What Is In My Child’s Travel Bag?

Are you planning a trip with kids?  My children love to travel, but getting to our destination takes time.  Sometimes, a lot of time.  Before every trip, I have my kids pack a travel bag full of items to keep them occupied and comfortable.  Here are the items that are always in my child’s travel bag.

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Whether you are a fan of Apple or Android products, tablets can keep little one’s occupied on long trips. When our kids were little, they each had a Nabi2. Nabi products have incredible parental controls which I loved. Now that my kids are older, they each have an Amazon Kindle. I chose a Kindle based on the price, Amazon’s warranty, and the reality that my kids may break it.

Think beyond games while using a tablet. Education games, books, audiobooks, podcasts, and movies can all be accessed with a tablet.


In tight spaces, such as an airplane or a car, there are often times when kids (or parents) want to be in control of the noise.  Both of my kids bring their headphones to listen to their tablet or audiobooks.  I bring my headphones, too.

My kids have headphones similar to this. I love that they are volume limiting for their delicate ears.


A book is always a great item to bring along on any trip.  I encourage my kids to bring at least a few books they really want to read.  Sometimes these books never get opened due to the excitement of the trip.  But more often then not, my kids will spend at least an hour reading while travelling.  If we are travelling somewhere interesting, I might have my kids bring book about our destination.


Speaking of books, my kids have become fans of audiobooks.  Using an app on either my smartphone or their tablet, I can download books my kids before we travel.  My local library uses two apps that are free for library patrons to use.  Find out if your local library offers this service as well.

Coloring Books, Colored Pencils, and Markers

My daughter loves to color.  She currently loves adult coloring books since they are so detailed.  Colored pencils and markers are resistant to melting in hot vehicles and are our preferred coloring medium.

A detailed coloring book like this is great for kids (and adults).

Stuffed Animal

Having a favorite stuffed animal can often bring comfort during any sort of travel.  My kids still pack a “pet” on each of our trips.  These animals also make wherever we end up staying (hotel, vacation rental, relatives house) feel more like home.

A Set of Small Toys

Depending on the age of your child, bringing a set of smaller toys may be ideal. My Little Pony figures made frequent appearances throughout our travels this year. Hot Wheels cars, farm animals, and magnetic Thomas the Train characters were other beloved toy sets that often made their way into the travel bag. No matter what set of toys your child chooses, placing them in a plastic container helps to keep all of those little pieces together.

Toys can keep smaller children occupied for hours. Pick a small set they adore.

Collectable Cards

As my children are getting older, Pokémon cards are an often discussed topic.  Whether your child collects Pokémon, baseball, hockey, or any other set of cards, a long trip is the perfect opportunity to organize them.

Card Games

My kids love to play games.  Space becomes a concern while travel so my kids sometimes bring card games.  Think Memory, War, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, etc.

Snacks and Drinks

We always bring snacks.  In fact, our family brings a dedicated snack bag on all of our road trips.  Having one bag with our snacks and water bottles helps to keep the crumbs and garbage in one location.  I also do not like having food or drinks near electronics or books.  To find out about our “Snack Bag”, click here.

We’ve owned a water bottle like this for 10 years. After 10 years, it doesn’t leak despite daily use. The 16oz size is ideal for kids.

First Aid Kit

Ok…my kids don’t actually pack a first aid kit in their travel bag.  However, the kids often use it.  Since a lot of our travel is outdoor recreation related, band-aids, antiseptic, and basic pain relievers come in handy.  Plus, travel and sickness seem to go together.  At least one member of the family is usually sick so having a first aid kit available just make sense.

This is the first aid kit we own.

No matter where you travel, keeping the kids occupied will help make any trip a less stressful experience.  Letting your kids choose the items they put in their travel bag allows them to be responsible and in charge of part of the trip planning.  Using our list as a guide, you can customize based on the types of items your child likes.  What do your kids bring on a trip that they can’t live without?  Just like all travel planning, take a deep breath.  You can totally do this.

You can totally do this.

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