We're getting ready for our next trip, as usual. Before we leave I always designate a large chunk of an afternoon as “packing day.” Packing for kids does indeed take up the better part of a day because, well, there are kids involved!
If I'm being totally honest, it would be easier not to have the boys help pack for themselves. This goes SO much faster when I can just sort through a bunch of their stuff, shove it in a bag and call it a day. However, I insist on getting them hands-on with the process so that they can become self-sufficient little dudes. Plus, the trip goes more smoothly this way because they're really excited after having a hand in picking out their own outfits, toys and other gear.
Packing for Kids, Demystified
Have the kids carry a backpack. Giving kids some responsibility over their own items is a great way to increase their independence and ensure that they always have some form of entertainment on-hand.
Pack snacks. Applesauce pouches, granola bars…I even bring a few sweets so we have little rewards in case the kids are super-patient during a trying time. There are always inevitable moments where a plane gets delayed or a car breaks down, and it's important to be able to keep everyone smiling as much as possible!
Don't forget comfort items. Our boys each have a stuffed animal that they sleep with, so they HAVE to come along for every overnight. We also have a couple beloved hats and sweaters that we keep on-hand during every trip, in case the weather changes unexpectedly.
Medication is a must. Just in case anyone happens to get a midnight fever.
Sanitation solutions. Sometimes, life gets messy. Especially with children. I keep one set of bottoms and socks in my carryon for each kid, along with wet wipes and tissues.
Load up the tablet. Our boys get to use tablets in the car – and only in the car – so we spend hours gearing them up with new games, movies and books. We're partnering up with Scholastic, and they have an awesome list of audiobooks for all ages to help pass the time. It's also a good idea to bring headphones for kids who tend to get overstimulated by new surroundings.
Get loved ones involved. We often travel with extended family, getting aunts and uncles and grandparents involved. Even when we're flying solo, though, we still have them take part in the announcement, the packing or the transportation however we can. It helps the kids feel a sense of security and confidence in their trip when they know they have the support of their community. You can even have them send postcards from the road!
Lump outfits together. I like to put one day of clothing in individual gallon bags so we can pull out a set at a moments' notice as opposed to unpacking and digging through everything repeatedly.
Bring cameras for the kids. They make special extra-durable cameras just for kids, or you can pass on an older model that you no longer use. It's fun to see a vacation from a kids' perspective!
Bring toys. Small toys. We bring inflatable stuff and wooden lace-up cards to occupy the kids, as well as Koosh balls, finger puppets and a magnetic doodler.
Want more tips to help with packing for kids and getting them excited about vacation? Check out the Scholastic Can't Wait for School Break! site. They have tips for planning your trip, learning on-the-go, keeping kids busy and having tons of fun.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scholastic. The opinions and text are all mine.