public sanitizers at your location or destination.

  • Sanitizing wipes

  • Hand sanitizers (include small portable clip-on hand sanitizers)

Some places may require masks to be worn for everyone ( not age-specific) both indoor and outdoor, while some only allow adults or children over the age of 2. Therefore, have a well-fitted mask for everyone traveling with you, especially the little ones.

  • Face masks (disposable) or Cloth masks

  • Lanyard

FYI: I prefer getting disposable masks for my kids because let's face it, they drop their masks oh so often. Also, the mask gets dirty easily from eating food, sneezing or coughing, etc.

We purchased a box of disposable masks from our local Costco or on Amazon, and it helped a lot during our trips. You can also get lanyards that can help to keep the mask from falling on the floor, especially for the younger ones.


Before the pandemic, we always tried to purchase snacks at the airport or at a grocery store in the location that we were traveling to keep our luggage as small as possible. This time around, however, pack enough snacks and water to avoid having to purchase too many things in different areas due to the pandemic.

You are allowed to bring liquids for younger children, however, it has to get checked thoroughly at the security checkpoint and will therefore take up much more time getting through the line.

  • Snacks

  • Cereal

  • Water

  • Juice

  • Pediasure

  • Candy

FYI: Some convenience stores have not re-opened as yet to the public, or are only opened for a limited time. Therefore the grab-and-go snacks or food are not as convenient anymore.


Things can happen, especially with luggage being delayed or lost while traveling. To reduce as much stress as possible when traveling has at least something with you to ensure you have clothing and supplies available in a carry-on should any problems may arise with your luggage. The goal of traveling with kids is also to be prepared for any stress-related incidences that can occur.

FYI: Should you choose to travel alone with kids or have limited help, be reminded that you may want to pack as lightly as possible. This would ensure that you can bring your luggage safely without any unnecessary stress.

Pack enough pandemic related supplies when traveling while pregnant.


I recommend packing your own blanket and supplies that your kids may need on their trip to be more comfortable. Traveling can be a bit frightening for some kids. Therefore I recommend have comfort items such as blankets, pillow, etc, that they may need to get them to be more comfortable. Of course the smaller the item the better for travel.

  • Small travel blanket

  • Small travel pillow

  • Earphones

  • Toiletries

FYI: Before the pandemic, blankets, and supplies were readily available, especially on international flights. Now, this may not be the case anymore. Many airlines are offering limited services aboard their flights and as a result, you may have to bring whatever you need onboard.

If you need more tips for traveling with kids also read Traveling with kids during a pandemic.

Here is a list of tips, tricks, and a packing list for your next family vacation. I have also included below a FREE TRAVEL CHECKLIST PDF DOWNLOAD.

Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.

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