As any parent knows, traveling with children requires military-level planning and packing precision. Keeping the young ones happy and comfortable for the duration of your travels is key to a smooth journey for the whole family.

The process of packing for a trip can quickly become overwhelming. What should you bring? How much is too much? What if the kids get bored? Have no fear – we’ve created the ultimate family travel packing list guide to help simplify the process. Follow our tips below for stress-free travel packing with kids of all ages.

Toddler walking on the beach

Packing Tips For Babies and Toddlers

Before we start special thanks to Maria, manager of Dreamland Baby Discount Codes at Coupontoaster. Let’s start with the littlest travelers first. When it comes to packing for babies (0-2 years) and toddlers (2-5 years), here are some handy guidelines:

Clothing and Accessories

  • Bring lots of extra changes of clothes and extra underwear. Accidents and messes happen!
  • Pack breathable, stretchy outfits good for layering. Think onesies, leggings, and soft pants.
  • Include hats, socks, jackets and a lightweight blanket for fluctuating temperatures.
  • Pack bibs, burp cloths, small towels, and extra swaddling blankets.

Diapering Gear

  • Bring 2+ days worth of diapers and travel wipes for each child. Diapers take up less space than cloth.
  • Pack a travel changing pad, changing bag, diaper rash cream, plastic bags for soiled clothes.
  • For bottle-fed babies: bottles, formula, milk storage bags, cup with straw/lid.
  • Don’t forget pacifiers, teething gel, a soft cuddly toy or two.

Feeding Supplies

  • Pack healthy snacks/finger foods they already eat for the trip. This isn’t the time to introduce new foods.
  • Include bowls, plates, utensils, and at least one sippy cup per toddler.
  • Bring a lightweight, collapsible high chair if you’ll need one at your destination.

Baby Care Essentials

  • Travel thermometer, children’s pain/fever reliever
  • Baby carrier/sling for hands-free transport
  • Collapsible stroller suitable for daily outings
  • Portable crib, sleep sack, or familiar bedding item

Fun and Games!

  • Download movies, shows, games apps
  • Bring a tablet/kids headphones, handheld games
  • Pack coloring books, reading books, small toys
  • Playdough, modeling clay, games, cards

As you can see, young kids require a good amount of gear for travel! Packing smartly is key for this age range.

What to Pack for Big Kids and Teens

As kids grow up, their travel needs change too. School-age children and teens require less intensive packing but have their own considerations.

Clothing + Toiletries

  • Outfits can be more versatile. Pack shorts, tops, pajamas, undergarments, and one nicer outfit.
  • Include athletic clothes/shoes if activities are planned.
  • Toiletries: shampoo, soap, deodorant, hairbrush, and medications.
  • Don’t forget chargers for phones/devices!


  • Downloaded movies, shows, music, games, apps
  • Tablets, laptops, headphones (with volume limits!)
  • Handheld gaming devices, age-appropriate toys
  • Playing cards, mini games, books


  • Light jacket, socks, hat
  • Swimsuit and towel if swimming
  • Travel pillow, eye masks for sleeping
  • Hygiene products as needed
  • Healthy snacks they enjoy

With Pre-K children and above, focus is on clothes, entertainment essentials, amenities, and snacks to augment what parents packed. Get their input on what toys and activities they would enjoy during travel downtime.

Packing Hacks for Family Travel

It’s easy for bags to swell when packing all the kids’ travel gear in addition to your own. Use these packing hacks help reduce clutter and lighten the load:

  • Use packing cells/cubes to organize families’ clothes efficiently
  • Opt for multi-purpose items. Ex: shoes working for hiking + dinners out
  • Pack layering pieces like vests instead of bulky sweaters
  • Choose collapsible, portable versions of baby gear like high chair, crib
  • Ziplock bag loose pieces like socks, jewelry, toys to prevent rummaging
  • Wrap shoes in shower caps to avoid dirtying other items
  • Pack medication, valuables, documents in handled travel organizer
  • Place garbage bags over items in case of spills, accidents

With smart planning and efficient packing, you can conquer family travel with less stress and clutter!

Top Family Packing List Essentials

While each trip may call for different items, there are some universal basics that every family should remember for travel:


  • Passports
  • Travel insurance information
  • Print/digital copies of reservations, records, itineraries
  • IDs for adults/children over 16

Health + Safety

  • Hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes
  • Thermometer, first aid kit
  • Children and adult medications
  • Extra masks/PPE as needed


  • Cell phones, chargers, backup batteries
  • Devices (tablet, laptop), headphones
  • Entertainment (movies, games)

Travel Gear

  • Lightweight stroller
  • Child carrier backpack
  • Children’s luggage

Money Matters

  • Debit cards, credit cards
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Travel currency if international

Having duplicates of identification documents and medical prescriptions in both paper and digital formats is wise in case anything gets lost or damaged. Download entertainment ahead of time as well since internet access may be unreliable.

With kids in tow, organization and preparation pave the way for smooth travels. Following a comprehensive packing checklist helps family travelers handle any needs or issues in stride. Though every child and destination differs, our guide covers major bases from infancy through teen years.

Trust these family travel packing tips to minimize vacation panic. Instead, enjoy quality time with your loved ones exploring exciting new places and making lifelong memories! Safe journeys!