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Road Trip Checklist Family


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Family Road Trip

Family road trips are popular when traveling with kids because they can be more affordable than flying. A road trip provides flexibility when traveling with children. And you can pack your vehicle with all the travel gear needed for your family vacation, without being restricted by airline luggage requirements. But what travel gear do you really need for a road trip with kids? In this post, we highlight all the family road trip essentials. Download our FREE Essential Family Road Trip Checklist to keep you, your family, and your car safe, comfortable and entertained on your next family adventure.

Whether your road trip with kids is for a family beach vacation, or a camping trip or to visit Grandma or extended family. There are some road trip essentials that are necessary any time you hit the road with children. Planning ahead and being prepared with this road trip checklist will make the journey much smoother for you, and your children, reducing the stress of travel and making it more enjoyable for everyone!

Read our other articles to learn how to pack your car for a family road trip and about simplifying a road trip with kids.

Download our FREE Family Road Trip Checklist

I print off the Family Road Trip Checklist and put it on a clipboard, then I’ll mark off items as I pack them in suitcases, bags, tubs or laundry baskets. Use this checklist, when traveling with kids, to make sure you don’t forget any essential road trip gear.

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Family Road Trip Checklist

Download Family Road Trip Checklist

Checklist – For The Vehicle

Help keep your car on the road with these vehicle essentials. And read our article about how to get your car ready for your next road trip.

Roadside Emergency Kit

This roadside assistance kit includes the necessary toolboxes, multi-purpose shovel, jumper cable set, tire repair tools, traction ropes, gloves and more. This all in one kit has you covered for any possible eventuality.

Roadside Assistance Membership

Such as AAA, Good Sam or All State roadside assistance. These services are available 24 hours a day and include towing, lock-out, dead battery, flat tire and more.

Spare Tire

Check the one you have is in good condition before you set off. And make sure you know how to change a tire.

Car Manual

You never know what light might refuse to turn off when you’re on the road, and out of WiFi range!

Rooftop Cargo Box

Depending on the size of your vehicle and the number of people riding in your vehicle you may need to consider adding a rooftop cargo box to your vehicle, or a cargo carrier with hitch to the back, or even a small trailer.

Winter or Cold Weather Locations

When you are traveling during the winter time or in a cold weather location it is important to bring these items in case you encounter bad weather.

Snow Shovel

You’ll be thankful you have it if you need it.

Ice Scraper

Always be prepared and make sure you can see out of the windshield.

Umbrella

This is not just for winter because we often experience summer thunderstorms. You never know when you may encounter a rain shower and an umbrella doesn’t take up much space, and comes in handy if you ever need it.

Winter Road Trip

Car Clean Up Kit

We always carry a Car Clean-Up Kit in an easy to reach place. These essential road trip items help to take care of unexpected messes, injuries, and the occasional upset stomach.

The Essential Car Clean-up Kit for a family road trip includes:

  • Disinfecting Spray / Wipes
  • Trash Bags
  • Paper Towels
  • Towels (stored behind the driver’s seat)
  • Kids ‘N’ Pets Odor Remover Spray
  • Napkins
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Anti-bacterial Wipes
  • Kleenex Tissues
  • Travel First Aid Kit

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Car Clean Up Kit

Checklist For The Road Trip

These road trip items will help to make your family more comfortable, and keep the children entertained, on your next family road trip.

Road Trip Snacks

Another secret to a successful family road trip is having access to quick and easy kid friendly snacks when you are on the road.

Refillable Water Bottles

The Thermos Funtainer for Kids, is a 12 oz container available in MANY different colors and character designs. It is an insulated 12 hour cold drink stainless steel thermos, and the BEST part… it does not sweat when filled with ice!

Travel Mug (hot or cold)

This is useful if you’re a coffee drinker, to save on some many disposable cups. And will come in handy at your destination if you’re making morning coffee!

Cooler or Cool Bag

Fill with snacks for your journey and groceries for your destination. Don’t forget some ice packs, or frozen water bottles, to help keep everything cold.

Middle Seat Organizer 

To store miscellaneous items between the seats, and keep them within easy reach.

Car Chargers

Ensure you have all the charging cables for your devices in the car within easy reach.

GPS / Maps

If you’re driving through a remote location you may loose cell phone coverage, so it is a good idea to know the route you’re taking and have a paper map to help you navigate.

Travel Pillow and Blanket

These items will help the kids to get comfortable, and so they will be more likely to take a nap on the car ride. A well rested child makes the journey more pleasant on everyone!

Slip-on Shoes

When you pull over at a rest area for a quick break it’s much easier if the kids have slip-on shoes. Of course, they’re going to kick their shoes off. Easy on/off shoes means you don’t add time to your break putting shoes back on. Easy shoes include Birkenstocksclogsloafer style shoesflip flops, or slide sandals in the summer.

First Aid Kit & Medication

Keep this within easy reach as you never know when an injury or illness may occur. And remember to include any prescription medication a family member may need to take during your journey.

BE Family Travel Tray

Use this Kid’s Car Seat Activity Tray for your child to to play, draw, and create.

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Kid's Travel Tray for Car Seat

Road Trip Activities for the Kids

When traveling with kids you should include activities such as craft or activity sets, sticker books, workbooks, printable road trip games, toys, travel games, coloring, books, screen time, followed by snacks, then rinse and repeat! Here are the Best Travel Activities for Kids age 4-8 years.

Road Trip Travel Toys for Toddlers

Being prepared with travel toys for toddlers will help reduce boredom and make the journey more bearable for you and your child. Here are over 20 of the Best Travel Toys for Toddlers, and they’re all no-mess activities!

Printable Road Trip Games

Download our selection of FREE Printable Road Trip Games, which are tried and tested by kids, to provide hours of entertainment on your family travels.

Travel Crafts

Are you looking for non-electronic options for your little ones? Travel Crafts for Kids are a great option to add to the rotation of activities to keep children occupied while you travel. These crafts for children are no-mess, pre-packaged, simple, and easy for busy moms who are packing for a family vacation.

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet or Tablet with wireless apps

The Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is available in bluepink or purple. Stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content on the go with 16 GB of internal storage and up to 7 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music.

Wireless Headphones 

Bring wireless headphones for the kids so you don’t have to listen to their games/movies on your road trip. And don’t forget a protective zipper sleeve for when you’re on the go, and bring the charger for any electronic device!

SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick

The SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick is a flash drive reinvented to work with your smartphone and tablet. You can wirelessly access your media with the wireless stick in your pocket or across the room. 32GB of storage means you can keep all your content on the drive and access it from any device, no wires or Internet required. You can even stream HD videos and music to up to three devices at the same time. This is perfect when you’re on the road and multiple kids want to watch different movies, on different devices, all at once!

Road Trip Playlist & Audio Books

Make sure to add a music playlist and audiobooks to your road trip checklist. These are great ways to pass the time on a family road trip, and will likely entertain everyone – young and old!

Camera / Instant Camera

Many cell phones take amazing photos, but some families still like to take a digital camera on their vacation. Did you know you can capture the perfect picture and print on the spot with an Instant Camera? This is something fun for the kids to do on a family road trip and reminds me of the traditional Polaroid camera when I was a kid.

Laptop

Will you need to check in with work during your family vacation? Or maybe you use your laptop to watch a movie? If you bring your laptop then make sure to pack the plug-in cord.

Overnight Bag with Swim Suits

On long road trips, we will often break up the journey with an overnight stay in a hotel. We always get a hotel with a swimming pool so that everyone can take a quick dip in the pool and stretch out after a long day on the road. Therefore, pack one overnight bag with PJ’s, changes of clothes and toiletries for the whole family, and remember to include swimsuits. The overnight bag should be one of the last things you add when you consider how to pack your car for a road trip with kids? Above all, make it easy to reach and unload. It’s much less hassle to take the one overnight bag into the hotel for the entire family than to unpack and repack the entire car, with everyone’s bags, for just one night!

Extra Snacks, Groceries, Water

All these food and drink items come in handy on a road trip with kids. And if you don’t use them during the journey then you can use them at your destination on a family beach vacation, camping trip with kids, or where ever you go!

Navigate with Map

Road Trip Checklist – Personal Items

These personal items on the road trip checklist are things you will need or want to make your journey smoother. Whether you are the driver, or the passenger, you will find it useful to keep these items close by.

Driver’s License

Vehicle Registration

Credit/Debit Card

Cash for Toll Roads/Parking

Auto Insurance Card

Health Insurance Card

Hotel/Rental Confirmation

Wallet

Cell Phone

Purse or Day Pack

Magazines/Books

Lip Balm & Lotion

Insect Repellent

Sunscreen

Hairbrush/Hair Ties

iPad or Tablet

Cords & Chargers

Ear Buds

Notepad & Pens

Sunglasses

Extra Sweater/Jacket

Reusable Grocery Bag

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Road Trip Checklist For The Vacation

No matter the type of trip each member of your family will need these items for vacation. But depending on the destination will determine specifically what types of items to include, whether it’s a family beach vacation, camping trip, or exploring a city.

Toiletries, Toothbrush and Toothpaste

We use different color toothbrush covers to identify everyone’s toothbrush. Ziploc bags come in useful to separate items and prevent liquid spills from leaky bottles. After the trip, I rinse and dry the Ziploc bags, and save them for our next trip. This helps prevent unnecessary plastic waste.

Clothing & Shoes

Consider packing a capsule wardrobe so you can mix and match clothing items. For each family member choose a color spectrum so each person can wear various tops and bottoms together. This helps is the children have a diaper leak or wet their pants, or they spill something on their top. Maybe you only have to change out the top or the bottom, not the entire outfit. Packing clothing items that mix and match make this easier so you can pack lighter and get through fewer clothes.

Packing Cubes

Use packing cubes to fit more items in your suitcase, and even allow you to travel with just a carry-on size bag.

Beach Essentials or Camping Gear

Whether you need the Ultimate Guide to a Family Beach Vacation, or Beach Essentials for a day at the beach with kids, or a guide to the best family camping gear, we have resources and packing lists to assist in your preparations.

Items for Rental Property

Renting a beach house, condo, or other accommodation with a separate bedroom, living space, and a kitchen can make a vacation with children easier. A multi-generation vacation with extended family can be a great way to connect and spend time together. Use this list and communicate with other families about who will bring which items for the rental property so that you don’t end up with three bottles of ketchup but no paper towels!

Download our FREE Family Road Trip Checklist

Make sure you have all the essential family travel items.

Family Road Trip Checklist

Download Family Road Trip Checklist

I hope this family road trip checklist is helpful, as we aim to simplify your family adventures.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:

How to get your Car Ready for your next Road Trip
Simplify a Road Trip with Kids
How to Avoid Motion Sickness in Kids
How to Pack your Car for a Family Road Trip

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

Best road trip accessories for kids


As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

These kids travel accessories will help entertain your little ones, and provide solutions for packing and storage on your next family road trip. If you are taking a family road trip, or traveling with kids, then check out these essential road trip accessories for kids. When we ran a giveaway for our family travel community, with our favorite road trip accessories, we received lots of inquiries about the items in The Ultimate Road Trip Travel Bundle for Kids, so we wanted to share more details about them.

What are the Best Road Trip Accessories for Kids?

These road trip essentials for kids will help your family travels go a lot smoother. As parents, this is our overview of the top 5 best road trip accessories for kids.

BE Family Travel Kid’s Car Seat Travel Tray

The BE Family Travel Tray will hold your child’s activities. It hooks over the headrest of a front seat, and then rests in the child’s lap. It is designed to be used with a car seat, but could be adapted on an airplane using the seat-back tray. The travel tray is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And the kid’s activity tray includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket.

Kids Car Seat Travel Tray red
Toddler Travel Tray for car seat BE Family Travel Tray blue

Car Seat Travel Tray Pink

There is no need to unload the entire play tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Bag. The travel tray detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Available in redblue or pink.

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road trip accessories for kids

Travel Fashion Girl’s Compass Rose Packing Cubes

Our friend, Alex, from Travel Fashion Girl is running a sale on her Compass Rose Packing Cubes. Click here to buy now and save 30% OFF while stock lasts. These packing cubes are the perfect width for international carry-on luggage (dimensions are 13 x 5 x 2.8 inches).

The color and number coded organizational system includes 2 grey and 2 red packing cubes. Each cube has a number from 1-4 offering maximum luggage organization.

This carry-on packing system was by blogger, Travel Fashion Girl. It offers six unique packing strategies for an efficient, stress-free travel experience. The different combinations of color and numbers on the bags make it easy to separate your family members clothing. We bought multiple sets of these packing cubes and divided up the colors / numbers for each family member. The kids are red, and the parents are grey.

We use the packing cubes to organize clothing for each day of our road trip. Or by destination, or the type of clothing. There are multiple ways to use the packing system on a road trip with kids. Packing cubes are also handy in a diaper bag or backpack to help organize items and keep essential travel items within easy reach.

The structured fabric retains the flat rectangular shape so your packing cubes always fit in your suitcase. They don’t bulge or lose shape once filled so you can neatly stack them like shelves or lay them flat on top of each other. They offer more compression than a standard packing cube due to durable fabric and quality zippers. These packing cubes look small but customers fit 3-10 clothing items in each cube.

packing cubes

Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase

The Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase is a boredom busting – sit-on, ride-on, carry-on. It will keep toddlers entertained through the airport, at your destination and away from home. It is a fun and practical suitcase for kids on a family road trip too. The Trunki Suitcase is the ideal kid’s travel companion for vacations, family road trips, short breaks, sleepovers and playing at home.

The multi functional strap reduces stress by allowing parent to tow tired children on their rolling luggage or conveniently carry it over their shoulder. This is the perfect carry-on cabin bag with wheels for little boys and girls (17. 5 x 8 x 12. 2 inches). And it functions as a storage toy with lots of Trunki characters available for little ones to make friends with and store their belongings in.

travel accessories for kids

High Road Car Organizer with Kids Snack Cooler

The High Road Car Organizer with Kids Snack Cooler is useful to store and organize miscellaneous items between the seats. It is easy to reach by the kids in the back seat. This Middle Seat Car Organizer includes a cooler in the middle, with space to store items on the outside and a flat tray on the top.

road trip accessories for kids

Lil Gadgets Kids Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

The Lil Gadgets Kids Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are high quality, sized for kids age 4 plus and compatible with nearly all Bluetooth devices. Offered in six wonderful colors and now with a one-of-a-kind SharePort feature. This allows one headphone to be connected wirelessly and others to daisy-chain so all listeners are untethered from the device.

The ear pads and headband are covered with SoftTouch breathable mesh material for your child’s comfort. And the ear pads are manufactured with children in mind — using some nifty engineering to make sure the ear pads won’t fall off.

Developed, designed, and tested with kids of all ages to ensure durability of the final product while maintaining style and comfort. Every headphone comes with a 100% LilGadgets Satisfaction Guarantee. They believe that you’ll love the way these look, sound, and feel.

These headphones are the must-have road trip accessory for kids, and provide 12 hours of battery life with a 180 hour standby. A USB charging cable is included, plus a 3.5mm cable so even if you outlast the battery, you can still listen on them the old fashioned way. Every headphone also comes with a micro-fiber travel bag to make transporting easy and so you have something to clean your device screens.

Travel Activities for Kids Wireless Headphones

The Essential Road Trip Accessories for Kids

Firstly, use a family travel packing list to help you stay organized and ensure you pack the road trip essentials for kids. This will help your journey to be less chaotic. Secondly, these travel storage items will allow you to separate items depending on their purpose, and where or when you need them. Therefore, enabling you to find the desired travel items during your family road trip and vacation.

What road trip accessories for kids do you love? What would you recommend our community takes on their next road trip with kids?

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about a family road trip check out these posts:
Simplifying a Road Trip with Kids
Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids
How to pack your car for a family road trip
Printable Road Trip Games for Kids
How to get your car ready for your next family road trip

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

how to pack your car for a family road trip


As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Packing Your Car for a Family Road Trip

Packing for a family road trip takes some planning. As a parent you are often trying hard not to forget anything that you, your kids or partner may need or want during the trip. You will need to pack clothing and toiletries for the whole family, electronics, toddler or baby essentials, activities to entertain the kids, road trip snacks and gear for what ever activity you may be heading to do on your vacation with kids. Whether your family road trip is for a beach vacation, family camping trip, or just a visit to see Grandma. There are often a lot of items that you’re trying to pack in your car.

Road Trip Packing Lists come in handy so you don’t forget those important items. I love to plan, make lists and think about all the details. My husband calls this my superpower! He is not a planner and is often amazed at how I can remember everything we will need for a family road trip. Furthermore, he often jokes that I pack everything except for the kitchen sink 😂😂 I think he is joking, but then he does get stuck packing it all in the car ready for our road trip with kids.

With all this stuff to pack for your family where do you start?

What is the Best Way to Pack your Car for Family Road Trip?

Are you wondering what is the best way to pack your car for a family road trip? In this post I will share the quick wins that you can implement to help you know what to pack for a road trip with kids. You will learn how to pack your vehicle for a family road trip using our road trip packing diagram. Our travel packing lists and road trip checklist will help you remember all the important items for your family vacation. This will help to streamline your family travel prep, and make it easy and stress-free.

Car Accessories for a Family Road Trip

Before you pack the car for a family road trip it is important to think about the items that you’ll need within reach during the trip. Depending on the size of your vehicle and the number of people riding in your vehicle you may need to consider adding a rooftop cargo box to your vehicle, or a cargo carrier with hitch to the back, or even a small trailer.

With four people in our mini van we can fit everything we need inside the vehicle. But there have been times we’ve also had my parents ride with us for a multi-generational family vacation. With 2 additional adults (and their luggage) then we travel with a rooftop cargo box to add extra storage space, and allow room for all the passengers.

Road Trip Checklist and Packing Lists for Family Vacation

It is helpful to use a packing list to make sure you have all the items your family will need. We hope you will find these checklists helpful for a family road trip, or your family beach vacation or a beach day with kids or road trip snacks.

BONUS: Download our FREE Family Road Trip Checklist.

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Family Road Trip Checklist

Download Family Road Trip Checklist

Must-have Car Supplies for a Family Road Trip

We always carry these must-have car supplies for a road trip with kids in an easy to reach place. This includes a Car Clean-Up Kit which helps to take care of unexpected messes, injuries, and the occasional upset stomach.

The Essential Car Clean-up Kit for a family road trip includes:

Car Clean Up Kit

How to Pack your Vehicle for a Family Road Trip

Each family member should pack a small bag to keep their personal items / toys / activities close by. These items will help entertain the kids on a long family road trip.

Therefore, make sure you keep needed items within easy reach. When you’re headed down the interstate at 60 mph, the last thing you want to realize is that little Sammy’s activity bag is packed in the back of your car with all the suitcases! Think about the items that can be stored in the back of the car for use at stops.

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What to Pack for a Family Road Trip?

This road trip checklist is the best way to pack your vehicle for a family road trip. You should allow space for:

  1. Personal Items – purse, magazines, lip balm, lotion
  2. Road Trip Electronics including cell phone and car chargers
  3. Trash Can and easy access to a First Aid Kit, Medication and Car Clean-Up Kit
  4. Road Trip Snacks and Refillable Water Bottles
  5. BE Family Travel Tray
  6. Road Trip Toys and Activities for the Kids with a Pillow and Blanket
  7. Middle Seat Organizer to store miscellaneous items between the seats
  8. Suitcases with Clothing, Shoes and Toiletries – use packing cubes
  9. Gear for your road trip destination such as Beach Gear
  10. Cooler with Groceries and Items for the Vacation Rental Property
  11. Overnight Bag with changes of clothes

Car Packing Diagram for Family Road Trip

In addition to having a vacation packing list and knowing what to pack for your family road trip, you need to know where to pack it. How do you pack your car for a road trip with kids? The diagram below will assist you with knowing the best places in your vehicle to pack the various items.

How to pack you car for a road trip with kids

Description of the Car Packing Diagram:

1. Passenger Seat

The personal items for the passenger seat should include items such as magazine, iPad or tablet, purse, lip balm and lotion.

2. Main Console

In the main console we pack road trip electronics including cell phone and car chargers. It’s also helpful to keep cash for toll roads or parking. As well as any printed directions or hotel / rental accommodation confirmation details. And don’t forget your wireless ear buds or wireless headphones if you want to listen to a podcast while the kids are napping in the back.

3. Trash Can

We always carry multiple plastic grocery bags, or a small box of 1 gallon trash can bags. We store the extras in the passenger car door, and then keep an easy to reach bag between the seats. This helps to keep your vehicle clean and organised during a family road trip. At every stop we insist that everyone throws out any trash and then replace it with a fresh trash bag.

In addition, you’ll want to keep other essential items nearby such as a First Aid Kit, Medication and Car Clean-Up Kit with: paper towels, wet wipes, Kleenex tissues, and hand sanitizer.

4. Road Trip Snacks

The most important items to pack for a family road trip are the road trip snacks. Everyone (kids and adults) will be far happier if you can prevent them being hangry and bored. Yes, that hungry-angry state is a real thing! Bring a selection of non-messy and healthy road trip snacks for kids including snacks packed with protein.

In our post about the Best Road Trip Snacks for Kids we include a FREE printable download of our Road Trip Snacks List. These are our favorite family snacks, which your kids will LOVE! We hope you’ll find it helpful.

We pack road trip snacks for kids in a cool bag or a portable picnic bag. For cold food items like cheese sticks, veggies or hummus then I use ice packs. If there are pantry items, like granola bars or pretzels, that don’t need to stay cool then I place these snacks in a reusable grocery bag. I put the snack bag(s) on the floor in front of the middle seat. This is easy to access by the front seat passenger and the kids in the back of the car.

Meanwhile, who can expect kids to sit calmly in the car if they’re jacked up on sugar? Don’t bring sticky sugary drinks. The last thing you want is that mess spilled all over your car or your kiddo. Instead bring a refillable water bottle, and some extra water.

Furthermore, we love the Thermos Funtainer for Kids, which is a 12 oz container available in MANY different colors and character designs. It is an insulated 12 hour cold drink stainless steel thermos, and the BEST part… it does not sweat when filled with ice!

5. Kid’s Travel Tray

We love to use the BE Family Travel Tray to hold our child’s activities. It hooks over the headrest of a front seat, and then rests in the child’s lap. It is designed to be used with a car seat, but could be adapted on an airplane using the seat-back tray. The travel tray is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket.

There is no need to unload the entire play tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Bag. Also, it detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Also available in redblue or pink.

Kids Red car seat travel tray

6. Kid’s Activities

What are the best travel activities for kids? On a family road trip kids will enjoy: Craft or Activity Sets, Sticker Books or Workbooks, Printable Road Trip Games for Kids, Toys, Travel Games, Coloring Books and Crayons or Markers, Books at your child’s appropriate reading level. Plus an iPad, Tablet or Device with wireless Headphones, charger and travel case.

For more details and recommendations of the best kids travel items please read our articles about Toddler Travel Toys, Kid’s Travel Crafts or Activities for the Kids

Similarly, it’s a good idea to bring a surprise or something new and exciting that you can introduce mid-journey. You can also use this as an incentive for your kids if they’re getting bored or restless. And bring a blanket and pillow so you can encourage your child to nap during the family road trip.

7. Middle Seat Car Organizer

A car organizer is useful to store and organize miscellaneous items between the seats. They are easy to reach by the kids in the back seat. This Middle Seat Car Organizer includes a cooler in the middle, with space to store items on the outside and a flat tray on the top.

Family Road Trip Storage Organizer

8. Suitcases with Clothing and Toiletries

In the trunk or rear of your vehicle you can pack suitcases with clothing, shoes and toiletries. We recommend using packing cubes to help organize your clothing and squeeze more items into a smaller bag. These Compass Rose Packing Cubes are designed to help you travel carry-on only, but they also work great when packing for a family road trip. I find it best to use different color packing cubes for each member of the family.

Likewise, for a beach trip check out the Ultimate Packing List for a Family Beach Vacation. It includes a FREE checklist that you can download with all the packing essentials for a beach vacation with kids.

9. Gear for your Road Trip destination

Add any gear specific to your road trip destination. This may include Beach Essentials or items for a family camping trip. Basically any items you won’t need until you reach your destination. These are the items that are easier to pack ahead of time, maybe the night before, since you won’t need them before you travel.

10. Cooler with Groceries

On the tail of the trunk I add any items we may need to use in the rental property (see this packing list for details). We always carry a cooler with groceries for our vacation and any additional snacks for the journey or during our vacation with kids.

Also, I keep a plastic tub / cooler / reusable grocery bag in the trunk to store extra snacks, and any groceries we may need at our beach rental house or during our family road trip.

11. Overnight Bag

If you plan to break up the journey with an overnight stop at a hotel, then make sure you pack an overnight bag. This should be one bag that includes toothbrushes, basic toiletries and changes of clothes for the whole family. Trust me when I speak from experience – it is much easier to unload one small suitcase or overnight bag with necessary items, rather than unpacking the entire vehicle to get to everyone’s suitcases! If your hotel has a swimming pool then don’t forget swim suits.

Finally we add backpacks for the parents, or a lap top bag or any work related items we may need to have easy access to. Then take a deep breath and hope you can get the trunk lid closed!

Family Road Trip Wrap-up

This is the best way we have found to pack our car for a family road trip. The size of every family, every vehicle, the purpose of the trip and the needs of the individuals varies from one family to another. Therefore, we hope you have found some helpful take away’s to assist with packing your car for a road trip with kids. Use those quick wins next time your family is heading out of town, and let us know how you get on!

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:

How to get your Car Ready for your next Road Trip
Simplify a Road Trip with Kids
How to Avoid Motion Sickness in Kids

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Pack you car for family road trip with kids
BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

Family Beach Vacation Cover


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Family Beach Vacation

Summer is approaching and most parents are looking for a break from the routines and responsibilities of day-to-day life. Many families choose to escape to the ocean for a family beach vacation. Often reservations are made at a beach house or condo rental, and parents work hard to plan and save for their family vacation. Are you counting down the weeks, or the days, until you’ll smell that salty sea air and feel the sand between your toes? Once school is out for the summer then it’s time to take a road trip with kids and head out for your family beach vacation.

A Simple Beach Vacation

Do you remember how simple it was to travel before you had kids? How you could plan a spur of the moment road trip, throw a swim suit, beach towel and some changes of clothes in a suitcase and hit the road with very little preparation.

When you arrived at the beach all you had to worry about was making sure you had a good book to read and some tunes on your MP3 player. Did I just date myself?! Never the less my beach vacations look a lot different today than they did a decade ago. Now I have two little humans to include in my travel plans.

In my early days of motherhood I was very excited to do all the “firsts” with my daughter. We documented everything – from her first swimming lesson, to babies first road trip and babies first beach trip. I learned a lot about traveling with a baby, and then a toddler, and we made lots of precious memories on family vacations.

Once our second child arrived I started to feel like traveling with kids was too hard. I wondered if family travel was really worth all the hassle? At times it felt like relaxing on family vacation wasn’t worth all the energy it took to get everyone there.

Stress-free Family Vacation

Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of planning a family vacation with kids? Have you made accommodation reservations, but now you’re wondering how you practically make this vacation happen? What are all the steps you need to take? Is it really worth it? And how to you take a family vacation without loosing your mind?

Rest assured that every parent has felt like this at some point. You’re not alone.

Travel with kids can be stress-free, but it takes intentional planning and preparation. In this post I’m going to share my Ultimate Guide to a Family Beach Vacation. I will share the tactics you need to know to make your family beach vacation simple, easy and stress free. Plus my Family Beach Vacation Packing List so you’ll know all the travel essentials for kids. This is our tried and tested Family Beach Vacation plan and I’m excited to share it with you so you can relax and enjoy your vacation prep.

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Making Memories on a Family Beach Vacation

Before you get caught up in the family vacation preparations, it’s important to remember your “why” for traveling with kids? Every family has different reasons for why they prioritize family travel. After being quarantined at home for months during the Covid-19 lock down I am reminded of the privilege it is to freely travel and see this beautiful world. I don’t want to take for granted the opportunities I’ve had in my life to travel and explore new cultures, to learn about people, experience history and taste various cuisines. I want my children to have those same opportunities.

For us, it’s not practical for every family vacation to be overseas, and there are plenty of destinations for our family to explore right here in the United States. The most important aspect for us is to set aside time to make family memories by being together and enjoying the beach with our children.

Multi-Generational Travel

There are many benefits of multi-generational travel. Our children are blessed with wonderful grandparents so we love to include them in many of our family vacations. The grandparents love to spend time with their grandchildren, and vice versa. We want our children to have distinct memories of spending time with their grandparents. We live far away from both sets of grandparents so this doesn’t happen on a day-to-day basis.

By including the grandparents on a family beach vacation it provides the perfect opportunity to have shared experiences together. Plus it’s some additional adults to help wrangle the kids, and a baby sitter if mom and dad want a date night out without the kids! We have also found that cruising with the grandparents is also a perfect extended family vacation.

Multi-generational Travel

Family Beach Vacation Packing Lists

Once you have decided on the best travel destination for kids and who is coming on your family vacation, then it’s time to start thinking about packing! What are all the beach travel essentials and travel gear that you’ll need for the kids?

The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List

This is my Ultimate Packing List for a Family Beach Vacation, and it includes EVERYTHING that our family packs. I wanted to include this resource to help you with packing for your family beach vacation. There’s so much to think about when you’re packing for the whole family and it’s easy to forget all. the. things. So I’ve encompassed lots of items, but feel free to pick and choose the items that are appropriate for your family needs.

We all have different preferences, but this is a very comprehensive list to help remind you of all those little items you may not realize you’re missing until you get to the beach. There’s nothing more annoying than realizing you don’t have a pair of scissors or your kid’s swim floats when you get to the beach, and having to take the time to go buy new ones.

Of course there’s usually a big box store or a grocery store close by, but I’m the kind of person who hates to spend money buying something at the beach when I have the exact item at my house. I prefer to pack all the essentials so I don’t have to think about re-buying them at the beach. Plus, who wants to spend running out to the local Walmart, rather than heading down to the beach? Not me!

There are some items I choose not to travel with and I’ll discuss those below. I make a shopping list of the things I need to buy from the grocery store when we arrive at the beach. This helps make the trip to the grocery store quick and simple so I can get back to the beach house and get started relaxing on our family vacation.

Download our FREE Printable Packing List for Family Beach Vacation

I print off the Ultimate Packing List for a Family Beach Vacation and put it on a clipboard, then I’ll mark off items as I pack them in suitcases, bags, tubs or laundry baskets.

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Family Beach Vacation Packing List
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Family Beach Vacation Packing List page 2
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Ultimate Packing List for Family Beach Vacation – 2 pages

What is the Best Way to Pack your Car for Family Beach Vacation?

Before you pack the car for a road trip it is important to think about the items that you’ll need within reach during the trip. Depending on the size of your vehicle and the number of people riding in your vehicle you may need to consider adding a rooftop cargo box to your vehicle, or a cargo carrier with hitch to the back, or even a small trailer.

With four people in our mini van we can fit everything we need inside the vehicle. But there have been times we’ve also had my parents ride with us, so with 2 additional adults (and their luggage) then we’ll travel with a rooftop cargo box to add extra storage space.

How to pack your vehicle for a Family Road Trip

Each person should pack a small bag to keep their personal items / toys / activities close by. These items will help entertain the kids on a long family road trip.

Make sure you keep needed items within easy reach. The last thing you want to realize when you’re headed down the interstate at 70 mph is that little Tommy’s activity bag is packed deep inside the trunk with all the suitcases!

family beach vacation packing

Think about what can be stored in the back for use at stops. And if you’re stopping overnight in a hotel to break up your journey, then make sure to pack an overnight bag. This should include changes of clothes for the entire family, toothbrushes and basic toiletries, and don’t forget swim suits if you plan to use the hotel swimming pool.

We find it easier to pack one small carry-on size suitcase for the entire family, for the overnight stop, rather than dragging everyone’s big suitcases into the hotel for one night.

We always carry these Must Pack Car Supplies for a Road Trip with Kids in an easy to reach place. This includes a Car Clean-Up Kit which helps to take care of unexpected messes, injuries, and the occasional upset stomach. These items include: napkins, paper towels, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex tissues, towels, Kids ‘N’ Pets Odor Remover Spray, trash bags and a travel first aid kit.

Where to pack items for a Family Beach Vacation

In addition to having a vacation packing list and knowing what to pack for your family beach vacation, you need to know where to pack it. How do you pack your car for a road trip with kids? The diagram below will assist you with knowing the best places in your vehicle to pack the various items.

What to pack for a Road Trip to the Beach?

This road trip checklist is the best way to pack your vehicle for a road trip to the beach. You should allow space for:

  1. Personal Items – purse, magazines, lip balm, lotion
  2. Road Trip Electronics including cell phone and car chargers
  3. Trash Can and easy access to a First Aid Kit, Medication and Car Clean-Up Kit
  4. Road Trip Snacks and Refillable Water Bottles
  5. BE Family Travel Tray
  6. Road Trip Toys and Activities for the Kids with a Pillow and Blanket
  7. Middle Seat Organizer to store miscellaneous items between the seats
  8. Suitcases with Clothing and Toiletries
  9. Beach Gear
  10. Cooler with Groceries and Items for the Beach Rental Property
  11. Overnight Bag with changes of clothes
How to pack you car for a road trip with kids

For full details about this packing diagram, read our post about how to pack your car for a road trip.

How to Entertain the Kids on a Family Road Trip

What should you pack to entertain the kids on a family road trip? When you’re taking a road trip with kids the activities you choose to pack will depend on your child’s age. On a road trip kids love: craft or activity sets, sticker books, workbooks, toys, travel games, coloring, books, and screen time. For more information and product reviews you can check out our posts about travel toys for toddlers or travel activities for kids or the best travel crafts.

Travel Activities for Kids

Printable Road Trip Games

Road trip printable games can be used for children of different ages, especially as siblings can compete against each other and their parent(s) to win! Printable travel games will help keep your children entertained and prevent boredom from hours in the car as you hits the road for your family beach vacation.

We created these printable road trip games that you can download for FREE. They include: Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, Coloring Page, Tic Tac Toe, Word Search, License Plate Search Game – and our favorite – Road Trip Bingo. We hope they will come in handy for your next family vacation.

Road Trip Snacks

Your road trip will go a lot smoother if you pack a selection of healthy road trip snacks. The kids (and adults) will be happier if they don’t get hangry. Eating road trip snacks will give kids something to do to help with boredom. We created a printable Road Trip Snacks List which you can download here for FREE. These are our favorite family snacks, which your kids will LOVE!

Car Seat Travel Tray

We love to use the BE Family Travel Tray to hold our child’s activities. It’s designed to be used with a car seat. It is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket.

Travel Tray for kids in car seats

There is no need to unload the entire tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Messenger Bag.

It detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Also available in redblue or pink.

Groceries and Meal Planning for Family Beach Vacation

When traveling with children on a family vacation it is helpful to have access to a kitchen to prepare meals. There are times when a hotel stay is appropriate, but for a family beach vacation we prefer a rental house or condo because there is a kitchen. Kids want to eat all day long so it’s easier to stock the kitchen with groceries at the beginning of the week. And then have access to prepare food whenever you want to.

It’s helpful to put together a grocery list ahead of time and plan simple, quick and easy meals that your family likes to eat. Consider bringing any dry goods and pantry items with you, and then pick up fresh produce and refrigerated items when you arrive at the beach. Ordering ahead from Walmart Grocery Pick Up will also save you time.

We often carry a cooler so we can add groceries with a bag of ice, and pick them up before we arrive at our beach property. Often check in isn’t until after 3:00 PM so we try to arrive at the beach destination earlier in the day so we have time to pick up the groceries.

Family Beach Vacation Meal Planning

Family Beach Vacation Meal Planning

I am working on a post about Beach Vacation Meal Planning which I look forward to sharing with you soon. This will include some of our favorite healthy family meals. Plus a Grocery List that you can download and use to help simplify your family vacation meal prep.

We like to have simple breakfasts, a light lunch and then cook a meal in the evening. We often eat 4-5 dinners at the beach property and then go out for dinner a couple of times.

Check with your host to see if you will have access to a gas or charcoal grill, is the kitchen supplied with a slow cooker or a blender? These items are important to me because my kids always want to drink smoothies. My husband loves to grill out, which helps us to share the cooking responsibility 😍 And I like to use the slow cooker to make these Crock-Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos. Slow cooker recipes can be started in the morning before we head out to the beach, they cook during the day, and then dinner is essentially ready when we want to eat in the evening.

Beach Rental Property on Family Vacation

When you arrive at your beach rental property the first thing you need to do is clean it. With so much concern over Covid-19 it is important to take disinfectant wipes and clean surfaces, door knobs, light switches. Once you feel comfortable that the property is clean then it’s time to unload and settle in to your new home for the week.

If you have a baby or toddler it’s important to make sure you “baby proof” the property. Items such as cabinet locks, outlet covers or a baby stair gate will come in useful.

Examine the property for any delicate items that may be easily broken by a young child. Move them out of reach. Be aware of any furniture or items that may be dangerous to a youngster. Move items such as glass or sharp corners. Little ones are intrigued to explore their new environment, and it’s amazing what they can get in to very quickly! Be vigilant and take whatever precautions that you can.

Before you travel to your beach rental property check with the host to see if they provide items such as: linens, pillows, towels. If not, there may be options to rent linens and towels from a laundry service. And what is the expectation for cleaning the property before you leave? Often they want you to empty the trash and strip the sheets from the bed before you depart. But every property is different so make sure you’re aware of what you need to do to ensure your security deposit is returned.

family beach vacation rental property

A Beach Day with Kids

The real reason you’ve put forth all this effort to get your whole brood to the beach is so you can feel the sea breeze and the sand in your toes. Your kids are excited to hit the beach and start building sand castles. A day at the beach with kids can be stressful, but it can also be so much fun and create wonderful memories if you are prepared.

Beach Essentials for a Day at the Beach

These essential beach items have significantly helped make our family beach vacations more simple and enjoyable.

For a Day at the Beach with Kids you will need:

beach vacation with kids

For full details check out our post about Beach Essentials. This also includes a FREE Packing List you can download about What to Bring for a Beach Day with Kids.

This is super helpful so you can pack your beach bag and beach wagon with all the beach gear for kids that you’ll need to make your day at the beach simple and easy.

Beach Hacks for Family Vacation

Our favorite beach hacks will save you time / money / stress. Doesn’t every parent want to reduce the effort it takes to make it to the beach with kids?

  1. Avoid being on the beach during the middle of the day (12:00 PM to 3:00 PM)
    • This is the hottest part of the day when young skin is most likely to burn. Head out earlier in the morning, or later afternoon when it’s cooler (and less busy).
  2. Beach Toys
  3. Use a Ziploc Bag for Electronics
    • This will keep items – such as a cell phone, cash or keys – clean and dry.
  4. Bring Reusable Shopping Bags as Beach Bags
    • You can pick them up at stores like TJ Maxx or Trade Joe’s for $1. They are cheap, but well made, and you don’t have to worry about getting sand in them or messing up an expensive beach bag.
  5. Baby Powder
    • Did you know that baby powder removes sand? Rub powder on your child’s arms and legs, and watch the sand fall off. 
family beach vacation with kids

What to do at the Beach with Kids

A day on the beach is often a totally different experience than your regular family routine. Unless of course you are lucky enough to live at the beach, in which case I’m sure you’re a pro at family beach days! For the rest of us who often only come to the beach once a year, it is a real contrast from every day family life. Because everything is so different my kids find it SUPER exciting to head to the beach!

There are plenty of games and activities that kids enjoy at the beach. During your family beach day you can:

  • Build Sand Castles
  • Swim or Splash in the Ocean
  • Snorkeling
  • Play Frisbee
  • Walk on the Beach
  • Search for Seashells
  • Spell words in the sand with seashells and stones
  • Look for Dolphins
  • Play on the Boardwalk
  • Go Fishing
  • Bring a Boogie Board
  • Fly a Kite
  • Blow Bubbles
  • Play Ball

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Best Family Travel Games for Beach Vacation

It is a good idea to pack a few family travel games to take on your beach vacation.

Why to pack family travel games:

  • Bad weather happens – if that day at the beach ends up with an afternoon thunderstorm, then you’ve got a back up indoor option.
  • Family Bonding – which occurs when laughing and playing with your kids.
  • Fill the gaps – sometimes you just need something to keep the kids busy for an hour between activities. A quick and fun card or board game will come in handy.
  • Wind down – after a busy day of sightseeing it’s hard to head directly to bed. Try letting the kids play a board game while you relax with a good book.

To find out more about our favorite board games or card games check out this post. It will help you to choose the best family travel games for a vacation.

It’s time for your Family Beach Vacation

Now you’ve put in all the effort to research and plan the best family beach vacation it’s time to go! Head out to your top vacation destination for families and enjoy the break and time away with your family. Traveling with kids requires flexibility, and everything may not go exactly to plan, but that’s OK. Roll with it and be thankful for the opportunity to have a family getaway and enjoy time together.

I’d love to hear where you’re headed on your next family beach vacation. Feel free to share any beach destinations that are great for family travel. This will also help our community with their family travel plans.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:
Simplifying a Road Trip with Kids
Beach Essentials: What to bring for Kids
Family Travel Quotes to Inspire Your Family Adventures
How to get your car ready for your next family road trip

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

Inspirational Family Travel Photos


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Family Travel Quotes to inspire your family adventures!

Family travel quotes are inspirational. I love that they help remind me of the benefits of family travel and why it is so important to travel with kids. At the times when we’re at home, or unable to travel, then travel quotes help build wanderlust. These quotes inspire dreams and the deep desire to travel, to explore, to adventure and show our children the world!

Are you looking for some great family travel quotes to share on Facebook or Instagram? Or for motivation as you plan your next vacation with kids? These travel with family quotes will inspire you and remind you of the benefits of spending time together on family vacation.

Traveling with children is a way to encourage learning and exploration. While making special memories with the people you love most will help strengthen your family bond. Read on to see our favorite family travel quotes and the images that you can share.

How to Display Family Travel Quotes

My home is covered with inspirational travel quotes. They are a wonderful encouragement on hard days. These travel with family quotes lift me up whenever I see them.

The best ways to display family travel quotes around your home include:

Cushion Covers
Photo Frame
Canvas or Travel Map
Wall Decal
Wall Art Frame
Doormat

These various forms of home decor are excellent ways to remind you of family vacations that you’ve taken. They help you to recall happy memories from special family trips. While also reaffirming the importance you place on traveling with your children and sharing those adventures with your family.

While you are back at home these inspirational family travel quotes will be a continued reminder of the benefits of traveling with your children. And help you to dream, and then focus on planning new trips to explore different corners of the world.

You can use these inspirational travel quotes in a kid’s travel journal or diary, or in a vacation photo album or scrapbook. These are all great ways to display and cherish the special memories from your family vacation.

Family Travel Quotes

These are 20 of our favorite family travel quotes. We hope they will inspire your family adventures.

You are welcome to share and use the original images below. Please give credit back to our page.

1. We were together. I forgot the rest.

– Walt Whitman

Family Vacation

2. Oh the places you’ll go 

– Dr. Seuss

Family Travel

3. Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings

– Hodding Carter

Family Vacation Caption

4. You call it chaos. We call it family vacation.

– Unknown

Family Vacation Image

5. A family that travels together stays together

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes 5

6. Wanderlust [n. Wander-lust]

A strong desire to wander, travel and explore the world.

Wanderlust definition

7. Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures

– Lewis Carroll 

Family Travel Quote

8. Any day spent with you is my favorite day.

– A. A. Milne

Family Travel Quote

9. The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories

– Og Mandino

Family Travel Quotes

10. Give your kids adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes

11. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

– Dalai Lama

Travel with Family Quotes

12. It’s a magical world, let’s go exploring!

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

13. The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

– Oprah Winfrey

Inspirational Quotes

14. Not all classrooms have four walls

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes

15. Time is precious. Waste it wisely. 

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

16. To travel is to live

– Hans Christian Anderson

Inspirational Travel Quote

17. Having kids is a reason to travel, never a reason to stop

– Unknown

Inspirational Family Travel Quote

18. Every day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children

– Charles R Swindoll

Inspirational Family Travel Quotes

19. We have nothing to lose and a world to see

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

20. Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion

– Unknown

Inspirational Family Travel Quotes

21. You only get 18 summer with your kids. This is one of your 18. Make this summer count.

– Ruth Hutchins

What’s your favorite family travel quote?

If you have family travel quotes that you love, then please comment below to share these. We would love to add more to this list of travel quotes in the future. And let us know your favorite quote from the list or feel free to share this post with your friends and family.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:
Simplifying a Road Trip with Kids
Travel with Kids after Covid-19
Strategies to Stay Healthy While Traveling with Children
Beach Essentials: What to bring for Kids

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

beach essentials with kids


As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

What are the Beach Essentials for Kids?

A Family Beach Vacation with Kids can be fun if you plan ahead. Are you wondering what to bring to the beach? There are beach essentials that will make your family beach trip much smoother and simplify your time at the beach with kids. Follow these simple steps about what to take to the beach, plus Beach Packing List for Kids and Essential Beach Hacks to Simplify your Family Beach Vacation. Don’t leave home without these beach essentials for kids.

When my kids were little I sometimes wondered if all the effort it took to pull off a family vacation was really worth it. The stress, the exhaustion, the brain power it took to make sure we had everything we needed. I would return from a vacation with my kids and feel like I needed another vacation just to recover.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

In this post I will show you how to simplify your family beach vacation, so you can enjoy traveling with your kids without all the stress.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

How to Prepare for a Family Beach Vacation

It is important to adjust your expectations. Realizing that a family vacation won’t be the same as when you were single or just married, will help you to mentally prepare for a different experience. You probably won’t be reading and napping all day on the beach like before you had kids. Most likely you’ll be packing up beach bags, rubbing in sunscreen and digging in the sand.

It requires a lot more effort to take your entire family on vacation and to make sure everyone has what they need. However, time together on family vacation is worth the extra effort. If you adjust your expectations then you won’t be disappointed.

Plan ahead and don’t leave everything to the last minute. There’s nothing worse that staying up packing all night before you leave on family vacation. It’s hard to remember what you need to pack when you’re tired, and traveling the next day will be miserable for you (and your family). If Mama ain’t happy then ain’t no one happy!

Do yourself a favor and start packing early. Start with the items you won’t need to use at home like the beach gear, swim wear and towels. Make a list of all the items you need to pack for your entire family and then check off as things are packed. Check out our Family Beach Vacation Packing List which will help you remember everything you need to pack to vacation with kids.

Don’t bring too much stuff. There’s a fine line between over packing, and still making sure you have the necessary beach essentials for kids. I’ve learned over the years that over-packing is not necessary. Now I have my tried and tested family packing lists to simplify travel with kids and I want to share these with you.

Beach Essentials Packing List

BONUS: Download our FREE Beach Essentials Packing List for a day at the beach with kids.

What to bring to the Beach with Kids?

These essential beach items have tremendously helped make our family beach vacations more simple and enjoyable. Check out the details below to find out why you need these items for your next beach vacation with kids.

Beach Wagon

When you’re trying to juggle beach gear, a cooler and the kiddos two hands just isn’t enough! No one wants to carry all the beach gear to the beach in the baking hot sun! Now we have discovered the ease of using this beach wagon we’ll never go to the beach without it again! This is definitely our number one MUST HAVE beach item. And we also use our beach wagon to transport folding chairs and gear to soccer games. It has come in so handy and we love it.

Make sure to get a beach wagon with the big chunky all terrain wheels, which are much better for pulling the beach wagon through the sand. A beach buggy with smaller wheels will tend to sink and get stuck in the sand. Our beach wagon has a folding plastic tray with cup holders that are very handy on the beach. This collapsible compact beach cart is lightweight and easy to transport in our vehicle. This is our favorite beach wagon which is essential for making our family beach vacations so much easier.

Essential Beach Wagon

Tent

Create a shaded home base by using a Pop Up Canopy Tent (10’x10′ Easy-up), or a beach umbrella. It’s important, especially for children, to have a place to get out of the sun while at the beach. Remember to bring stakes or a beach umbrella sand anchor to stop the tent or umbrella from blowing away in the wind.

When our children were small we loved this Baby Beach Tent. We would line it with a blanket or beach towel, and it provided shade for little ones to play and nap.

It also gave us a sand-free area for diaper changes, and the shade was helpful as a place to keep the snacks and cooler bag out of the sun.

Outdoor Blanket & Hooded Beach Towels

Bring an outdoor beach blanket to create a sand free zone, or at least attempt to! I find this is better than large beach towels. But we definitely bring hooded towels to dry off kids and keep them warm after they’ve been swimming, which also functions as a beach cover up for kids.

Freeze Water Bottles as Ice Packs

We like to use a cool bag or a portable picnic bag to carry snacks and drinks to the beach. Freeze water bottles and use them as ice packs. The water will thaw and you can drink it.

Also, make sure to bring a reusable water bottle which is easier for kids to open with sandy hands. We love the Thermos Funtainer for Kids, which is a 12 oz container available in MANY different colors and character designs. It is an insulated 12 hour cold drink stainless steel thermos, that will stay cool in the shade. And the BEST part… it does not sweat when filled with ice!

If you are spending all day at the beach, or you have a larger family and need more cooler space, then you may prefer a plastic cooler filled with ice.

Kids love to have Capri Sun Slushies at the beach. Freeze Capri Sun juice pouches overnight, then once they are half thawed cut off the top and use a spoon to eat the slush. Don’t forget to bring a pair of scissors and napkins!

Individual Snacks

Pack individual snacks which are easy to hand out to kids at the beach. They may be more expensive, but this prevents sand getting in to the family size bag of snacks! You can also divide a family size bag into individual servings using snack bags.

Avoid bringing chocolate to the beach because it will melt very quickly in the heat and create a mess!

Fill buckets with sea water for little ones to wash sandy hands before snack time. This will help prevent them eating so much sand with their snack!

Beach Bag for the Kids

When you walk down to the beach then kids can carry their own beach bags. It gives them some responsibility and is one less thing for you to manage. Last summer my almost 3 year old managed perfectly fine carrying her own beach bag essentials. I always make my kids carry their own beach towel, sun hat, sunglasses and water bottle in their beach bag.

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Protective Sun Gear

We all know the importance of being protected from the sun. Children’s skin is especially sensitive to sunburn and should avoid too much exposure to the sun. Applying sunscreen to your family’s exposed skin will help prevent sun damage and the possibility of sunburn ruining your family beach vacation. Cover up as much as possible and spend time in the shade. Remember to pack the following protective sun gear which are beach essentials for a day at the beach with kids.

Water Shoes

The sand gets very hot and can burn the soles of feet. Water Shoes are a lifesaver to protect your little ones feet on the sand and in the water from shells, crabs etc.

Other Beach Essentials for Kids include:

Beach Essentials at Night

If your family likes to explore the beach at night then bring flash lights and glow sticks for a beach party! A net would be handy for catching crabs.

Essential Beach Hacks to Simplify Family Beach Vacations

Once you have packed the beach essentials for kids, now you can consider other ways to simplify your family beach vacation. These beach hacks will save you time / money / stress. Every parent wants to reduce the effort it takes to get their kids to the beach, so that the whole family can actually relax and enjoy your family beach vacation.

Timing is everything

If your kids rarely sleep in, not even on vacation. Make the most of early risers and head to the beach in the morning. Get in a couple of hours on the beach first thing before it get’s too hot. We prefer to avoid being on the beach during the middle of the day (12:00 to 3:00 PM) and usually head back to the beach house / condo for lunch and nap time. We head back to the beach in the late afternoon (3:00 – 6:00 PM) when the sun isn’t so intense.

Beach Toys

Bring bath toys from home for your kiddos to use at the beach, rather than investing in a ton of beach toys that will only be used one a year. Plastic cups, bowls or bath toys that can be filled with water and poured are all fun activities on the beach.

A mesh laundry bag is handy to carry beach toys. You can rinse the entire bag with a water hose or outdoor shower and all the sand will be gone, then the toys can sit in the bag and air dry.

If you do want to purchase beach toys – such as tubes, sand buckets or body boards – then check your local dollar store before you leave home. These items are small to pack and travel well. They will likely be cheaper in your home town than at a tourist destination. Our children have enjoyed flying a kite on the beach, as it’s not something we tend to do at home.

A small inflatable pool can be handy for little ones. Set it up under your tent and fill it with sea water so they can play in the water, but also stay in the shade.

Safety at the Beach is Essential with Kids

Always verbally communicate with any other adults who are present to clarify who is in charge of watching the kids at any time. Do NOT assume someone else is watching the kids. If possible, take turns watching the kids and then relaxing. We love multi-generational travel with the grandparents because having extra adults on the beach helps everyone. They love spending time with the grandchildren, and it gives Mom and Dad a break from being on parent duty 24/7.

Also, bring a small first aid kit with band-aids, wipes and ointment in case of any minor injuries. Cuts and grazes can happen on the sand or in the ocean, and the salt will sting, so a handy Princess band-aid makes everything better for my girls!

Use a Ziploc Bag for Electronics

When headed to the beach with kids keep important items – such as a cell phone, cash or keys – safe and dry in a Ziploc bag. On a family beach vacation it’s always handy to keep a box of Ziploc bags in your car, because they will definitely come in handy!

Reusable Shopping Bags as Beach Bags

Use reusable shopping bags as beach bags. You can pick them up at stores like TJ Maxx or Trade Joes for $1. They are cheap, but well made, and you don’t have to worry about getting sand in them or messing up an expensive beach bag. They come in handy for beach toys, towels, snacks when you head to the beach with kids.

Baby Powder

Did you know that baby powder removes sand? Rub powder on your child’s arms and legs, and watch the sand fall off. I rarely used baby powder on my kids when they were babies, so this phenomenon is new to me. But I will definitely be trying this on our next family beach vacation this summer. I’d love to know if you’ve tried this beach hack and what you think?!

Family Beach Vacation with Kids

Beach Essentials Wrap-up

In current times many parents are concerned about how to travel with kids after Covid-19 and want to know about strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children. If you are traveling by road to your beach destination then be sure to read our posts about how to simplify a road trip with kids, and make sure to bring some travel toys or toddlers or travel activities for kids. Our printable road trip games will help entertain kids in the car and don’t forget the best road trip snacks for kids.

We hope the Beach Essentials Packing List will help you prepare for a beach day with kids. There’s something therapeutic about having the sun on your face, sand between your toes, feeling the sea breeze and listening to the ocean. Magic happens at the beach! Go forth with confidence because you know all the beach essentials to pack, so you can create special memories on your next family beach vacation.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

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Travel Crafts for Kids

What are the best travel crafts to keep kids entertained on a long journey? These crafts for children are no-mess, pre-packaged, simple and easy for busy Mom’s who are packing for a family vacation. I am asked regularly, by parents, how to avoid too much screen time for kids while traveling. They are interested in non-electronic options for their little ones. Above all they need ideas to prevent boredom while traveling with kids. Travel Crafts for Kids are a great option to add into the rotation of activities to keep children occupied while you travel. In this post we discuss our favorite travel crafts for kids, to help keep kids (and their parents) sane!

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Travel Crafts for Family Vacation

When preparing to leave on a family road trip or a flight with kids, parents are looking for kids travel activities or travel toys for toddlers. Traveling with kids means your journey will consist of activities such as: craft or activity sets, printable road trip games, coloring, books, toys, travel games, sticker books, workbooks, screen time, followed by travel snacks, then rinse and repeat!

Before leaving on a family vacation I find myself on Pinterest looking at all the super cute craft ideas. I often think how such crafts would be perfect activities for my kids on our next trip. However, the reality of trying to pull together all the needed craft supplies – while I’m busy getting my family packed for vacation – means it never happens. So, no matter how good my intentions, I’m never able to pull off DIY travel crafts.

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Pre-packaged, all-inclusive, ready to go Travel Crafts

Certainly my kids love to craft, especially my 8 year old daughter. Therefore, as a busy Mom I love to order pre-packaged, all-inclusive, ready to go craft options, that don’t require any prep when I’m in a hurry. We have tons of craft supplies at home, and we spend hours crafting new creations, but when it’s vacation prep time I’ve often got too many other things on my mind.

Similarly, the intention of this blog is helping parents to simplify your family adventures. Traveling with children is challenging and exhausting, but it’s worth ALL the extra effort. Therefore, we want to remove the stress of family travel so you will look forward to creating family memories, and not dread preparing for your next family vacation.

Best 5 Travel Crafts for Kids

These are our favorite travel crafts for kids age 4-9 years. These travel crafts are no-mess, pre-packaged and ready to go activities for your next family adventure. They are lightweight and can be easily packed in a BE Family Travel Tray or in your carry-on luggage. Above all, these travel crafts are the perfect activities to entertain your child on an airplane or on a road trip.

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

The Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions that help to teach kids how to use the set safely and inspire creative ideas.

Also, this activity set is great for traveling, and ideal for children ages 4 years and up.

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Wikki Stix is made with non-toxic food grade wax and hand knitting yarn.

Furthermore, this product offers clean, quiet, hands-on and engaging play for any occasion – in the car, or on the plane. This travel craft is a great on-the-go activity!

The kit includes a convenient, bright red carrying case for imaginative play during travel.

Paint by Sticker Kids

Paint by Sticker Kids is available in multiple designs including: The Original, Unicorns & Magic, Zoo Animals, Beautiful Bugs, or Under the Sea.

This travel craft for kids includes everything you need to create ten sticker paintings on sturdy card stock. Plus, all the pages are perforated – making it easy to tear out each finished work to frame and share! Your child will paint their design with stickers! Furthermore, it’s simple – find the sticker, peel, then place the sticker, and watch your painting come to life!

Make-a-Face Sticker Pad

Create a Face Sticker Pads are available in various designs including: CharactersPrincess or Animals. They include 170+ stickers and 20 full color background pages for kids to create their own face designs. This activity promotes fine motor skills and creative expression for children age 3+.

Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Jewelry-Making Kits

Travel Crafts for Kids

Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Jewelry-Making Kits include Bangles, Headbands, and Bracelets.

Each all-inclusive design kit includes at least 50 decorative stickers. There are multiple items in each kit and the simple process creates amazing results.

Therefore, this is the perfect travel craft for kids age 4+ when your family is on the go.

Also, for more great at home crating ideas visit our friends at JK Crafts who provide tons of helpful crafting tips and craft projects that your family will love!

Travel Activities for Kids

Another recommended travel activity for children is our FREE Printable Road Trip Games. Download these games that we created, they are tried and tested by kids, to provide hours of entertainment on your family travels. Including Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, Coloring Page, Tic Tac Toe, Word Search, License Plate Search Game – and our favorite – Road Trip Bingo. Download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games HERE.

In the meantime, we hope your kids will enjoy these travel crafts and these activities will help to simplify your family adventures. Having plenty of activities to rotate between will help to occupy your child. Plan to take regular breaks to stretch your legs, especially if you’re traveling with a potty training toddler. Also, make sure you’re aware of how to avoid to motion sickness in kids to make your journey smooth and uneventful.

Let us know what travel crafts your kids enjoy that would be a great addition to our next family vacation.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

BE Family Travel

BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

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Travel with Kids

All around the world significant restrictions were implemented to prevent travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost overnight we found ourselves facing this invisible enemy, and life as we knew it was changing. This situation was unprecedented in our lifetime and it affected our everyday lives in dramatic ways. If your family loves to travel with kids, then you likely experienced the disappointment of cancelled travel plans. And your family had to adjust to social distancing and spending your time at home. Now, are you ready to break free from home and travel with kids after Covid-19?

Dreaming of vacation and researching new travel destinations is one of the things that can help get you through this hard time. Certainly knowing that one day we can travel again, and we will be able to plan a family vacation, is a lifeline for me! That hope and wanderlust is what gets me through these difficult days.

Family Travel is changing, so what steps should you be taking for the future? In this post we discuss making plans to travel with kids, and we provide 5 Tips to Help you Prepare to Travel with Kids after Covid-19.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Returning to Travel

Among my community I hear the general consensus that people can’t wait for things to get back to normal. But, I don’t think we’re ever going BACK to normal. We will experience a NEW normal. We are looking forward to normal. What that new normal will look like is rather unknown at this point. However, we do know that life will be different. Are you left wondering how you can travel with kids after Covid-19?

Prioritize Travel with Kids as you Re-build your Schedule

The world has quite literally been turned upside down and our regular schedules and plans have been thrown to the wolves. Furthermore, as challenging as we find this time, the shift in schedule is helping many parents to realize the importance of better priorities. As we re-build our lives one piece at a time, let’s be determined to prioritize what is most important to us as individuals, and to our families. For me, that is prioritizing family time and family travel with kids.

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Making Plans to Travel with Kids after Covid-19

Are you ready to bust out of your house and start making plans to travel with kids? I feel like a caged animal who is trying to escape. I’m desperate for a change of scenery and a break in the monotony of being at home day after day after day.

Right now we are not in a position to travel, but we can still plan and dream of a family vacation. Keep that spark alive in your heart. Make plans now so you know where you want to go, and how to make that trip happen, once the travel restrictions are lifted.

5 Tips for Traveling with Kids after Covid-19

Eventually we will get the green light from local authorities to stop living in isolation and the travel restrictions will be lifted. Then we can make plans to travel with kids again. Where do you want to visit first – the beach, the mountains, your family?

Here’s how your family can transition to travel with kids once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted:

Start Simple and be Flexible

Taking a simple family road trip would be a great first travel option. This provides the independence of having your car, and not being reliant on the airlines (for the time being) and the possibility of interrupted travel itineraries. Driving your vehicle also means you are typically around your family and can stay away from large crowds of people.

Plan a Staycation

The Covid-19 pandemic may have hit your family hard financially. Whether you experienced reduced work hours, being furloughed, unemployment, the loss of your business, or any other ways that this invisible enemy stole your income. An unexpected change to your family budget may mean that an expensive family vacation is not possible for the foreseeable future. You may consider a staycation in your local area, and instead choose to make day trips from your home. These short family road trips provide the opportunity to explore new and exciting environments on your doorstep, without the added expense of overnight accommodation. Visit the local tourism board for your state and discover places of interest in your area.

Focus on Domestic Travel

We have experienced great uncertainly in 2020 with the border closings of many countries. For the foreseeable future it would be prudent to focus on domestic travel in the country where you live. If you live in the United States then we are blessed with a MASSIVE country to explore and endless domestic travel options. There’s various terrain, temperatures and cultures available within THIS country.

Explore the Outdoors

Plan to spend time outdoors when you travel with kids after Covid-19. Wide open spaces that are away from large groups of people would make a good first trip as we establish what our new normal will look like. We are going to opt for a multi-generational family beach trip. Our favorite destination to visit in the southeastern United States is the quiet and peaceful coastline of the Outer Banks, NC. More specifically the town of Duck, NC which is a very family friendly destination.

You may prefer to visit the mountains where there’s plenty of outdoor options for hiking, fishing, biking or camping. The United States is extremely fortunate with countless National Parks for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Watch for Travel Updates

travel with kids in car

Do your research now about places to visit in your area. Keep an eye out for updates from the governor of that state so you are aware of when travel restrictions are lifted, and you are allowed to visit your destination of choice.

Be ready so your family can hit the road once we’re allowed to travel again!

Other posts to help you Travel with Kids

As you make plans to travel with kids check out these other posts I’ve written about how to simplify a road trip with kids and how to avoid motion sickness in kids. Furthermore, in this current environment it’s especially important to be aware of strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children. But for your own sanity don’t forget the road trip snacks for kids, and you can download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games for Kids. This pairs well with our BE Family Travel Tray & Messenger Bag to hold your child’s activities, which you can buy HERE.

Although no one knows how long it will be before we can travel again. I hope this post encourages you to dream about family travel and keep that spark alive. Nothing or no-one can set limits on your dreams! Plan to travel with your kids in the future, it WILL happen again. Family vacations create lasting memories, and shared experiences strengthen family relationships. This special focused time together fills your little ones heart ❣

I’d love for you to please comment below and let me know the first place your family plans to visit once we can travel again.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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Traveling with Kids

Are you planning your family vacation with kids? Now you’re wondering how to entertain your children on a family road trip or a flight with kids? Trying to avoid that dreaded, and repetitive, question of are we nearly their yet? Ensuring you pack travel activities to keep your little ones busy on your travels will help relieve their boredom, and keep you sane. Your journey traveling with kids should include activities such as: craft or activity sets, sticker books, workbooks, printable road trip games, toys, travel games, coloring, books, screen time, followed by snacks, then rinse and repeat! In this post we highlight Best Travel Activities for Kids age 4-8 years. Plus they’re all no-mess activities, so don’t leave home without these essential travel activities for your kids.

If you’re traveling with a toddler then our other posts that you may find helpful include essential travel toys for toddlers and how to travel with a potty training toddler. If you’re flying then check out surviving jet lag with your toddler and what to consider before traveling with a car seat.

The more we travel with our children, I have learned how to simplify a road trip with kids and how to avoid motion sickness in kids. And in this current environment it’s especially important to be aware of strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

What are the must-have Travel Activities for Kids?

When traveling with children plan to bring a few special surprises to keep up your sleeve, such as a new activity or toy your child has not seen before. And don’t forget to bring the most important item of all – road trip snacks for kids.

Over the years and the many thousands of miles we have traveled with our children, there are certain items we won’t leave home without.

Must-have travel activities for kids include:

  • Craft or Activity Sets
  • Sticker Books or Workbooks
  • Printable Road Trip Games for Kids
  • Toys
  • Travel Games
  • Coloring Books and Crayons or Markers
  • Books at your child’s appropriate reading level
  • iPad, Tablet or Device with Headphones, charger and travel case

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Kids Car Seat Travel Tray

Best Travel Activities for Kids age 4-8 years

Here’s our favorite travel activities for kids age 4-8 years. This includes a list of the essential no-mess activities that are lightweight and can easily be packed in your carry-on luggage or a BE Family Travel Tray. These activities are great options to entertain your child on an airplane or on a car ride.

Spirograph Travel Set

The Spirograph Travel Set allows kids age 5+ to create countless designs on the go! Similarly, the built in storage tray makes this travel set easy to take on family vacation. This classic design toy was one of my childhood favorites ❣

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

The Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions that help to teach kids how to use the set safely and inspire creative ideas. So, it’s a great activity set for traveling, and ideal for kids ages 4 years and up.

Melissa & Doug On the Go Secret Decoder Activity Books

Melissa & Doug On the Go Secret Decoder Activity Books and spy tools for kids include mazes, seek-and-finds, word scrambles, codes to break and more. Plus spy tools such as magic ink, red-lens spy glass, and decoder wheel. These 18 page compact books make a great travel activity for kids age 7+

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Travel Toys for Toddlers

Wikki Stix offer clean, quiet, hands-on and engaging play for any occasion – in the car, or on the plane. Furthermore, this product is made with non-toxic food grade wax and hand knitting yarn. This kit includes a convenient, bright red carrying case for imaginative play during travel.

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals

Travel Activities for Kids

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals includes everything you need to create ten sticker paintings on sturdy card stock. Plus, all the pages are perforated – making it easy to tear out each finished work to frame and share! Your child can paint a zoo full of animals with stickers! It’s simple – find the sticker, peel, then place the sticker, and watch your animal painting come to life!

Sticker Book

Have your child choose their Sticker Book of preference.

Our girls love to dress their favorite American Girl® characters in pretty outfits with this sticker book collection.

Or maybe your child prefers to explore our universe, science and planet Earth.

What ever your child’s favorite interests, click here to see more options of Sticker Books for kids.

Wipe Clean Workbook

Travel Activities for Kids Wipe Clean Workbook

The Wipe Clean: Starting School Workbook is full of essential learning activities to complete and repeat. Using the dry-wipe pen, kids going into Kindergarten and First Grade can practice their writing and counting skills, simple math, telling the time, and lots more. And there is no getting it wrong – they can simply wipe away mistakes and try again. Likewise, if your child is a different age then there is a wide variety of wipe clean books available for various developmental levels.

LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase

The LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase allows your child to organize their LEGO building bricks and take them wherever you go. This LEGO Classic portable building block case houses a world of creativity for kids and includes a selection of colorful LEGO Classic pieces, including, bricks, shapes, wheels and eyes.

Spot It JR. Animals

Travel Activities for Kids - Spot It JR. Animals

Spot It JR. Animals is a Fast Paced action game with Symbol Recognition and Brain: Eye association. The smash hit game adapted for younger children. Each card has 6 colorful animals of different sizes; between any two cards there is always one animal match. This is definitely one of our girls’ favorite games, and the tin canister makes it the perfect family travel activity.

The Purple Cow Magnetic Travel Games

These magnetic travel games are traditional games in new packaging, with simple instructions that make them easy to follow and play! The game board and pieces are magnetic, so these fun kids’ games are ideal whenever you are out traveling or even in the car. Furthermore, The Purple Cow offers a wide selection of travel games for players of all ages. Here’s some of our favorite travel activities for kids age 4 plus.

Silly Scents Twistables Crayons

Travel Activities for Kids Coloring

Each aromatic crayon is ready to scribble and sniff. Silly Scents Twistables Crayons are durable with plastic barrels to protect against breakage.  

Therefore, they never need sharpening, just twist to keep the color going!  So, unleash countless hours of self-expression and imaginative play.

Crayola Epic Book of Awesome Coloring Book

Kids love to color and a coloring book will keep them happy through many long road trips, plane rides or rainy days on family vacation. The Crayola Epic Book of Awesome Coloring Book is a simple and fun travel activity for kids. And a great way for children to stay thoughtfully engaged and entertained while traveling.

The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids

It’s time to hit the road on your next family adventure – and kids will remember every second of fun-filled adventure. The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids is packed with journaling prompts so that no memory goes unwritten.

Inside these travel activities for kids, 6-9-year-old’s will find guided prompts to record hopes for their trip, highlights, new discoveries and more. Plus, this journal includes ultra-fun travel activities for kids likes fill-in the blanks and crosswords for endless entertainment.

When you’re back home and bags are unpacked, your little adventurer can always open The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids and relive every minute of every adventure. Consequently, what a special keepsake that your child will treasure to years to come.

Magic Tree House Books

Magic Tree House Boxed Set

When you travel with kids bring some books that your child / you can read together on your trip. One of our family favorites is this Magic Tree House Book Set which includes a whole series of adventure books for kids. Furthermore, bring your child’s favorite books, as family vacation can be an excellent time to develop your child’s love of reading and books.

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Kids Travel Activities Fire-7-Kids-Edition-Tablet

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is available in bluepink or purple. Stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content on the go with 16 GB of internal storage and up to 7 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Also add wireless headphones and a protective zipper sleeve for when you’re on the go. And don’t forget to bring the charger for any electronic device!

LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Premium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Travel Activities for Kids Wireless Headphones

These Wireless Headphones are high quality, and compatible with nearly all Bluetooth devices. Offered in six wonderful colors, they are developed, designed, and tested with kids of all ages to ensure durability of the final product while maintaining style and comfort. Certainly they are sized for kids age 4 plus.

Printable Road Trip Games

Travel Activities for Kids

Printable Road Trip Games are an inexpensive way to engage your children in fun activities and help pass the hours on your next family trip.

We have created our own selection of FREE Printable Road Trip Games, which are tried and tested by kids, to provide hours of entertainment on your family travels. Including Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, Coloring Page, Tic Tac Toe, Word Search, License Plate Search Game – and our favorite – Road Trip Bingo.

You can learn more and download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games HERE.

BE Family Travel Tray

We like to use the BE Family Travel Tray to hold our child’s activities. It’s designed to be used with a car seat, but could be adapted on an airplane using the seat-back tray. It is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket. There is no need to unload the entire play tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Bag. It detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Also available in redblue or pink.

Kids Red car seat travel tray

Travel Activities for Kids Wrap-up

As children get older their attention span increases which makes it easier for them to travel for longer periods of time. It is still important to plan regular breaks throughout your journey to allow children time to stretch their legs and visit the restroom. But being prepared with travel activities for kids will make long journey’s more bearable for you and your children. And before your next family vacation check out our review of the Best Family Travel Games.

Please comment on this post and let me know your favorite travel activities for kids. Furthermore, I’d love to update the list of essential travel activities with items that you love! Tell me one activity your kid won’t leave home without?!

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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Best Travel Activities for Kids Age 4-8
BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

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Traveling with a toddler

A toddler’s attention span doesn’t last long. Being prepared with travel toys for toddlers will help reduce boredom and make the journey more bearable for you and your child. When you travel with a toddler you’ll constantly be switching from one activity to another. So it’s important to adjust your expectations of what will happen during the flight or road trip. Above all make sure you have plenty of different activities that your child can rotate between.

Your journey traveling with a toddler will include snacks, followed by activities such as toys, coloring and activity sets, stickers, screen time, books with a favorite stuffy or blanket, potty breaks and hopefully a nap, then rinse and repeat! In this post we highlight over 20 of the Best Travel Toys for Toddlers, and they’re all no-mess activities! Therefore, don’t leave home without these essential travel activities for your toddler. Also, if you’re flying then download our FREE Carry-on Packing List for Flying with a Toddler, available at the bottom of this post.

When our children were toddlers we took several flights from the U.S. to Europe and Canada, plus multiple 5+ hour family road trips to the beach. I personally find flying with a toddler more bearable than driving. Mostly because we can move around on the plane, but over time I’ve also learned how to simplify a road trip with kids and what to consider before traveling with a car seat. Also, in other posts I share about how to travel with a potty training toddler and surviving jet lag with your toddler or how to avoid motion sickness in kids.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Flying with a Toddler vs. Road Trip

Flying with a toddler is very different than flying with a baby, or even an older child. While traveling with a toddler it can be especially challenging because toddlers have a very limited attention span. Furthermore, toddlers want to explore, be on the move, and know what they want. As a result they aren’t afraid to scream at the top of their lungs if they don’t get their own way! 

Deciding whether it’s best to fly with your toddler or take a family road trip will depend on many factors. What is the purpose of your trip – to visit family in a specific location or take a vacation to the destination of your choosing? How far do you need to travel, and how much time would it take to drive vs. flying? What is the cost of flights vs. the time and gas to drive? Can you pack light to fly with carry-on only or is it easier to load up your vehicle with everything you need? Certainly there are many factors to consider which are individual to the needs of your family.

I often chose to ride in the back seat on long road trips when our children were young. That way I could easily reach to assist my child with activities, and didn’t spend the entire trip turned around backwards trying to reach them from the front passenger seat.

Where ever you choose to sit in the car on a road trip it is important to have a large selection of activities to switch between during your journey. Always plan to bring a few special surprises to keep up your sleeve, such as a new activity or toy your child has not seen before. And don’t forget to pack the most important item – road trip snacks for kids.

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What are the must-have Travel Toys for Toddlers?

Over the years and the many thousands of miles we have traveled with our children, there are certain items we won’t leave home without.

Must-have toddler travel activities include:

  • Toys
  • Coloring books and crayons 
  • Mess-free markers and water activity book
  • Stickers
  • Books (with plenty of picture you can talk about)
  • iPad, Tablet or Device with Headphones and charger

The Essential Travel Toys for Toddlers

These are our favorite toddler travel toys. Firstly, here is a list of the essential no-mess activities that are lightweight and can easily be packed in your carry-on luggage. These are great options to entertain your toddler on an airplane or on a car ride. Secondly, there is an additional list of bulky and more noisy activities that would be more appropriate for use on a road trip.

Wooden Lacing Apple Threading Toy 

Toddler Travel Threading Toy

The Wooden Lacing Big Apple Toy is a simple, pocket sized travel toy for toddlers that’s sure to entertain your child while you’re on the go. They can push the caterpillar through the different holes in the wooden block of apple while the string wraps itself around. When they run out of string rope, they can unwind and play again!

Magnetic Travel Matching Game

Toddler Travel Toy Matching Game

The Purple Cow Magnetic Animal Homes Matching Puzzle is ideal for travelling. This simple matching game puzzle involving animals and their homes. Kids will have fun matching the pieces and assembling the correct pictures. This pocket sized game comes in a compact high-quality metallic tin box. So it conveniently fits into any pocket, travel bag or backpack.

AiTuiTui Magnetic Drawing Board Mini Travel Doodle

Travel Toys for Toddlers Doodle Game

AiTuiTui Magnetic Drawing Board Mini Travel Doodle is a colorful drawing screen that will inspire children to explore imagination and creativity. Likewise this mini size board is small enough for travel and easy to hold by children to take along on a trip due to its small size.

Dot to Dot for Tiny Tots Wipe Clean Activity Book

Toddler Travel Dot to Dot Wipe Clean Book

The Dot to Dot Wipe Clean Activity Book is full of simple dot-to-dot exercises and maze puzzles that are ideal for toddlers. This activity book helps young children develop their fine motor and problem-solving skills, as well as number recognition. The pages wipe clean and come with a dry erase marker so the activities can be completed again and again!

Buckle Toys – Bella Square

Travel Toys for Toddlers Buckle Toy

The Buckle Toys Bella Square is a playful bright plush with vibrant colored straps, and buckles to hold child’s attention. There are 6 child-friendly buckles in a variety of clasp styles. This helps toddlers develop fine motor skills, cognitive skills, hand eye coordination, and problem solving. The 6.5″ square if perfect for small hands and will clip to a car seat or diaper bag when you’re on the go.

Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad

Travel Toys for Toddlers Sticker Book

The My Town Reusable Sticker Pad includes 5 colorful backgrounds and 200-plus cling-style, reusable stickers. This is an engaging option for screen-free entertainment that helps children develop strong fine motor skills and promotes creative play.

Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Plush Toy

Travel Toys for Toddlers Doll

Playskool Classic Dressy Kids Plush Toy is available in girl or boy stuffed toy. Your little adventurer can practice again and again with this dress toy for toddlers featuring 5 getting dressed activities including zip, tie, button, buckle and Velcro. Furthermore, this toddler travel toys is machine washable and comes in a toddler-friendly size with a carry-along clip, making her a great on-the-go activity for kids in the car or on a plane.

Peppa Pig Electronic Me Reader Jr 

Travel Toys for Toddlers E-reader

Peppa Pig Electronic Me Read Jr includes 8 illustrated board books and an electronic reader that reads each book aloud. Therefore, your child can choose a book, press buttons on the module, and hear the whole story, along with fun and surprising sounds! Following along in the book while listening to the narration is an important first step toward independent reading.

Crayola Twistables Crayons

Crayola Twistables Crayons Travel Toys for Toddlers

Crayola Twistable Crayons are durable with plastic barrels to protect against breakage.  They never need sharpening just twist to keep the color going! So these are great for younger children who tend to snap regular crayons.

Crayola Mess Free Coloring Set

Crayola Mess Free Coloring Set

Crayola Mess Free Coloring Set with markers that only color on special paper. They won’t color on skin, furniture or fabric so they’re great for on-the-go!

Melissa & Doug On The Go Water Wow

On the Go Water Wow

Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow is a no mess water activity book which includes 4 reusable pages and comes with a refillable water pen.

Face Sticker Book

Travel Toys for Toddlers Sticker Books

Create a Face Sticker Book such as Pirate, Princess or Animals with tons of backgrounds and colorful stickers for kids to create their own face designs.

ThinkMax Finger Puppets Set 

Toddler Travel Finger Puppets

Finger Puppets are made for children, but enjoyed by adults too. You can pretend as different animals and communicate with your little kids, training their oral communication ability and logical thinking ability. Also, be careful to not let kids play them alone. This could be a choking hazard if you have children under three.

Five Little Monkeys Finger Puppet Board Book

Toddler Travel Book

Finger Puppet Book are good for storytelling and imaginary play with your child.

deMoca Quiet Book for Toddlers

Toddler Travel Toy Busy Book

Busy Book for Toddlers is a cloth book and sturdy sensory toy. It includes activities for your child to focus on matching Velcro colored shapes, to practice with buckles zippers, telling time and general learning.

We have included Amazon links to these items. Buying through these links will NOT cost you anymore for the item, but it does help to support our blog.

Road Trip Travel Toys for Toddlers

The toddler travel toys listed above are great for a road trip or flying. Here is a list of bulky and / or more noisy activities that would be more appropriate for use on a road trip.

Learning Resources SnapnLearn Number Bugs

Toddler Travel Toys for road trip

This was one of our most used toddler travel toys because it’s durable and easy to find the pieces when you’re on the go. These cute and colorful bugs snap together and pull apart, which reinforces fine motor skills. This toddler travel toy is ideal for ages 2+ and introduces numbers, counting, addition, and color matching.

VTech Touch & Teach Word Book 

Toddler Road trip travel toy

Our girls loved their VTech Touch & Teach Word Book. This educational toy book for toddlers features 12 incredibly detailed and touch sensitive pages that help teach children over 100 words is six categories.

The baby book toy is designed for kids 18 months to 4 years. Pages react to your toddlers touch with sounds, music, and words; early learning center teaches fine motor skills along with words, and ABCs.

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Travel Toys for Toddlers

Wikki Stix offer clean, quiet, hands-on and engaging play for any occasion – in the car, or on the plane. This product is made with non-toxic food grade wax and hand knitting yarn. This kit includes a convenient, bright red carrying case for imaginative play during travel.

Toddler Busy Board

Travel Toys for Toddlers Busy Board

The Toddler Busy Board provide a sensory experience for a wide range of developmental levels, it promote hands-on learning, basic skills and fine motor development. The soft felt wool board measures 11×12.5in and weighs just 0.4lbs making it an ideal activity for travel, including car and airplane.

Buckles and buttons are designed to have varying difficulty levels, so toddlers will enjoy the challenge of puzzles or use it as a repetitive soothing activity.

LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch

Travel Toys for Toddlers LeapFrog

The LeapFrog 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch is an affordable option around the $20 price point. The laptop features a keyboard with letters A-Z and numbers 1-10, or swivel and transform it into a touch tablet.

It features five learning modes – ABCs, numbers, games, music and messages. Kids can pretend to be like mom and dad with role-play activities like emailing Scout. And parents can customize the laptop to help your child spell their name.

BE Family Travel Tray

We like to use the BE Family Travel Tray to hold our child’s activities. It’s designed to be used with a car seat, but could be adapted on an airplane using the seat-back tray. It is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket. There is no need to unload the entire play tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Bag. It detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Also available in red, blue or pink.

Kids Red car seat travel tray

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Travel Toys for Toddlers Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is available in blue, pink or purple. Stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content on the go with 16 GB of internal storage and up to 7 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Also add wireless headphones and a protective zipper sleeve for when you’re on the go. And don’t forget to bring the charger for any electronic device!

LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Premium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Travel Toys for Toddlers Headphones

These Wireless Headphones are high quality, and compatible with nearly all Bluetooth devices. Offered in six wonderful colors, they are developed, designed, and tested with kids of all ages to ensure durability of the final product while maintaining style and comfort. They are sized for kids 4+ but many reviews say they are suitable for toddlers age 2 years plus.

Travel Toys for Toddlers who have a limited attention span

Children have a very limited attention span until they reach around 18-24 months of age, when their attention span for watching short shows will start to appear. Simple apps can be introduced, but likely won’t hold your toddlers attention span for long. Similarly if you have a few apps then flipping between them can provide a longer distraction.

flying with a toddler attention span on plane

At home we limit technology time, in fact neither of our girls had any TV or screen time until they were 2 years old. But when traveling we tend to bend the rules and be more flexible. ABCmouse.com is great for age 2+ and will keep your child entertained while they learn.

Finally, if you plan to use a device on the airplane don’t forget to bring headphones for your toddler so they don’t disturb other passengers on the airplane.  Don’t be like us with our first child… we made this epic mistake on one trip 😬

Download FREE Carry-on Packing List: Flying with a Toddler

Are you flying with a toddler on your next family vacation? You can download our FREE list of all the items to pack in your carry-on when flying with a toddler.

Travel toys for toddlers that you won’t leave home without

Please comment on this post and let me know your favorite travel toys for toddlers. Furthermore, I’d love to update the list of essential toddler travel activities with toys that you love! Tell me one toddler travel toy you won’t leave home without?!

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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