Packing tips for life on the go with kids

My husband and I have always enjoyed being busy and active.  Our first dates were spent snorkelling, scuba diving and parasailing in the Caribbean and although our life has changed significantly since leaving a life onboard cruise ships and becoming parents, we still rarely spend a day at home.  We spend holidays with our boys discovering new places and free time visiting attractions and meeting up with friends located all over the UK.   Of course travelling with kids involves more consideration and careful planning than travelling as a couple… long gone are the days where my husband and I jumped in the car with only a rain jacket each!  Here are my packing tips for life on the go with kids, I hope you find them useful.

My packing tips for life on the go with kids

Essential kit for the car

Our first aid kit containing plasters, bandages, anti bacterial wipes, indigestion tablets, Calpol, Nurofen and teething medication has come in handy on many occasions, to deal with cuts, grazes, heartburn and high temperatures.

As the weather starts to get warmer I load our car with a bottle of high factor sun cream, deet free bug spray and a picnic blanket ready for our next family adventure.  We rarely go on a family day out without taking a picnic in a cooler which means I can make sure we all eat a healthy lunch and as a bonus saves us money for treats.

My packing tips for life on the go with kids

In the autumn I replace the sun cream and bug spray with waterproofs and wellies.  Although we wouldn’t purposefully choose to visit an outdoor attraction in bad weather, being prepared for the weather changing provides us with the option of whether to stay and play in the rain, or take shelter!  We also have seat protectors and a waterproof boot protector, to prevent our car getting muddy from dirty wellies and pushchair wheels.

My packing tips for life on the go with kids

Essential kit for the journey

I speak from our experience in Wales when I say it is no fun starting a family day out covered in sick due to one of your kids projectile vomiting in the car!

To avoid car sickness, we use anti nausea/motion sickness travel wrist bands.  We also prepare for the worse case scenario by carrying lots of baby wipes, a plastic sick bowl or absorbent sick bags for long journeys and packing a change of clothes for both boys.

Although my kids like to read books whilst we are driving, looking down whilst the car is moving causes them to feel sick.   We therefore tend to listen to audio books or play games.  If you need some help entertaining your kids during road trips these I-Spy books are great (and cheap too!)

Of course a tablet fixed into a car mount (to make sure kids are looking forward and not into their laps) can come in very handy too.  We always take some time to preload cartoons and movies in advance so that we are not relying on wifi whilst on the move.

Essential kit for a day out with kids 

I load up our pushchair and rucksack with a picnic and blanket, refillable drinks bottles, baby wipes, sterilising wipes and hand sterilising gel.  Sterilising wipes are useful for wiping down grubby high chair trays and sterilising gel is useful for the whole family, particularly when kids have touched animals at petting farms or picked things up from the floor, (my kids cannot be the only ones who cannot resist a stick!)


My packing tips for life on the go with kids

For attractions that do not allow pushchairs, or for enjoying a country walk, baby slings are great for carrying infants, and backpacks are perfect for toddlers.

To avoid carrying toddlers who refuse to sit in pushchairs give them the option of riding on a buggy board or, if permitted into the attraction, take along a scooter.  (We can thoroughly recommend Micro Scooters which are really stable and easy to use for kids from the age of three). 

Of course snackstoys and sticker books are an absolute necessity for a life on the go with kids!  I like to pack healthy snacks for all of us including fruit, hummus and breadsticks but I always have an emergency stash of sweet and savoury treats too, such as crisps and biscuits, for those unavoidable toddler meltdowns!

If we are visiting a place that I know will be busy I dress my boys in bright clothes so that they stand out in a crowd.  From attending a few festivals last summer I also like the idea of writing my mobile number on a wristband in case my boys get lost in the crowds.

My packing tips for life on the go with kids

To avoid being pestered for souvenirs during a day out with my kids, and to save myself some money, I try to plan and pack accordingly.  For example, when we visit Warwick Castle I dress my boys in their knights outfits as I know they will pester me for new ones from the souvenir shop if I forget!

And finally, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to plan a day out with kids, when children are involved it’s almost guaranteed that you will have an ‘eventful’ day.  Remember to take along your sense of humour and camera to capture the family chaos for years to come!


Do you have any packing tips for life on the go with kids?  Please share them in the comments section below

Disclosure – This post is in conjunction with Rennie® but all thoughts are my own


If you found this guide useful, check out our other guides to travelling with kids
– Tips for cruising with kids by experienced cruisers
– Essential packing list for cruising with kids
– Tips from a Flight Attendant; Flying comfortably with children
– Tips from a Flight Attendant; Preventing travel sickness
– Tips from a Flight Attendant; Flying safely with children
– Top tips for a baby (and parent) meltdown free holiday
– Essential travel kit; tips for a holiday with a young child
– Essential packing list for flying with a baby or young child
How to survive road trips with a baby or young child
How to survive and enjoy camping with young children

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My packing tips for life on the go with kids


Travel Loving Family

41 thoughts on “Packing tips for life on the go with kids

  1. Laurel Santos

    This looks really helpful. Thank you for sharing such great list. This would surely help tons of family. Looking forward to more helpful posts.

  2. tracy collins

    I am so pleased I don’t have to do this anymore! I remember a car full of stuff when I took her as a baby to visit friends in Brighton. Then as she got older it got easier! You have to be so organised! #mondayescapes

  3. Sol Solntze

    I must admit that I do miss having a car, simply because of the large amount of stuff you can store usefully in it for family days out. Ditto the pushchair to be honest. Mind you, as they get bigger, you can make them carry some of the clobber themselves…

  4. chickenruby

    some good tips there, for many years we holidayed in northern france with our 4 boys and everything was thrown in the car 1-2 days before we left, we took all sorts away with us, whole lego sets, ski goggles, duvets and pillows for the journey, i dreaded breaking down and unpacking both ends #mondayescapes
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  5. Emma Raphael

    Such great tips! I need to call you when I next pack for a trip I think, I ALWAYS forget something important (last weekend, I forgot the baby’s grobag, so I didn’t sleep a wink wondering whether he would end up burying under the covers or something…)… 😀 #mondayescapes


    I like the part about wearing bright colors at festivals – great idea! And I have a daughter who gets car sick practically every road trip so bringing a plastic bag has become routine – it most definitely comes in handy! #mondayescapes

  7. Kat

    Such great ideas! I know from the experience of being the projectile vomiting kid that it’s no fun for anyone. Mum would have a large ice cream container with a plastic bag in it ready for me on long car trips because I was awful with car sickness.
    I always have a little first aid type kit in my bag with band aids and blister packs and sunscreen now. #MondayEscapes

  8. Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    Great tips Lisa. Wet wipes, snacks and a change clothes are my bare essentials when out with the kids. Luckily the girls are able to fit into roughly the same size clothes now (with a bit of extra leg room for Baby) so I’m gradually cutting down on the amount I have to cram into our change bag!! #MondayEscapes
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Monday Escapes 13/03/17My Profile

  9. April Berry

    Great moms think alike, I guess! My must-pack list is very similar: handy wipes, hand sanitizer, refillable water bottles, snacks, an audio book, notebooks with colored pencils, jackets, and a camera. If there is going to be a lot of pretty scenery, we usually bring a pair of binoculars too. #MondayEscapes

  10. Anna

    I don’t have kids yet, but when I was a kid and was travelling with my family my parents always packed a mini first aid kit, antibacterials (my dad’s favorites) and of course medication for most cases ( stomach ache , gut issues, paracetamol). As an adult I carry less of these things (I can always find a pharmacy abroad) but I’m sure that once I become a mum I will go into full packing mode! #mondayescapes
    Anna recently posted…9 Days California Road Trip ItineraryMy Profile

  11. Sally's Tips 4 Trips

    I learned quite early on to always have a spare towel or cloth nappies plus a throw rug packed permanently in the car.
    Even if it’s a short 15-minute drive you never know when sickness will hit your kids and nothing worse if they then have to sit in it to get back home.
    I also never leave home without the water bottle and snack bag. In my son’s younger years a spare set of clothes was always packed in our day trip bag. The day trip bag was even taken grocery shopping.
    Sally’s Tips 4 Trips recently posted…How to Cull Your Travel Packing and Pack LightMy Profile

  12. Suzy McCullough

    What great tips. I’ve not even considered many of these. You’re so organised. I love the bright coloured clothes for crowded events tip. I usually have two disposable BBQs in the car (don’t ask), bucket and spade and towels. Oh and some water. I think I need your tips in my life!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Not sure about stress free Keri! When travelling with kids I don’t think it ever is but being prepared certainly helps make it less stressful and more fun;)

    1. Lisa Post author

      Yes we have a large SUV too Kara and it is always packed to the max! When we went on our cruise in October we didn’t even have room for our pushchair and had to go buy another one near the cruise ship terminal in Southampton;)

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