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  • Writer's pictureKaren Buffier

Packing for kids checklist

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Depending on your style of travel, your chosen destinations and the time of year you are travelling, you can use this comprehensive packing list below to get your family organised for it's next holiday. I want to get you past the organising so you can look forward to your next family adventure...

If you would like a downloadable pdf checklist please click here to subscribe for free to our updates and receive for free a tickable checklist to use over and over again for your upcoming family trips.

Family at beach


  • Passport/s

  • Visas

  • Travel Insurance – If you have forgotten this click here for the best priced travel insurance

  • Travel documents and any pre-printed tickets

  • Itinerary – I find it easiest to type up an itinerary for myself with key booking numbers, contact details and dates and times of important information – easy cheat sheet to check as you go along without always pulling all your paperwork apart

  • Email scanned copy of all documents to yourself

  • Medications

  • ATM card and VISA or MASTERCARD credit card

  • Local currency cash – bear in mind the cheapest way to get cash is simply to withdraw cash from an airport ATM when you arrive at your destination (preferably one that your bank partners with for the cheapest option)

  • Camera

  • Chargers, batteries, travel charging port

  • Wallet

  • Sunglasses

  • Mobile phone – we never pay for International roaming on our phones but instead purchase inexpensive local sim cards once overseas – helpful for access to a data plan and maps to navigate your way around

  • Suitcase or pack

  • Day bag

  • First aid kit – lots of bandaids if travelling with kids! Other handy items in your first aid kits would include paracetamol, insect repellent, diarrhoea medications, hydration sachets, antiseptic cream

  • Don’t forget to check with your doctor for any travel vaccinations required

Parents Clothing (dependent on your destination)

  • Jumper

  • Warm coat and or rain jacket if you have enough clothes to layer underneath in cold climates

  • Beanie

  • Hat

  • Exercise clothing

  • Underwear, Bras, Socks

  • 1-2 sets of nice going out clothes

  • Runners/boots/hiking shoes

  • Sandals/thongs

  • Tshirts/singlets/Long sleeved tops

  • Shorts/Skirts/Pants

  • Swimmers/rash vests

  • Pyjamas

Travel Accessories

Consider location specific travel needs eg. In Africa you will likely require a mosquito net and malaria tablets


  • Toiletries

  • Reading torch

  • Book

  • Tablet computer – lightweight and easy to travel with

  • Ear plugs

  • Beach towel

  • Suncream

  • Eco-friendly reusable shopping bag – easily rolls up in your luggage and perfect for shopping on the go for food supplies when travelling

Specific Packing for Kids

  • Snuggly toy – if you don’t mind the risk and fallout of losing it!

  • Activities (I keep this minimal) – card game, colouring in, sticker books, kid friendly camera

  • Items that match their age and development to enhance the experience. For example a trip to the Cook Islands may involve a pair of kids reef shoes and a snorkel and mask

  • Their own backpack – involve the kids in the experience of travel by allowing them to carry their own day bag

  • Diary - particularly older kids will love keeping a journal of their travel days which keeps them reading, writing and learning as part of the process

Specific Packing for Babies

  • Nappies

  • Wipes

  • Disposable bibs

  • Portable change mat or small towel

  • Baby blanket

  • Comforter toys

  • Suncream

  • Hats/beanies

  • Floor blanket

  • Travel cot

  • Cot sheets

  • Pram (either lightweight or travel buggy for bumpier terrain and activities)

  • Swimmer nappies

  • Portable high chair

  • Bottles

  • Sterilising tablets with container (easy to dilute these in the container to quickly and easily sterilise bottles in hotel rooms)

  • Bottle brush

  • Tissues

  • Formula

  • Sippy cup

  • Snacks/food – amount and type will depend on destination

  • Grobag/s

  • Any regular medications plus syringe - baby paracetamol is handy if your baby is teething

  • Nappy bags (odour eliminating)

  • Bath wash

  • Skin cream

  • Nappy cream

Just remember that there is nothing more inconvenient than over-packing when travelling with kids. There is so much to carry and juggle so do yourself a favour and pull everything out on the bed that you would like to take on your holiday. Then pause a moment and really question whether you need to take every item. In the end it is literally a weight off your shoulders to cull items and travel lighter and simpler.

Kids are able to adapt and be resilient when needed so what you deem a disaster if it is left behind rarely is in the grand scheme of things.

If you would like a downloadable pdf checklist please click here to subscribe for free to our updates and use this tickable form over and over again for your upcoming family trips.

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