The Extras I Add to Packing with Kids 17

In the lead up to our next family holiday with kids, I am starting to prepare by purchasing all the extras I need to pack for travel with kids.

I start by creating a list of my son Lewis’s favourite snacks, activities and medical essentials.

Extras I add packing with kids

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My lists for extras I add to packing with kids

Food that I add to packing with kids

On my list for snacks are:

  • Rice Wheels
  • Tiny Teddys
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Muesli bars

I start thinking about these items about 6 weeks out from our travel date.  As I do my regular grocery shop I keep an eye out for the prepackaged snack versions of these items and purchase extras when they are on sale.  This may mean I am only saving a few cents to a dollar here and there, but it all adds up to those extras of hidden costs in travel.

Now you may question, “don’t they have crackers and dried fruit everywhere?”

“Well, no they don’t.”  We got caught out a couple of years ago on our family holiday to Penang and I spent the 2 weeks looking for crackers.  So unless you really know a destination don’t take the risk.  However this year we are returning to Bali and returning to the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, and as such I know that the local supermarket has crackers and sweet biscuits that Lewis likes.  So this year I am not including Tiny Teddy’s and crackers in my packing for kids.

Snacks I add when packing for kids

Activities I add to packing with kids

Also during this lead up to our family holiday I am also on the look out for some great activities.

  • Lego
  • Cars
  • Figurines
  • Reading book
  • Activity books
  • Colouring pencils

Lewis now has a great collection of Creator Lego just for travel, so I have stopped adding to this.  But previously I would buy a new small set to add to his travel case of Lego.  Just to let you know part of the collection includes a couple of small Duplo cars which allows him to alter the game and just play cars as opposed to Lego building.

Next up is a book, they can be really expensive to buy overseas so preparation is key.  Lewis is really into the Tree House series, the 78 Story Tree House has just been released and so I have bought him a copy and the accompanying activity fun book.

I will also add other activity education books like spelling and maths – but ones that look a bit more fun.

Of course you can’t do these activities without pencils.  So a compact pack of coloured pencils, lead pencil and eraser.  By the way I prefer coloured pencils over felt pens as I don’t have to worry if they mark furniture by mistake.

Activities I add when packing for kids

Medical essentials I add to packing with kids

Finally I make sure that I have child friendly medication in my packing for kids.  No one wants a sick child especially on a family holiday.

  • Paracetamol
  • Brauers Stomach Calm
  • Brauers Calm
  • Insect repellent

My choice in paracetamol changes back and forth depending on how Lewis is reacting to the brands.  I have found Panodol, Nurofen and currently Paedamin all effective, it is just his personal choice.

I have used the homeopathic Brauers range since Lewis was a newborn and he still finds the stomach calm really helps with an upset tummy.

Just a note here if you want to pack these medical items with your carry on luggage.  Make sure you purchase 100ml/3.38floz bottles and pop them into a clear ziplock bag to present to security.

Medical items I add when packing with kids

So basically my advice for packing with kids is to choose what items work best for your child and stick with them.  I choose items that work for my son and adjust accordingly when I pack for each family holiday.

If you would like to check out more packing list for travel with kids click HERE.

What do you add when packing with kids?

extras I add packing with kids

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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17 thoughts on “The Extras I Add to Packing with Kids

  • Elizabeth Newcamp

    Thanks for the tips! Can you ever have enough snacks when your traveling with toddlers? I’ve been really loving sticker books for the boys – it seems like they can mostly do them on their own… well the four year old. We can toss them when they are done too so less weight coming home. I always forget about the medical stuff, so I need to add that to my packing list. Picture Bandaids are a must for my two! Thanks for sharing these great tips. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      I have to say Elizabeth toddlers and kids are like bottomless pits, but at least starting with a few of their favourites helps alleviate some of the stress of trying to feed them on the go.

  • eileen g

    I would add that it isn’t just a question of “don’t they have crackers where you’re going,” but also, how much will crackers cost? On Caribbean islands where all consumer goods are imported packaged goods are pricey.The $12/pack diapers becomes $17, the $3 box of crackers is $5.50 and so on. And in any place that’s primarily a vacation destination supermarket items get some kind of a mark-up. As you say, it all adds up. If cost isn’t a factor, as my daughter has gotten older some of the fun of travel has been discovering “new” snacks or different versions than you have at home — chocolate-hazelnut cereal was a significant discovery in Europe. It’s a way to put (albeit minor) cultural differences in a context she can relate to. But I still always pack 1-2 go-to snacks and they usually are eaten.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      I know Jim, I couldn’t believe whilst we were in Penang I could not find savoury crackers – everything was sweet and it is just not worth wasting your precious holiday time scouring the shops.

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    For me, how many snacks we pack is dependent on where we’re headed. On our trip to England this summer, I really enjoyed combing the stores for treats that we can’t get back in the USA. I even went to the grocery store the night before we left and loaded up so that we could hand them out as cheap souvenirs. HOWEVER, I completely understand your Penang problem, especially if your child likes familiar foods. Tesco and Cold Storage had snacks that my kids would happily eat. But one time, I only had time while packing to run to the convenience store across the street, and all I could find were things like dried squid and dried sour plums — nothing my kids would eat. Another time, our travel plans were so messed up that I didn’t have time to grab snacks before our flight from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur. My daughter won’t eat airplane food and practically starved.

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      Kids can be so fussy and you never know when that will strike. So Michelle I “try” to have enough spares on hand to get me through. But of course as you say depends on your length of travel – we don’t tend to go for more than 2 weeks so we can get by with that but if we travelled longer we wouldn’t be able to pack enough for the entire trip.

  • Kreete

    I don’t have kids yet myself so I buy snacks and books for myself ha! But what a great idea and I will definitely lend my helping hand in the face of your blog to my friends who have kids! Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • Sally-Ann Brown Post author

      That’s a good point Kreete when I use to backpack on my own I always had packs of snacks for those long train rides. Thank you for the reminder that we parents mustn’t forget ourselves