12 Must Haves For Traveling With Kids

Traveling with kids is not always as fun as we envision it to be when we first make our travel plans. The chaos of travel, complete with late nights and whining, can make us wonder why we left home in the first place. I know I’ve been there. As American expats living in the heart of Africa, it takes us over 30 hours of travel from our door to Grandma and Grandpa’s door in the United States. We’ve learned lots of tips and tricks along the way while traveling with our kids over both short and long distances… in cars, on airplanes, and even on foot in the African bush. Here are some of our secrets that keeping traveling with kids as fun and worry free as possible, no matter where you are traveling to or for how long.

  • Ziplocks 1 of 12
    I believe you can never have enough ziplocks. You can use them as storage for toys with small pieces, as snack bags, as a toiletries bag, as garbage bags in a pinch and even as dirty clothes bags. When we are traveling we use Ziplocks on a daily basis to curb one kid emergency after another. Pack them generously, because they also take up very little space and weight.
  • Voxer 2 of 12
    This app, in my opinion, is one of the best on the planet. It's a walkie-talkie but so much more. Leave voice messages, photos or texts for those you love. When our family is separated, we even use Voxer to tell bedtime stories. Unlike Skype, it doesn't need a really good internet connection to work. It is perfect for third world countries with internet that's not always dependable.Check out Voxer Here.
  • Norwex 3 of 12
    I refused to believe that some silver woven into the fibers of a towel was worth the expense of Norwex. After witnessing my family's health get dramatically better when we use Norwex hand towels in the bathroom, I am now a convert. I keep a wet Norwex facecloth in a Ziplock for WEEKS when we are traveling and it never even begins to smell. Plus, it's antibacterial removing germs with every wipe. I also don't have to pack face wash, because Norwex removes facial dirt and make-up BETTER than my cleansing products. If you decide to become a Norwex convert too, keep two with you at all times, one wet and one dry to deal with whatever comes your way.
  • Hario Hand Grinder 4 of 12
    Who can live without coffee, especially on the road? We take the Hario Hand Grinder everywhere. It needs no electricity, so for us it is a dream come true when we are traveling in rural areas. A hint for coffee lovers, coffee begins to loose it's flavor 4 MINUTES after being ground, which is why having this hand grinder with you will ensure you can make the best coffee ANYWHERE.
  • Travel French Press 5 of 12
    Now that you have your freshly ground beans, it's time to brew them up in your Travel French Press. These things are practically indestructible (our kids have sat on ours) and light with no glass parts.
  • Triangle Crayons 6 of 12
    They don't roll. Hello! That's pretty helpful when they spill all over the floor of the airplane. Chunky crayons are great for travel because you need to manage the big things, like your kids, and not be concerned about where the "forest olive" from your 50 pack of crayons went. Try these by Melissa and Doug.
  • Sticker Books Rule 7 of 12
    Our kids love a good sticker book and they can be used for months on end. We keep a big Star Wars sticker book for them both that they only have access to when we travel. They look forward to traveling because it means "out comes the sticker book! I am sure there is a sticker book for just about every current "kid craze" out there. Find one they love and reserve it for travel only.
  • Travel Diaper Bags 8 of 12
    These are so useful not only for diapers, but also for other inconvenient spills (and there will be some!). They are great for soiled clothes because they are scented. Pop soiled clothes in the bag, tie it up and stick it straight into your suitcase to deal with later. Find Them Here.
  • Glow Bracelets 9 of 12
    Glow bracelets are fun no matter where you go. One of my friends keeps a tube of 100 glow sticks in her purse at all times. Out to dinner with the kids and want to keep track of them? Pop a glow bracelet on them. As long as your child is old enough not to CHEW the glow sticks, these are a great resource for keeping things fun as you travel. They might also help your kids make new friends while on the road because, lets face it, everyone wants to hang out with kids who have glow bracelets!
  • Tablet 10 of 12
    Need I say more? We all know how useful iPads/iPhones/tablets are when traveling. There are some amazing apps out there that keep kids occupied for hours, not to mention TV shows. The best accessory we have bought for our iPad so far is a splitter by Belkin that allows two headsets to fit into the iPad headphone jack at the same time.
  • Hand Sanitizer 11 of 12
    Hand sanitizer comes in travel pouches, keychains and with belt attachments. It is a great thing to have along while traveling, but let me get on my soapbox for one minute. Here in third world Burundi we have often seen visitors shaking hands with locals and then immediately using hand sanitizer. Be sensitive, be smart and please just don't do that!
  • A Carry On All Their Own 12 of 12
    I am a big fan of packing both of my kids their own carryon with glow sticks, travel games, crayons, snacks, etc. I love these small Zoo Pack backpacks by Skip Hop because they are small enough that you can't over pack them. They are also, in my opinion, more convenient that packing a child their own rolling suitcase.

Read more from Kristy at Long Miles Coffee Project . For daily updates of her adventures in Africa, be sure to follow her on FacebookTwitter and especially Instagram. 

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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