Travel hacks will save your life when it comes to vacationing with your kids. Traveling with the kiddos can be very rewarding, but at the same time can be a ton of work. Getting from point A to point B with kids of any age is an adventure in itself. From car seats to Pack ‘n Plays, suitcases filled with lots of clothes and shoes, tablets, laptops, etc. traveling with children can require a lot of extra gear, which translates to overfilled cars for road trips, and higher baggage fees for flying families. Whether it's a long road trip or baby's first flight, part of what makes traveling with kids difficult is asking them to sit still for long stretches of time. Kids are naturally curious and are adorable balls of energy, so it makes sense they'll want to explore the car or plane around them.
Even though traveling with kids can be a bit stressful, it can be successfully done. There's no guarantee that your child/children won't have a meltdown at any time during your vacation. However, knowing some essential travel hacks will make you feel more organized and prepared before buckling up and hitting the road. So check out these 23 traveling hacks that every parent should know before heading out on vacay with their brood.
Giving kids a snack helps to pass the time on a flight or long road trip. But so often, whatever we pack isn't what they want right now, and digging options out can be a challenge in tight places. Make everyone happy with a craft organizer filled with a variety of healthy, sweet, and salty treats. Your kids will be glad that they have options when it comes to snacking, and you'll be happy that they aren't complaining that there isn't anything they want to eat. You can find these at your numerous stores like your local Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, or any other craft store in town. A win-win situation!
One of the most important things to do when you’re on a road trip with kids is to keep activities easily accessible. There are a few ways to achieve this. You can attach suction cups to a shower caddy and mount it into the window. Also, you could place an organizer between the seats, or you could hang a show caddy or some kind of an organizer from the headrest of the front seats to keep things neat and within reach. If you have games, toys, snacks, and more within your child’s reach in the backseat you are likely to avoid road trip meltdowns and have happy road trippers instead.
Beach days are the best, but there's always the problem of having to figure out where to put your valuables when you're having fun in the sun with the family. In a perfect work, your kids will stay right there where you've parked yourself for the day, and you won't spend time chasing them around as they head for the water or rocks.
However, in reality, your kids will ready to explore. So while you're running around with them and are left to leave your beach chair and valuables around, stick your important and precious items in a diaper for safekeeping. There's no guarantee that someone with sticky fingers won't try to snatch your stuff, but there's a better chance that what looks like a dirty diaper ill be left untouched than a beach bag spilling over with tons of stuff.
By far one of the best travel hacks. When you’re hitting the open road with the family this summer, a great travel hack is to line the back seat of your car with sheets. With all the hours that your kids will be spending in the car, there will definitely be spills, crumbs, and other messes all over your vehicle. It would be a good idea to also put sheets down on the floor as well so if anything spills on the carpet in the backseat they won’t get messed up either. Then all you have to is remove the sheets and shake out the mess once you get to your destination.
Let’s go to the beach! Sounds like a fun and simple enough until you realize that you have to get the kids, toys, beach towels, toys, and goodies all from the car to find that perfect spot right by the water. The best item to remedy this problem is a piece of winter play equipment—a plastic snow sled! Sounds weird, but you’ll be happy that you pulled it out of wherever you store your winter items. All you will have to do is load up the sled with your beach supplies, and drank it across the sand, saving yourself multiple trips back and forth to the car.
This travel hack is handy for those with little ones. If you have a child that will try and stick their finger in a socket at any given moment than childproofing hotel rooms is a huge must. A roll of painters tape can be used easily to temporarily cover an outlet while you’re on vacation, as well as secure a toilet lid or cushion furniture with sharp corners without doing any damage. Now, who really thinks of childproofing on vacation? Not most parents, so no worries if you don’t happen to have painters tape handy. You can improvise and cover the outlets with a band-aid.
Do you hate trying to find your preschooler’s underwear or your baby’s socks in a suitcase filled with everyone’s clothes? The answer to your problem is zip lock bags. You could pack one complete outfit for your child in one single Ziploc bag. This way, you can easily and quickly get to their things and pull out everything you need with no hassle. Also whats a plus about the Ziploc bags is that they double as a dirty clothes bag for the kid’s clothes as well. After the end of the day or if your child has dirtied their outfit up, all you have to do is put it back in the Ziploc bag it came in.
If you have a toddler, this is a cool traveling hack when traveling. If your child is too big for a hotel crib, but at the same time not ready to sleep in a big hotel bed, a bedrail is a must-have for their safety. Instead of carrying around a bulky bedrail with you on your vacation, you can pick up one of these cheap pool noodles. You can find them pretty much at any one of your local drug stores, or better yet you can pick one up once you get to your destination. All you have to do is position it near the edge of the bed right under the fitted sheet and voilà! You’ve got yourself an instant barrier to keep your kid from rolling out of bed during the night.
A dirty diaper really has a way of stinking up your entire hotel room. When you’re changing diapers in the middle of the night, you’re not going to want stuff it in a plastic bag and then wander either into the hallway or outside to find a garbage can to stick it in. What you can do though to minimize the stunk until the morning’s housekeeping empties the trash is by bagging it up in the plastic liner from the ice bucket. How perfect is that! Another good option for a smelly diaper is to see if there’s one of those plastic laundry bags in the room closet. Those work just as good.
If you have impatient kids in the back seat, it can definitely make for a tiresome road trip. If you have little ones with early bedtimes and you don’t mind staying up a little late yourself, then opt for doing some night driving. You could try timing the longest stretches of driving at night. Put the little ones in their pajamas and get them set up in the car with their favorite stuffed animals, and enjoy the silence as your car rocks them off to la la land. Sleeping children means that you and your passenger can have uninterrupted conversations, and overall, the experience will be much more peaceful.
Just about every hotel room has a coffee maker, and it will come in handy for more than just making a hot steaming cup of coffee. Remember you can use it to boil water so take advantage. Pack cups of ramen noodles for an easy late night meal when the kids are starving or some instant oatmeal so when they wake up at the crack of dawn they have something to eat to hold them over until it’s time for their actual breakfast. It also works great for heating up a baby’s bottle. It’s always nice when one appliance can be used for multiple things.
Keeping track of USB cords, earbuds, and other cables are messy enough when traveling solo. Multiply the number of electronic devices by a family of three, four, or more, and the mess can get totally out of control. Use a cheap glasses case to keep the cords all contained and easily accessible in everyone’s carry on luggage. Nothing will get tangled, and this way everyone will have everything they need for their gadgets at their fingertips. There will be no having to search through the bottoms of bags for a pair of headphones. The easier it is for your children means, the easier it will be for you. Everyone wins!
Reusable bags have many purposes when traveling. Packing a couple of reusable bags makes getting any souvenirs you purchase much easier to get home. You can use them to put yours, or your kid's shoes or other clothing inside and use the bags as carry-ons. Reusable bags are also great for storing your child's dirty or wet clothes within their suitcases. They're great to carry on when your sightseeing, or spending a day at the beach. The possibilities are endless with what you can do with these bags, and the great thing about them is that their lightweight and super durable.
Whether it’s a couple fighting or doing other things loudly next door, or there’s a rock star birthday bash happening below you, or you just simply want to watch TV while the kids are sleeping. One of the best travel hacks for this situation is white noise. While you are on vacation, even the heaviest sleeper will make up more easily while you’re on vacation. I know I do. A great way to counter unwanted noise when you’re staying in a hotel pack a white-noise machine. If you don’t want to purchase yet another gadget, you can always download a free app for white noise right on your smartphone.
You’re a mom. You know that kids tend to get hurt or sick in the most inconvenient times. Packing a first aid-kid for your trip is a must. If there’s a mishap, you won’t have to rely on the hotel concierge or go wandering in the middle of the night for a drug store. While on vacation with your family you must always be prepared for the unexpected. So don’t forget the bandages, kids Motrin, antibacterial spray and anything else you think may come in handy. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your child possibly getting sick or falling and skinning then knee on the ground.
This app comes in handy, especially if you have a large family. All you have to do is download the Mobile Passport app, and there you can store all of the family’s passports in once place. Now you do have to travel with your actual passport, but this app does help you save time. You won’t have to fumble through your big mom bag every time you need to present everyone’s passports, and when you’re going through customs. See technology isn’t always a bad thing. It can actually come in handy once in a while. Easy peasy and stress-free!
This travel hack pertains more to when you’re flying. When you’re flying, you need to be ready for radically changing temperatures. You will want to make sure that the kids dress in comfortable layers. If possible its better if they’re not wearing anything with zippers, buttons or anything that could prevent them from making it to the bathroom in time. Same goes for shoes. Opt for slip-ons and avoid shoelaces. The added benefit here is that you’ll be able to get through quicker with them through airport screening. Airports are hectic already, so anything you can do to make the process easier will make everything less stressful for yourself.
Of course, you should probably unplug and leave your phone in the car or just simply put it away when you’re at the beach with the kids, but that never happens. We never go anywhere without our phones, and if your phone is in the car or at the bottom of your bag how will you take pictures> That’s where the handy dandy waterproof pouch comes into play. At all times you need to be near your kids in the water, so if you want to keep your money and phone close by the must-have is the pouch. There’s a variety of pouches out on the market that is made for all different types of phones.
One of the best travel hacks around! I do this all the time. When you travel with your family versus when traveling alone, there will be a ton more luggage, which can be a bit much to handle. If you are flying with kids that are too young to pull their own suitcases around the airport, it's better to make sure to travel with few bags as possible.
The best way to pack more efficiently is to roll the kids clothes as well as yours. If you want to save even more space after rolling the clothes, you can purchase packing cubes and put the clothes in the cubes. The cubes will not only compact your clothing even more, but it will also keep you and your kids' belongings all nice and neat inside your suitcases.
Unless you are visiting an island resort or going camping phones, tablets, etc. will be in tow. So make sure your family can make the most of their devices. The best way to do so is to bring a power strip. This way, everyone can charge their devices at the same time with no problems. Your kids won’t be fighting over who will get to go first. That means no headaches for you. Also, bring extra headphones. Just in case anyone forgets to bring them or loses a pair, they’ll be an extra set. You won’t have to stop off to the store and buy a pair because you’ll have some.
Every parents' worse nightmare is having their child wander away in a crowd. If your kids are too young to remember their phone number strap one of these bracelets on them so just in case they do end up getting separated from you whoever finds them can quickly contact you. You could make them, so the bracelet has an emergency contact number, and you can design them based around your kids favorite color. If your kids are into art projects, this would be a perfect DIY activity. You can also buy "Lost And Found" if art and crafts aren't your thing. The bracelets can store your children's name, hotel number, two emergency contact phone numbers, medical conditions, flight numbers, etc. on them.
The Amazon fire stick is perfect for watching movies on-the-go. 'It's great to have when you're in a hotel room because you'll save money on buying movies to entertain the kids, and it's an ideal gadget to ensure that your kids will never be bored at 'Grandma's. All you need is a WiFi signal and 'you'll be able to watch Hulu, Netflix, or any other streaming service you have on the go. Devices like this or the Roku Streaming Strick are super portable and will work on any TV as long as 'there's an HDMI port.