Travel Tips

Packing Checklist & Necessities

What to Bring

  • Extra outfits for the trip in case of accidents. (Dress in easy layers in case the weather changes.)
  • Blankets (good to have an extra)
  • Diapers (pack extras for the trip), wipes, dipaer ointment. (A pillow case works great for travel-it is small and easy to put the baby on for changes.)
  • Plastic bags are great in case of an accident or to put dirty diapers until you can get to a trash.
  • Extra sippy cups, bottles, pacifier, bibs (disposable ones are great for travel)
  • Food, formula, water, juice (Always pack extra formula since it is more difficult to find. It helps to pre-measure & put in small containers/ziploc bags.)
  • Breast pump (ice packs, bags for storing)
  • Monitor (good for all ages especially if you are staying in a large place)
  • Nightlight
  • Sunblock & sunhat
  • Carseat (you can also rent at most car rentals)
  • Compact stroller
  • Sling, child carrier, baby backpack
  • Pack-n-play (If you can borrow one at your destination, much easier than transporting)
  • Fold up booster seat with tray (can fit in a duffle)

Kid’s Emergency/Essentials Kit

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunblock
  • Nasal decongestant
  • Antibiotic eardrops
  • Motion sickness bag & tablets
  • Insect repellent & anit-itch cream
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Water purification tablets
  • Cotton swabs & Q-Tips
  • Children’s Tylenol & Advil
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl)
  • Antibiotics (if needed)
  • Band-Aids, neosporine, antiseptic
  • Thermometer

Emergency List

  • Always keep in travel bag a list of emergency contacts. If anything was to happen, someone can call the family in case of emergency.

Closing up the House

Check List to Close Your House Before you leave:

  • Who is feeding the animals?
  • Did you clean the perishables out of the refridgerator?
  • Did you empty all the trash cans?
  • Did you put a hold on the MAIL? You can do this online at or call (800) ask-usps. They will drop all your mail off when you return from your trip and there is no extra charge.
  • Did you stop the newspaper?
  • Who is watering the plants? Put all the indoor plants in one place to make it easy for the person watering.
  • Does that person have a key?
  • Do you need cash or travelers checks?
  • Do you have your passport & plane tickets?


Security CheckpointsIt takes time to get through security so make sure when you have kids to get to the airport early and do the following:

  • Wear shoes that are easy to remove.
  • Carry-on Luggage: Be sure that your liquids are no more than 3 oz. (this includes shampoo, toothpaste, hairspray, etc.). All liquids must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. There are exceptions for baby formula, breast milk, and other essentials, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Family Friendly AirportsVisit the website of the airport(s) you are scheduled to fly through and locate the nearest child play area. The play area in the Denver (Concourse B, (303) 317-1089) airport has been a lifesaver for us. Chicago has one, too.


Take the train to Disneyland My son gets extremely car sick. He complains even when we drive from Santa Barbara out to Costco. When a friend invited us on a weekend trip to Disneyland, I was thrilled, but worried. How would we make it all the way to Anaheim. In the end, I decided to take the train. It was perfect. My son could get up, move around, go to the bathroom, eat, watch a movie… I wasn’t stressed out by traffic and worry of him getting sick in the back seat. When we arrived, it was a quick and cheap cab ride to the hotel. We stayed right next to the park so we never needed a car. I would have just been wasting money on parking anyway. Even if your kid doesn’t get carsick, I would highly recommend taking the train on your next Disneyland trip.

Activities to Keep Kids Entertained
Schedule of Activities Whether riding in a plane or in the car our family takes long trips!? I have found that I can keep my 7 & 4 yr olds sane by having a written schedule that I tape in a prominent location such as the head rest of seat in front of them.? I over schedule activites and do not post times.? That way they are looking forward to what comes next and allows me the flexibility to extend or shorten any given activity such as books on tape, word games, naps, snacks/meals, DVDs, coloring, or hand held video games.? It’s a great to hear them say as we arrive, “but we didn’t get to do ___ yet!”Keep kids busy I keep my kids busy with the Mess Free markers and coloring pads! They are great for in the car or airplane. The magic is in the markers and special paper!

Cheap ToysMy son is 2 years and 3 months and he likes new toys to keep him entertained.  Plan to go to Wal-mart or any 99 cent store and get small toys. Don’t let your kids see them until they become little fussy! I would rather buy the inexpensive toys than bring his favorite ones because he becomes bored.  (And I don’t mind losing the cheap ones.)

Another tip that is more is getting a dvd player… sometimes you can find sales!  They work reallllllly well. Chargers last for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Podcast Stories I have downloaded stories off of itunes. They are free in the podcast section and there are stories for all ages. I have tried a few on my kids and they are so calm and relaxed. They asked for more and didn’t want to get out of the car when we got home.Getting Around in the Airport There is this great product called a trunki. It is a ride-on suitcase. Kids can scoot themselves to the next gate or you can pull them as they ride along. It is the best toy to have and it is great sturdy luggage. On our last trip to Florida there was no “carry me mommy” it was “look at me go”

Taking Photos

Document Your Trip

My husband, myself, and our 2 year old went on a three month road trip through mainland Mexico. We had no itinerary which was a welcome change from always planning things. We kept an online journal of our trip to share with family and friends, and I’m so glad we have it to look back on. Here’s a link to our site if you’re interested:

Always have your camera with you!

Road trips

Mini Destinations

My family took a road trip last summer from Santa Barbara to Victoria B.C. We were traveling with two 11 year old boys and a 14 year old boy, and were on our way to visit some friends in Washington State. We chose a “destination of the day” to move us along. We went on factory tours, (such as Jelly Belly, Boeing and Safeco Field to name a few) National Parks and Monuments and points of interest. We worked hard to balance high energy activities with low key ones, and let the boys help choose the itinerary. The boys took turns each day being the navigator. They were in charge of the lap top and the GPS locator to determine the best route to our next destination. They would locate gas stations, restaurants, and hotels/camp sites or whatever was needed that day. We all had a blast and are planning another two to three week road trip this summer at the boys request.