Can You Travel With a Child? 30 Plus Tips How to Pack and Travel the World with Kids!

The big question: Can you travel with kids? After I become a parent, I heard one too many times people say my traveling days were over. They couldn’t have been more wrong- there are many safe ways to travel with kids! Read below for some good options for family travel, kid friendly family vacation and how to travel with kids.

If you have the same emotions as I do, I made this post for YOU! Instead of feeling stressed out, upset you forgot something or exhausted, use this guide to be better prepared so you can relax and enjoy your time together. Remember, if things don’t go exactly as planned, it’s not the end of the world! There is always a solution.

In this blog, you will find tips for…

  • Packing for travel with kids.
  • Traveling with kids through the airport and on the airplane.
  • Traveling with kids on a road trip.
  • Overall itinerary planning for a family vacation.
  • Products that I use for my kids to have a successful travel.

If you want to save time and money during travel, check out my favorite apps to use to plan my trips and while I am on the road.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified travel agent and am sharing insight from my own experience. Each family, adventure and child will have needs or interests that may vary from what is in my post. This is also not an exhaustive list of everything and international travel requires additional planning. There are also affiliate links and brand suggestions included at not cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to travel with kids?

Every states has great options of places to travel with kids for a family vacation. The key is also planning and doing your research before vacation.

What is the best age to travel with kids?

Kids can travel at any age.

What is the hardest age to travel with kids?

Each age can present different challenges. However, any travel you can share with your kids enriches their lives.

Is it OK for kids to travel? Is it safe for kids to travel?



Can You Travel With Kids?

Guide to Pack for a Family Travel with Kids

A kid friendly place to travel is North Shore of Minnesota.


First, let’s talk about packing. Figuring out what to pack for yourself can be challenging, but packing for your kids too?! That can be an entirely different story. You may feel like you are losing your mind! When packing for a family vacation, I always keep the following things in mind:

  • Are we going to travel completely by car or by airplane as well?
  • How long will we stay for?
  • What will the weather be like?
  • Is anyone sick or in need of medication?
  • How well has my child done with travel in the past?
  • How much experience does my child have with traveling?
  • What items do I want to have on hand at all times (for the carry on bag or bag in your car)?
  • Will I have access to laundry service or a washer & dryer?
  • Are we going to be souvenir items or T-shirts (if so, pack a little less)?


Now, once you have some of these questions figured out for packing, I suggest you try the following ideas to prepare for packing and your child for you adventure! Read below for some good options to consider when traveling with children.

  • This one is a no brainer- but make a list every time you pack!
  • Get your child excited for where you are going! We watch videos, read books and talk about what we get to do each day. Sometimes my kids like to draw pictures of what they think the place we are traveling to will be like. When we are on the road or in the plane, I make sure to bring activities that can relate to our upcoming adventures and have conversation with them about it.
  • Involve your kids in planning your itinerary. Sometimes I will find multiple fun things to do and I let them pick which one they are interested in. They love being part of the process.
  • Let your child help with packing. Let them help pick out their toys, activities and outfits.
  • Let your child help you with making snacks for the road or going snack shopping.
  • Make sure to set aside time for yourself where you get a break from the kid(s) and can pack your own items in peace.
  • Try to avoid last minute packing.
  • Make sure you know exactly which items you want to have on hand to put in your carry on bags and a bag easily accessible in your car.
  • For packing light, try to figure out items that have multiple use or that can fold down. For example, I have beach buckets that completely fold flat and headphones that fold flat too. The Airbnb we booked for our beach vacation also provided tons of beach toys, so we were able to pack light.
  • Use packing cubes to save space and be organized (I use it more for the organization!).
  • Plan on wearing bulkier items at the airport if you are flying (we wear our hiking boots).


Third, now that you have some of the basic tips, it’s time to figure out what to pack for your kids! A lot of items you may be able to use during a road trip or on a flight. Adjust the amount as needed depending on the duration of your vacation. If you are looking for additional packing tips, check out my article on Packing Mindful to Pack Light.


  • T-shirt or tops (1 per day, 2 per day for toddlers & infants)
  • Pants (1 per day, 2 per day for toddlers & infants)
  • Dressy outfits
  • Swimsuit (if a beach vacation)
  • Winter jacket, gloves, hat, boots (if a winter vacation)
  • sweatshirts/sweaters (1-2 per every 3 days)
  • Underwear (1 per day)
  • Diapers/pull ups
  • Bibs
  • Pajamas
  • hat (we pack sun hats!)
  • sneakers/hiking boots
  • slip on shoes/ water shoes
  • sunglasses
  • Rain coat or jacket
  • jewelry or accessories
  • Backpack or day pack (can use as a carry on bag)
  • Leash (for toddlers at the airport)


  • Tooth paste
  • Tooth brush
  • Floss and mouth wash
  • Travel size shampoo & body wash (check if your Airbnb supplies these!)
  • Hair brush
  • Hair ties or accessories
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sunscreen (ALWAYS pack no matter where you go)
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Wet wipes
  • A&D ointment or diaper cream (infants and toddlers)
  • feminine hygiene products (if needed)
  • Glasses/ contact lenses (if needed)
  • Insect repellant (if needed)


  • Tylenol
  • Cold medicine
  • Mini first aid kit
  • prescription medication
  • Liquid IV or Pedialyte


  • Favorite toys or books
  • Drawing or coloring activities
  • Disposable camera (my kids love taking pictures!)
  • Organizer for the car (I suggest this for road trips)
  • Beach toys (if on a beach vacation)
  • Electronic device and charger (if applicable)
  • Head phones
  • blanket
  • travel pillow
  • infant carrier (hiking version as well)
  • stroller
  • car seat or booster
  • water bottle
  • Ziploc bags (for wet clothes, food, treasures the kids find)
  • Snacks
  • Baby or toddler head support band (for the car ride- view under products section below)
  • Formula and bottles (if applicable)
  • Pacifier, teething items (if applicable)
  • Night light/ noise soother (if applicable)
  • A bag for dirty clothes (check to see if your Airbnb or hotel has washer/dryer)
  • Any important documents needed for travel










Looking for kid friendly destinations? Check out my itineraries for the Black Hills in South Dakota, Grand Marais in Minnesota, St. Petersburg in Florida and Wisconsin Dells in Wisconsin.

Family Travel Tips for the Airport


First, when packing for a flight with kids, you HAVE to make sure you have everything within arms reach. Here are items to make sure to pack in your carry on bag for your kids to decrease stress during your flight.

  • Water bottle (fill up AFTER TSA check)
  • Snacks
  • Sweater (airplanes are cold)
  • Electronic device (charged, with games downloaded)
  • Headphones
  • Books, favorite toys
  • White board with dry erase markers
  • Clay or silly putty
  • Travel Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothes
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Formula (if applicable)
  • Sanitizing wipes or travel sized hand sanitizer
  • Lollipop or gum (for take off and landing)
  • Ear planes for kids (if need)
  • Nausea medication (if needed)


Second, navigating the airport can cause a lot of anxiety for many parents. I still have similar feelings getting ready to go to the airport, but these tips I have learned has helped a lot. We get better every time!

  • When booking your flight, consider the time of the flight and think about their sleep schedule (or if they take naps). If you want to delay flights, early morning departures are your best bet.
  • When booking your flight, consider getting seats near the bathroom and away from the aisles with kids.
  • Check in for your flight online at home.
  • Don’t be late- arrive 90 minutes early for domestic flights. I suggest trying to get a ride to the airport so you can be dropped off at the curb near the gate to check in additional items.
  • Check in your additional bags and remember strollers and car seats are checked in for free (tag all of them!) right away. We like to use our baby carrier for our daughter throughout the airport vs. the bulky stroller.
  • If you travel often, consider using CLEAR to skip the long TSA lines. It costs $189 annually and you can add up to 3 people to your account for $60 each . If you are a United or Delta frequent flyer member, you can save $70-80.
  • When going through TSA, make sure all liquids are dumped out (don’t forget about baby bottles and sippy cups!), any electronics are out of your bags and baby formula is out of the bag as well. This will help you get through TSA much more quickly! Also, kids 12 years old and under do not have to remove their shoes.
  • Also note- TSA has a family line you can go through with children.
  • Make sure items needed for security (boarding pass and license) are easily reachable.
  • Never pass up a restroom- make sure to use the bathroom before boarding!
  • If you have a crazy toddler, consider using a leash (safety first!).
  • Always remember what your kids are wearing. I’d even suggest taking a picture of them just in case.
  • Check out airport websites to plane ahead and see where their nursing rooms and rest rooms are. Some airports even have playgrounds!
  • Involve your kids in every step of the travel! Get them excited by letting them have their own little carry on bags, talk with them about each process (boarding pass, TSA check, boarding the plane) and the expectations while their on the plane, if they need to go to the bathroom, etc.
  • Consider checking out airline lounges while waiting to board the plane. They have TV, games, free wifi, snacks, etc.
  • Make sure you have the proper documentation needed out and ready to go. For international travel if you are traveling without the other parent or are separated (besides a passport), you may need a notarized document saying you have permission or even sole custody. We usually go to our bank or county human services building for this.
  • IMPORTANT: Dismiss grouchy passengers and be proud of your kids. In our circle of control, we can’t control other people’s crappy attitudes, but we can control our own reaction and what we model to our children.

Read my article My Favorite Apps to Use for Travel for a list of free apps to make your adventure smooth sailing!

Family Travel Tips for a Road Trip

Next, if I have the time, I always favor road trips over flying with kids. I have more freedom and it’s less stressful. However, road trips can get long and kids can get restless. Here are tips that have helped us through over 10 hours in the car.

  • We also have a “carry on bag” that is easy to access during road trips with similar items to the carry on bag list above.
  • I utilize back seat organizers and make sure items my kids need are right in front of them (not as helpful for infants of course).
  • I suggest car seat covers, especially if you are using your own car (I have these on always anyway).
  • Consider getting a kids travel tray.
  • Make sure water is ready to go and snacks are organized (I love the reusable GoBe Kids Snack Spinner).
  • Consider leaving really early. My kids sleep during a lot of the drive when we do this.
  • Know your limits and take breaks. My kids are used to long car rides, so we can usually drive until someone needs to use the bathroom. It might not hurt to plan some smaller trips away from home as practice before taking on longer drives.
  • Make sure to take time to stretch.
  • Plan fun breaks to do something neat on the route to your destination. I use the free Roadtrippers app which gives me information on gas stations, food places and fun places of interest on our route.
  • Know your route and potential stopping points for food. I like to use the free iExit Interstate App. If you are needing to get gas, use the bathroom, find food or get a coffee, this app will lists which exits are coming up on your route, what’s there and what they offer.
  • Use a plastic organizer with drawers if able to for the trunk of your car.
  • Get your kids excited about the drive and let them pack their own bags and activities to have in the car with them as well.
  • Some of my favorite activities to pack are dry and erase board or activity, books, ipad or tablet (don’t forget the charger), silly putty or fidgets.
  • Pass the time together with road trip games.
  • Put a playlist together.
  • Pack a “one night bag” if you plan to stop and rest for a night. I pack individual outfits in freezer bags and set them at the top of the suitcase so we can just grab and go instead of unloading everything from our bags.
  • Always had the overall road trip essentials at hand (spare tire, back up directions, cables to jump your car, etc) to prepare for the unexpected.
  • Don’t forget about yourself and your own needs.

Overall Itinerary Planning for Family Travel

Also, having a successful family vacation does involve some planning. Here are some tips I have found most useful when planning for safe travel with kids.

  • I always research destinations based on all of our interests, budget and time available to travel.
  • Once the destination, dates and transportation are determined, I show my kids what fun activities are in the area & they help choose and plan which places we go to. Letting them be part of planning the trip will make it more fun!
  • Always visit the website of the activity or event to make sure you know the hours, requirements for entry, walking distance, etc. Sometimes you can even find discounts- you’d be surprised how many places discount tickets for kids! I try to buy the tickets in advance for anything needed.
  • When planning to stay at a resort, hotel or Airbnb, always make sure it’s kid friendly. You can also ask to see if they provide equipment for toddlers and infants like pack and play, high chair, etc.
  • If possible, find someplace with a washer and dryer. Trust me, this cuts down greatly on packing!
  • Always read reviews for accommodations and activities or events before buying or booking anything.
  • Plan your route and account for drive time. Figure out breaks during the drive for your kids.
  • If you dislike crowds, consider traveling during the off season. I know I can get anxiety traveling with my kids in crowded areas. We went on a vacation to the Gulf Shores of Florida during the off season and it was lovely!
  • Schedule down time. Travel can be exhausting, so we always make time for our kids to take a nap, make snacks, watch a show or just explore what is nearby outside. I like to make home cooked meals time to time during our travels to help wind down from an exciting day.
  • Just remember, travel is unpredictable and it is okay for things to not go according to plan.

Are you planning on some outdoor adventures or hiking trails? Check out my Ultimate Planning Guide for a Family Day Hike!


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