We’ve still got quite a bit of summertime left, which means there is still plenty of time for vaca — YAY! While packing for trips with littles can feel a little overwhelming, hopefully this list of tips, tricks, and product recs will make it feel a little more manageable. We polled a few of our favorite seasoned family travelers for their must-haves, and threw in a few of our own. Here’s the run-down for a peaceful trip!
These Water WOW! reveal pads from Melissa & Doug provide HOURS of entertainment, with just two pieces: the “paintbrush” and the book. Leave the box of crayons and markers (and MESS!) at home.
CozyPhones headphones speak for themselves. With different animal options, there’s a style for every kiddo. They actually stay in place, and can act a bit as noise-cancelling, too, with the additional light compression around the ears. (This link can get you two for less, if you have two little ones!)
If your kiddos are anything like ours, they are YEARNING to be in charge of something. (Let’s be honest… they want to control everything.) BUT, start small, give them a bag and make them responsible for it. These backpacks from Herschel could suit them just right, and these design choices, you just stop it. Plus, it lightens Mama’s load. Win/win!
Be all about that snack life. Bring along a few new snacks as a fun treat! (But, have a few ol’ trusties around, just in case, too.)
You don’t have to pack the kitchen sink.
Chances are, wherever you’re going, you can find a local store to buy a lot of the necessities: diapers, wipes, sunscreen, sand toys, etc. If it’s taking up too much room in your suitcase for air travel or in the backseat of your car for a roadtrip, plan to purchase once you arrive.
If visiting family or friends, find out what large gear items are available to you. There are companies that will rent certain items as well, like Baby’s Away, which might be a good option to consider. They offer most larger items, such as strollers, travel cribs, high chairs, etc., but you can check out each destination they serve for a comprehensive list.
It’s hard not to over-pack clothes. So hard. For ourselves, and the little ones, especially because those little rompers are just TOO CUTE. However, if you’re going somewhere with laundry onsite, there’s space to cut back the number of outfits you’re packing along. Instead, try opting for individual pieces that can be mixed and matched to coordinate different outfits. So, for instance, if there was an applesauce catastrophe on baby’s shirt, but the shorts are cool, you can salvage at least the bottom half for another wear.
For the Beach Bums.
Hydration is key on those hot, sunny days. What you put in “Mommy’s Sippy Cup” is totally up to you, but making sure that drink stays cool and refreshing is everything. If this Yeti Rambler isn’t currently part of your every day, it certainly should be. A day at the beach could be a good excuse to splurge on this!
Shade is key at the beach, especially for the little ones. We love this beach tent from Pacific Breeze as it’s lightweight yet spacious. Pro tip: do a dry run assembly at home before you get to the beach so you know how to pop it up. Either that, or try to park it next to another one on the beach so if you need a hand, you can ask for one. It’s simple once you get the hang of it, but the first time or two it can be a little tricky, especially against those beautiful coastal breezes! This one easily fits 2-4+ kiddos and 2 adults, perfect when someone needs a mid-day nap or a shady snack break.
Speaking of the tent, bring a dry paintbrush to dust pesky sand off feet and legs before kids go tromping in. (You’re at the beach, it’s impossible to keep it ALL out, but this definitely keeps it a little tidier. And you know how we moms appreciate a good tidy.) The bristles are just strong enough to knock the sand off without causing any additional pain to a sensitive sunburn. #momwin
Lastly, this is not beach travel related, but rather something to take with you anytime you’re flying and checking luggage: throw a clean pair of underwear and a toothbrush for each family member in your carry on. It only takes losing your luggage one time to learn that lesson… 😉
We hope this is helpful. Have a great vacation!
PS, This blog contains some affiliate links. We only recommend products that we have tried and can vouch for, and we are happy to get to share them with you! XO