Recently, my husband and I went on an all-inclusive trip to Cancun and we took our two children who are almost eight-months-old, and two years old. It was a wonderful time where we enjoyed the beach, the food, and relaxation. Here are the top ten must-packs from my packing list when you travel with kids.
The Top 5 Must Haves
1. Pepto Bismol for Kids and other Children’s medicines
One of the worst things that can happen to you, God forbid, when you are traveling is that your child gets sick in some way. They can come down with a cough, a fever, or a tummy ache that leads to other bathroom problems.
I won’t go into much detail here because I’m sure you can imagine what it is like to be at a meal and your child needing to go to the bathroom 3 times within that span because they aren’t feeling well. This happens because your child isn’t used to other foods or can get some other food borne illness.
I recommend packing the following medicines:
- Medicine for their stomach like this Pepto Bismol for kids.
- For fever like children’s acetaminophen.
- Something for
coughand mucus. We prefer to use Zarbees because of the natural elements but any coughand mucus deterrent will be great to have on hand, just in case.
- gas drops for your baby
A great idea before you go on a trip is to help build their immune support. You can do this with Elderberry and Briar Rose drops. Or, getting out in the sunshine and letting them play for at least 30 minutes a day. If you are like me though, you probably don’t get that much time for them to play outside so the supplements are great for immune boosting. In addition to those two things, you can boost immunity with probiotics and vitamin d drops.
I recommend packing and having all the above. There is nothing worse than being on vacation, your child getting sick, and you not having anything to give them. Trust me! Even though it takes up space and adds weight to your bags, it is better safe than sorry.
2. Sunscreen and lots of it!
Even if you are going somewhere cloudy or cold, you need lots of sunscreen for the outdoors. It is heartbreaking if your baby or child gets a sunburn and you could have prevented it.
I recommend packing any sunscreen that has the main ingredient as Zinc Oxide. This is my favorite one, Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream.
Though it is hard to apply because it is so thick, you can mix it with coconut oil to give it a little more give. It is a great natural sun blocker. It forms a barrier on the skin to help protect and block sun rays. Unlike another sunscreen that absorbs into the skin along with any toxic ingredients that are used to make it.
In case of a burn, it is great to have on hand some aloe vera and lotion. One of my favorite lotions is
3. Stroller and a Puddle Jumper Life Vest
The stroller was great for pushing the kids around in the airport or at the resort. If you aren’t going to an all-inclusive, there are many places that strollers work for and don’t work for. If you think you will be out and sightseeing a lot, a stroller is great for back up. Even if you don’t use it, my motto is better to have it then not. No one wants to carry around a 20 lb baby all day.
Alternatively, if you won’t be in a place where you will be able to push a stroller, pack your baby carrier. We have the K’tan and the Lilli Baby. Both are excellent baby carriers for different situations. We used the K’tan for going to the beach since I knew it would get sandy and is easy to throw in the washer when we got home.
The Lilli Baby is an excellent carrier when you are going longer distances and need back support. I love that you can wear the baby 6 different ways depending on their mood and size.
If you are going anywhere with a pool or beach, don’t forget your child’s life vest for swimming. It takes up some space in your bag, but definitely worth it since it literally can save your child’s life. We use this one and love it. It’s safety checked by the coast guard and will help not only keep your child afloat but keep your child’s head above water too.
4. Entertainment and Toys
Pack a few toys for the car, for the airport, for the airplane, for the hotel room and whenever you have down time. It is pretty embarrassing trying to get your child to stop climbing on things because they are bored and you didn’t bring any distractions.
We packed a few cars, some stackable rings for the baby, a rattle, and a train book to help distract our sons in different situations. The stackable rings were the big hit for both of them!
Also, YouTube has a great premium service where you can download your child’s favorite shows and use them offline. We downloaded a few for the airplane, though, the airplane did have a great entertainment system that he largely ignored.
I’m going to be doing a post on this soon but snacks as a mom are so important. Especially if you are a #boymom, like
Some that I recommend:
- rice cakes
- apple sauce squeezes
- fruit snacks
- granola or chewy bars
- Mini Muffins
- teddy grahams
A few other things I was glad I packed for the beach were
- two different sized beach or tote bags to carry the sunscreen, baby hats, and toys back and forth to dinner and the beach.
- My own sunglasses, because how often are those forgotten in the car?
- Stuff for me to do in downtime that doesn’t require internet or my phone, i.e. a drawing pad and good book.
- My phone and charger to take pictures with.
- Sippy Cup for the 2 year old. Great ones to take are the toss and go because if you lose them it isn’t a huge deal and they are mostly leak proof. I say mostly because if your child knows how to pull of the lid it’s going to spill everywhere, which happened to me a couple of times.
I wish I had packed more cute covers for wearing to the beach or around the resort. If I were to have brought another one, I would’ve bought this one:
Bonus – Underwear!
If your child is potty trained and gets sick, make sure you bring plenty of change of underwear. You don’t want to be washing dirty underwear in your sink trying to get some on the last few days for them to wear, so always bring extra!
You get the idea, now lets move on to things that I packed that I didn’t need.
5 Things to Leave Behind
The above five things are things we would’ve missed on our trip if we had not packed them. We used all of it and we
- Kid Sunglasses – Unless your kid is obsessed with wearing the sunglasses, they will hardly wear these. It is better to take a sun hat in hopes they keep that on.
- Too Many Toys – It’s great to bring toys but I would narrow it down to less than four. We took a whole backpack full for our son and they just played with two or three of them.
- Baby Powder and Water Shoes – These would’ve been great but they were forgotten at the bottom of the bag. We never got too sandy that we needed the baby powder and if we did they had wash off stations in varies locations.
- Too Many Shoes and shirts – We definitely overpacked on the shirts and clothes. I came back and half my clothes were untouched because I wore my swimsuit most of the time with a cover-up.
- Laptop and other Big Electronics – This is a vacation with your family. The last thing you want to do is be distracted. You are spending a lot of money, you might as well unplug and enjoy your time.
I looked at a few other packing lists on pinterest when I packed and made my list from that. I know that I was definitely glad to have the above and wish I had left a few of the things behind. Be prepared but have fun on your trip. You only live once, so might as well enjoy the ups and downs.
If you liked this blog and want to know more about me or my daily life check out my blog posts in the About me category or follow me on Instagram @sharrette.co or @sharretteillustrations.
You can also check out my pinterest for things I pinned before my trip here. I have a bunch of great kid boards where I pin things like what to teach my son, different craft or activites, and even just fun baby gear!