Tips for Easy Kid-Friendly Travel

Have you ever heard the cliche "broaden your horizon" and wonder what it means? To "broaden your horizon" means to expand your knowledge, as a metaphor for the view of the world in your mind. It really is great to get outside of your comfort zone and explore this big, wide world. Travel literally and figuratively broadens your horizons. The sights, food, and cultures you experience will help build your confidence, teach you respect for different types of people and traditions, and give you amazing experiences to carry in your memories your whole life. And what's good for you is great for your kids. But traveling with kids can be a challenge. How do you make travel easy for kids and parents alike?

Kid-friendly travel in 2017 means more than just crayons and coloring books!

When kids are with you, you KNOW you need to be prepared for lots of different outcomes. Kids are not always as flexible as adults, so we need to be ready to reassure them and make them comfortable during these new experiences. Here are some tips for easy, kid-friendly travel to make your journey a little more comfortable!

Kid-Friendly Travel First Aid Kit

When traveling, you might not have quick access to the medicine and supplies your kids are used to at home. Depending on your mode of travel - car, cruise, or airplane - there may be some travel rules you'll need to obey, so make sure to check before bringing your first aid kit in your carry-on. That aside, here are some must-haves to bring with you to help your little ones with any sudden illness or scrapes:

  • Band-Aids in varying sizes (waterproof or sports style for beach trips!)
  • Travel sized hand sanitizer. A bottle for your first aid kit, your purse, and your keychain.
  • Small packs of tissues, a couple for each bag as well as your kit.
  • Sunblock, at least SPF 30 or higher.
  • Kid-friendly tylenol
  • Peppermint oil capsules, pepto-bismal, and other tummy tamers motion sickness
  • Wet wipes for quick clean ups and accidents
  • Chewy candy or gum to help kids "pop" their ears at higher altitudes
  • Prescriptions, vitamins, and other daily medicine necessities. Make sure to check for rules if traveling abroad!
  • Bug spray and mosquito repellent if you're going somewhere tropical
  • List of emergency contacts, allergies, doctor's phone numbers, etc written out and saved digitally on your phone

DIY Travel First Aid Kit

If you want to make your own first aid kit for travel, it's best to go with something compact, waterproof, and that zips securely closed. This will keep the contents from spilling into your luggage if anything breaks or spills. This Hanging Nylon Waterproof Travel Toiletry Bag on Amazon is a great choice because it has lots of individual pockets, it closes securely using a sturdy zipper, and it has a hook in it to hang up in the car, hotel closet, bathroom stall door and more. At only 9in x 7in it fits easily inside backpacks, totes, large purses, and carry-on bags. If you're on a road trip, consider stashing it under the front seat on inside your center console for easy access.
This small waterproof toiletries case has a hook inside for easy storage, as well as lots of pockets for organization.
Perfect for a DIY first aid kit for your vacation!

Travel Activities for Kids

Kids are not always going to be into their surroundings when traveling. This is especially true for long flights or road trips. They may need something to keep them entertained, or help them decompress if they get overwhelmed with sensory input.

  • Crayons and coloring books, or coloring book apps for your tablet or smartphone
  • Mechanical pencil and notebooks or sketchbooks. They can make their own travel journal!
  • Highlighters and book of mazes, crosswords, word search games
  • Fidget spinners and other quiet fidget toys
  • Decks of cards, card games like UNO
  • Handheld video games, anything from a gameboy to a Nintendo Switch to apps for your phone. Focus on games that don't require an internet connection to be playable.
  • eBooks on your tablet or smartphone. Actual books can get bulky, plus digital storybooks come with a built in reading light.
  • Videos downloaded to your phone and tablet. Do not rely on streaming! You may not always have internet access.

Kid-Friendly Travel Comfort Essentials

  • Snacks and bottled water. Consider a reusable bottle with built-in filter.
  • Sun glasses. Not only are they cute, they prevent eye fatigue and headaches.
  • Hats and visors to help protect them from the elements.
  • Light-weight sweater, hoodie, or wind breaker.
  • Travel-sized umbrella, usually one can be shared with two people.
  • Extra memory cards for digital camera, and back up and clear out older photos on your smart phone to make room for new ones.
  • Extra copies of birth certificates, photo I.D.s, travel reservations, airline tickets. Digital and print outs!
  • Zip-lock bags in varying sizes. Great for snacks
  • Travel night light, flash light, and fan combination. This one from Opolar is GREAT! I carry one in my small purse at all times. Comes with rechargeable battery, powered by USB cord.
  • Extra chargers for all your gadgets. Get a set for your car, a set for your hotel room/cruise cabin/sleeper car, and a set for your purse/bag.
  • Headphones for each traveler, in their own little headphone case. Bring an extra set in your luggage. Good for privacy and polite for other airline travelers.
  • Small blankets, neck pillows, and more.
  • Emergency phone charger, a portable one that runs on batteries and/or can be recharged.
  • Consider leaving your child's favorite security blanket or toys at home. You could buy a special blanket or toy specifically for this trip and talk to your child about letting their favorite lovey have a little break at home. Travel is the biggest reason these special items get lost! Sentimental items are safer at home.
Rechargeable USB powered mini fan and flash light. SUPER powerful, can run for 6 hours. Love it.

These are all just suggestions and should be tailored to your own family's needs. These basic kid friendly travel tips are some ideas that will get you started on making your family's trip as comfortable and fun as possible.

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