Traveling with kids is stressful at anytime of the year, but add in the fact that it’s the holidays and you’re up against time to get everything checked off your ‘to-do’ list and make any last-minute changes to you itinerary, and you have a legitimate reason to want to call it all off and stay home this holiday season. To help rank this holiday a little lower on the stress-scale, here are some helpful tips on how to pack kids bag for holiday travel:
- Make a list and check it twice. Just like Santa himself, it helps to write down everything you’ll need. Looking over it, you might decide that you don’t need different shampoos for both you and the kids; their no-tears kind will do just fine for a few days. Or you’ll see that your daughter can get by with one tutu, not all five of her tutus, for the whole trip!
- Pack each days outfits together. Here’s a handy trick which keeps your suitcase super organized. Roll up each item and place it in a large zip-top bag, labeled with the day on which it will be worn. If your kids are still tiny, you can probably fit each child’s clothing in the same bag. This also solves the problem of not being able to find those tiny baby leg warmers and baby bloomers because they got mixed in with dad’s shirts.
- Plan to do laundry. If you’ll be gone for more than three days, save yourself the hassle of lugging half a dozen outfits, per person, and spend two or three hours mid-vacation doing laundry. Think of it as getting some “me time” for very little money. Grab a coffee on your way to the laundry mat, and indulge in a good book while waiting for the laundry to finish.
- Create a backpack of kids essentials for holiday travel. Depending on the ages and number of your kids, you might opt for a single bag, or give each child their own. Fill this with toys and activities to pass the hours, healthy snacks, tissues, sugar-free gum (a must-have for dealing with the pressure changes when flying), a note pad and some crayons or markers.
- Choose quiet toys that provide hours of entertainment. Fill a small photo album with pictures of family, friends and places they love or buy a colorful book full of various stories, poems and songs or small finger puppets. You can even fill up your iPad with some educational games (we love to check out the list of free apps at Best Apps for Kids), just don’t forget the headphones.
Share with us in the comments, what are your best packing tips for the holidays?