I wanted to create a gift guide for family travelers.
I recently did a post with our family travel essentials, so you will notice some of those products again. I just wouldn’t want to have to travel without these items.
A good suitcase is probably the most important thing you can travel with. I have had bad bags in the past and they can cause a headache for you, so avoid this struggle and get a good bag. Since I started flying I began using a TravelPro bag. I have had 3 over my years of flying and feel like they really stand up well to the abuse that flying full-time put on them.
I also really recommend your children carrying their own small suitcase when they get a little older. (Another benefit of the Travelpro suitcase is that I have the ability to attach my kids’ smaller bag onto mine when they are tired of carrying it or when I just need them to walk a little faster.) They will also really enjoy having their own bag with their toys and entertainment. If you can get a smaller bag it will fit under the seat in front of them for easy access.
I have raved again and again on packing cubes. And you are going to hear about them again. My packing cubes have come in handy when packing for our family. I pack for three of us in one suitcase so keep organized was a challenge. Now we can each have our own cube and keep things together much easier. It also helps us to keep the clean and dirty separate. There are many different brands and types, I prefer the mesh front so that I can see the clothes and what we have packed easily.
We always travel with a backpack which I use as my personal item. I put my purse inside as well as our medication. (I always travel with kids tylenol and benedryl.) The backpack is perfect as we are able to use it when we get to the city we are traveling to. You can see if several times in our video of NYC. When we get to our travel city we change things out and place what we think we will need for our day inside. Snacks, water, extra clothes for the toddler (because she WILL spill something), our external battery, and of course our camera and extra battery.
If you are traveling with young kids I recommend a good carrier. I loved using my Boba wrap carrier when my daughter was small and we graduated to the Ergo carrier when she got a little older. Because she was accustomed to baby-wearing she was comfortable going to sleep while being carried making our flights just a little easier. Also, going through security you always have to take the baby out of the stroller and send the stroller through the x-ray machine. You don’t usually have to take your baby out of the carrier through security. (This depends on the airport, but sometimes they can swab your hands and you go right on through.)
Having something to distract your little ones is a big deal. I have used empty plastic cups the flight attendant gave me and those work when the only toy you could get to during flight fell and rolled back a few rows. But it is best to come prepared. When my kids were small I would use small finger puppets and act silly with them or let them chew on the little tiger… whatever their little hearts desired. I have used several things when flying. The Crayola Color Wonder books and markers are awesome. The markers only work on the special paper, so if you get the chance to take a nap you don’t have to worry about them drawing “tattoos” or covering her new dress with marker just before her trip to Grandma’s house.
We also really love the wikki stix. They leave no mess and when they have been played with awhile you can just toss them and get some fresh ones. They are very inexpensive, so losing them while traveling isn’t that big a deal. My son and daughter both had some and let me play as well… so I guess you could say they are for children of all ages.
My kids and I also all love using the Kindle Fire. I am able to load books for them to read and look at from our library app. I am also able to load movies and cartoons for the to watch so that even without wifi we can still watch some OmiZoomi. There are also plenty of free games to keep them entertained.
We have to have an external battery for our phones. When we are traveling we don’t want to be without our phones. A dead battery when you are needing the GPS to find where to go isn’t going to take any stress off the trip. If you don’t have one already I promise when you get one you will wonder how you ever made it without one.
We got our kids a couple of cheap sets of headphones. We got them some cheap ones so that when my toddler breaks hers or my son loses his we won’t be out much. Maybe we will spluge a little more when they get older, but for now we just look for something that is cheap and has decent reviews. We prefer ear buds so that they can listen to the same thing when they are sitting together.
There are so many things you can gift traveling kids, but these are some of my favorites.
If you are getting ready to travel with your kids for the first time I am happy to share my book, Flying with Kids, as well as my printable packing list for FREE. Just sign up below and I will send it to the email address that you provide below.