How to Pack for a Trip as a Parent
Packing for a trip can be hard, especially if you are a new parent who has never done it for their kids before. Here are some of our most helpful tips to make packing and traveling an educational, enriching, and fun experience for you and your children.
1. Involve Your Child in the Packing Process
A great way to start the vacation off on the right foot is by getting your child involved and excited for it. If they learn how to help with your guidance, you will lay the groundwork for future trips so they can slowly pack entirely by themselves. For younger children, try drawing pictures of the articles of clothing that they need to pack with them. As you pack each article, have them identify which drawing it is to exercise their minds. Older kids can try writing a list of what they want to pack and then lay each corresponding article of clothing out on their bed for you to check.
2. Pack Multiple Forms of Entertainment
As we all know, kids can get bored easily. Making sure you have multiple ways to keep them stimulated yet calm at the same time is critical. The best way to achieve this is by packing a variety of the toys they like—silly putty, new coloring books, and removable stickers are all fantastic. If they are older, chapter books and Mad Libs are also great options. Curating a playlist of their favorite songs for a long drive can also be a great way to keep them distracted. As an added bonus, you can even try giving them a small digital or disposable camera to take pictures of their favorite sights. In this case, the pictures they take will become family memories that last a lifetime.
3. Keep Them Well-Fed
It can be hard to keep your kids full when you are on an extended trip away from home, especially after getting used to the easy access to the kitchen over the past year. To avoid a low blood sugar induced meltdown, pack several snack bags for car rides and flights. Packing a snack bag on the morning of each day of the trip can also be useful to mitigate hunger throughout the day.
4. Give Them Reasons to be Excited
One of the best parts of trips is experiencing new places, sights, and people. This fun should not just be limited to the adults on a trip; kids deserve just as enriching, if not more, of an experience. Making lists of specific animals, signs, or buildings for them to look out for can keep them interested in the new place they are in. If they are too young to read, draw pictures of these scavenger items. Best of all, you can keep surprising them with the beauty of new things. You get to watch them learn, so don’t skip out on showing them as much as you can so that you can learn with them as they figure out the world.
Traveling with kids is difficult any way you slice it, but with these tips, a lot of patience, and a carry-on that’s filled with a sense of humor, you and your kids will go far.
Written by Ela Kalra