When it comes to getting away for the weekend, adding kids into the mix always seems to make things much more complicated. While the ages and stages of the children will dictate some of the necessities you bring along, other items will come in handy for kids of all ages. Before heading out for your weekend getaway, be sure to make your list and check it twice.
You’ll want to pack:
1. Extra Clothing. From spills to spit up, and everything in-between, you’ll want to pack more clothes than you’ll think you will need, especially if you won’t have laundry facilities handy. For younger children, allowing two outfits per day should be sufficient. For children who have recently potty trained, be sure to bring several pairs of extra underwear along.
2. Spare Shoes. While older kids may step in puddles, younger kids in strollers may kick a shoe off that is never to be seen again. Having a spare pair of shoes can eliminate the need to find a replacement pair while away from home.
3. Snacks and Drinks. Kids tend to be partial about their favorite snacks and drinks. This is especially true if a child has allergies. Pack a bunch of nonperishable snacks, bottled water, and 100% fruit juice boxes for the car ride. These will also come in handy when you’re visiting the zoo or are out on other excursions. If you have room, packing a cooler with fruits, yogurt, string cheese, veggies, and any other favorites is also a good idea. Don’t forget snacks and drinks for the adults, too.
4. Personal Care Supplies. From baby wash to diaper cream, toothbrushes to hairbrushes, be sure to pack everything you need to take care of yourself and your children. If you typically use lotion or detangler then you’ll want to pack that too. If your baby has sensitive skin, you’ll also want to pack towels and wash cloths that you know have been washed in your usual detergent.
5. Comfort Items. If your child has a pacifier, stuffed toy, or blanket that goes everywhere with him or is a must-have for bedtime, then you’ll want to be sure to have that with you. There’s nothing like being half way to your destination when your child realizes his favorite friend has been left at home.
6. The Camera. While many people use their Smartphone’s to capture memories, don’t under estimate the value of taking along the camera. Using your camera may make organizing, storing, and archiving photos much easier later.
7. Pajamas. For some reason, even when all of the clothing and underthings have been packed, the pajamas end up forgotten. How often you typically swap out jammies will determine how many pairs you plan to bring. Add another set in addition to what you typically use, just to be sure you have a spare pair.
8. Playthings. A few quiet toys, books, and portable items will come in handy while traveling, especially during any downtime. Let children choose a few items to place in a small backpack to take along with them.
9. Age-Appropriate Essentials. The additional gear, like booster seats, strollers, gates, and portable cribs, will depend on the age and needs of your children. Before your trip take inventory of the items you depend on daily. You’ll want to consider if you should pack, ship, or buy those items. Depending on where you’re going and how you’re getting there, it can be easier to purchase perishables, like baby food and diapers, and borrow larger items, like highchairs and cribs, when you reach your weekend destination.
10. Medications. If anyone in the family is on medication, you’ll want to be sure to bring it along. It’s also a good idea to pack a thermometer and pain reliever, just in case. A basic first-aid kit with Band-Aids, blister pads, antibacterial ointment, gauze, and medical tape can also come in handy.
When it comes to traveling with kids, you would rather be over prepared then under prepared. While you can most likely find just about anything you forget, you’re not going to want to spend your limited vacation time going on a scavenger hunt for your child’s favorite brand of fruit snacks.
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