Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Traveling with young children

Traveling with kids can be challenging at the best of times – let alone during the holiday season. So here’s a few tips from Baby Bargainista contributor Rebecca on what to pack besides your patience.

• A couple of weeks before the trip put away several smaller toys/books that seem to be your child’s favourite. This way when you bring them out be happy to see them and (hopefully) won’t get bored too quickly. Ensure any toys with noise have volume buttons for both your sanity and the sanity of others around you.

• Take a tour of your local dollar store and look for little toys and items that can keep the kids occupied and won’t break the bank if they get lost or left behind at Grandma’s house. Stickers keep my 17-month daughter occupied for a good 10-15 minutes at a time.

• If you usually water juice cups down, consider filling the cups half full of ice ahead of time so that you water down the drink while keeping it colder/fresher longer.

• Pack lots of batteries if you are taking any kind of electronic devices. It’s always better to have more batteries than more complaints of “Mommy my batteries are dead. I’m bored.

• Buy some (lightly) scented disposable diaper bags to have on hand as if you have to change a stinky diaper without a trash nearby – you don’t know how long you might need to carry that stink-bomb around!

If you’re flying:
• It’s okay to pack snacks/food – just not liquids, unless it is milk or formula in which case should be in the diaper bag. Packing your own snacks and food not only ensures you have food when you want it, but it saves some money.

• Make sure all medicine – including Children’s Tylenol or Tempra is also packed in a clear plastic bag and in easy reach.

• Look for stroller lines and try to mark out elevator locations ahead of time if you can.

If you’re driving:
• A great idea to have to help with snacks and keeping little hands busy is a travel tray for for those in forward-facing car seats. A friend of mine got some for her kids for a long drive they took over the summer and kept everyone occupied with arts and crafts. She also said it made snack times a lot easier and required less stops.

• Similar to looking for stroller lines – try to plan and/or find rest stops ahead of time – keeping in mind that not everything goes according to plan and sometimes you can’t plan when nature’s going to come calling. It’s also important to note that not all roadside rest stops stay open year round. Check with tourism boards for more information.

• Besides toys and books, make sure you pack extra warm stuff for you and the kids – or a shovel or two that can not only keep kids occupied but can help get you out of a situation if you are stranded.

Related articles


  1. Great tips! We also found that children's music CDs are great to play in cars or a portable DVD player or laptop for flights. The public libraries have tons of kids music and movies to sign out for free.

  2. Thanks Glen, that is definitely another great tip for lengthy road trips and getting it at the library allows you to not only keep the cost down, but get something different than you might have at home.


Thanks for visiting my blog. Your feedback is important to me. I read every single comment and do my best to reply.

Note: Anonymous comments and spam will be deleted.