Essential Travel Gear for Families

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When you travel as a family there is a lot of planning involved, along with a lot of gear. However, when you travel frequently, you learn to scale down and bring only the necessities in your bag. Over the years we have come up with a set list of essentials we never leave home without. I’m not talking about the usual toiletries, medicine, and clothes, but those items that always travel with us. The next time you get ready to head out the door, you might want to throw these in for good measure.

 

12 Essential Items to Pack for Your Next Family Vacation

  1. Chargers: In this age of all things technology, it is hard to go anywhere without a gadget of some sort. Make sure you have a way for your batteries to make it through the duration of your vacation or you may end up shelling out big bucks for new chargers. It is helpful to have one that can charge multiple devices at once, so you don’t have to carry several different cords with you.

  2. Headphones: We use the small earbud type which take up no room. Perfect for listening to music, movies on the plane, and tuning out loud noises, we always travel with no fewer than three pairs.

  3. Bubble Bums: Many years ago I was desperate for a car seat alternative. Rental car agencies charge too much to rent them and I refuse to lug three bulky booster seats overseas, so I started researching options. That’s when I discovered the Bubble Bum. At the time, it was only approved for use in the EU, so I reached out to their headquarters in Ireland and asked if they would ship to the U.S. They would, and they did, and the rest is history. If you don’t have a Bubble Bum, what are you waiting for? They barely weigh anything and if your child can ride in a booster seat, they can ride in a Bubble Bum!

    Bubble Bum

    Easy to deflate, lightweight, and perfect for travel.

  4. Bubble gum, lollipops, and snacks: You can never have too many of any of these. The gum and lollipops are perfect on the plane when ears start to hurt. The snacks help when kids get cranky and tired. Having an ample supply of these at your disposal at any given time is a sure fire way to prevent many melt downs.

  5. Travel wallet: You can never be too safe, so I always carry a neck travel wallet with me instead of a purse. It easily hides under my clothes and I can conveniently reach it in an instant. I love the piece of mind it gives me when we are in a crowd.

  6. Inflatable travel bed: You might think this is only for road trips, but we actually took one overseas when our youngest was a toddler. It came in very handy in hotel rooms that only had beds for four people. Small enough to fit in your luggage and easy to set up. The kids used to fight over who got to sleep in this bed!

    Travel Bed

    You will not regret having one of these when you travel!

  7. Swiss Army pocket knife: This little gadget has more tools than I can name. Scissors, cork screw, knife, you name it! I can’t tell you how many times we have used this on our travels. Super helpful to have along in times of need and it weighs next to nothing. Just be sure to pack it in your checked bag.

  8. A deck of cards (regular or Uno): We have enjoyed teaching our children card games and love when they create their own. A simple way to pass the time in hotel rooms without a television, long train/airplane rides, or while waiting in line. Easy to pack and quick to pick up, it makes sense for us to have these along.

  9. A book light: I love to read before bed every night, so this is a non-negotiable. The added perk however, is being able to use it as a flashlight in dark hotel rooms or while traveling at night.

  10. Hand wipes, plastic bags, and Ziplocs: Each one has a purpose and each one will be used at least once on your trip. No toilet paper? Use a wipe. Wet swim suit? Throw it in a plastic bag. Lost tooth? Yes this happened to us, and the Ziploc was perfect.

  11. Pacsafe Backpack: We have traveled with this backpack for years because it provides us with peace of mind. The bag has zippers with hidden locks that deter would be thieves and we always bring it as our go to carry on and day pack.

    Pacsafe Backpack

    We never leave home without this!

  12. Clothes line: Great for hanging laundry to dry, but also great to hang up, then drape towels and sheets across to darken a room. Lightweight and easy to use. No reason you shouldn’t take it along for your next trip.

Space is at a premium when packing for any vacation.  For our family, these items are indispensable and we would hate to leave any of them behind. Before you take your next trip, take stock of your needs and see if you might want to include some of these necessities in your luggage.

What do you think? Are there any items you never leave home without?

 

This post may contain affiliate links, however, all recommendations are my own.

5 comments on “Essential Travel Gear for Families

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