The next post in the WHAT series focuses on travel friendly items for kids. The following items have been on trips with us continuously and quickly became essentials. Your list will obviously differ based on your own family needs and style, but we hope this gives you some examples to detail out our train of thought as to WHY these items work well for us. Now on to the list!
Keen Sandals: If you want one pair of shoes for your kids when traveling in warmer weather, Keens, or similar, are a great option. From hikes to beach to playground fun, these shoes stand up to rough play and conditions. Each of our kids (currently almost 2 and 4.5) have a pair and they are usually the only shoes we take for them on trips. They also use them almost daily here in South Florida. Most recently, they have stood up as the only shoes for trips to Disney World, San Diego and Hawaii. We usually find Keens in the next size up for our kids on eBay, with the last pair still being in good enough condition to sell on there as well.
Light Rain Jacket: We almost always have a light rain jacket on hand for our kids. Their jackets live in the family car and are always on hand when a South Florida rain shower hits. As parents of young kids, we find it much easier to put the kids in rain jackets then try and balance an umbrella. As such, these jackets travel with us wherever we go. They are layered to keep the kids warm for colder climates, or act as a sweatshirt for evenings, in addition to their main job to protect them from the elements. If you want one piece of outdoor gear, this is it!
Quick-Dry Clothing: An absolute essential when traveling with kids is to have some quick-dry clothing on hand. We will usually defer to packing items that will travel well -gym shorts, wind pants and lightweight shirts. For colder temperatures, fleece is a great option too. Gym shorts can also double as a bathing suit – super versatile. Spills, accidents and weather are no match for us when we have the right fabrics on hand!
Legos: Seemingly random, but worth mentioning because this is the only “toy” we have packed for our kids on the last few trips. A small bag of legos provides endless amount of creativity while traveling. We have broken out the lego bag in the hotel, car, restaurants and airplanes. My son usually has a lego-constructed car or two with him at all times. This is an age-dependent item of course, but the point is to find something that will keep kids attention for a good amount of time, and can be reduced or added to depending on space constraints.
Outlander BackPack: We love these backpacks – they are very lightweight, sturdy, and fold up small. Our kids usually share one to carry their lovies on the plane (so it starts out sparsely packed), and they have to be responsible for the bag during travel. But of course as the trip goes on, we use it as a catch-all bag when we get off the plane or out of the car, and it doubles as a great day bag (or beach bag, hiking pack, picnic, etc.).
Hopefully you found an item that might work for your family, or at least see our logic regarding what items we pack for our kids. Stay tuned as we evolve in our travels! Please comment with your tips and experiences so we can all learn together.
Happy (and Light) Travels!