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The Complete Packing Guide for Travelling with Kids

Going on holiday with the kids for the first time? If you need a little guidance on what to bring, Skyscanner Australia has a handy kids packing list for you, so the only thing you need to worry about is having a good time when you arrive.

So the holiday is booked, the activities are all lined up, the family is excited, and there’s only one more thing left to do: the packing.

Sorting out your own packing is easy (just go easy on the shoes and wet weather gear), but knowing what to pack for kids can be so much harder. So if you need help with your kids’ packing list, we cover the flight, the holiday, and everything in between.

What things should I pack for kids on a flight?

1. Get a kid’s backpack

Kids luggage can be a bit of a nuisance if your little ones are young. They may love it at first, but they will get bored lugging their bags around (and we can sympathise). The easier option is to carry their clothes in a packing cube safely tucked away in your bag, and give them a backpack with all their essentials for their travel days (and day trips for when you get to your destination). Just double check before you leave home that they haven’t snuck in anything likely to set off airport security.

2. Favourite cuddly toy or comfort item

The distress when your toddler loses their cuddly toy can be insurmountable. While you don’t have to take many toys with you on the flight, their cuddly toy or comfort item should make the list. If that’s a dummy, then pack several.

3. Warm socks

Children like to kick off their shoes, so warm socks are great for when it gets a little chilly on the flight.

4. Digital tablet for entertainment

Nowadays, most flag-carrying airlines provide excellent on-board entertainment for kids, and almost all long-haul flights will too. However, if you’ve booked a no-frills airline, or are anticipating a long wait at the airport, a digital tablet loaded with a few games and movies can be a Godsend. Don’t forget the charger!

5. Wet wipes and hand gel

Wet wipes and tissues, for… well, everything! Antibacterial hand wash gel will always be handy during travels, to use before and after meals and generally through your trip.

6. Snacks

A few familiar snacks are worth having on hand, especially if your child has allergies or specific likes and dislikes. Also, bring lollipops – these are brilliant for take off and landing, as they help with ear pain caused by the change in air pressure.

7. Any feeding equipment you may need

Think bibs, spoons, and sippy cups. Sometimes it’s the most familiar things that can be calming to a little tot when in new environments.

8. A change of clothes

With kids, you just never know when you might need a complete change of clothes, right?  

What things should I pack for kids on holiday?

1. First Aid Travel Kit

A must for family trips is your very own first aid kit, complete with bandaids, antiseptic cream, antihistamines, pain relief (Paracetamol and Ibuprofen), motion sickness medication and any prescribed medicine for your little ones, just in case. Paw Paw is another parents favourite go to for minor cuts and insect bites.

2. Clothes packing list for kids

How you pack can vary depending on whether you’re embarking on a warm weather holiday or a winter break, but the basics are generally the same. For a two week vacation, your checklist should look something like this:

  • 4-5 outfits (incl. shorts, t-shirts, trousers, dresses, skirts, leggings, tights)
  • 1 long sleeved shirt
  • 1 jacket (warm and preferably waterproof)
  • 1 pair of pajamas
  • 1 hat
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 7-10 undies
  • 1 pair of runners/day shoes
  • 1 pair of sandals

Summer additions:

  • 1-2 swimming costumes
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 beach towel
  • 1 pair of arm bands
  • 1 swimming cover-up
  • 1 pair of goggles

Winter additions:

  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 1 scarf
  • 2-3 undershirts

3. Toiletries packing list for kids

Some of these may seem obvious, but it is so easy to forget important toiletries, and it can be a big nuisance to have to try and secure them abroad. Having these essentials on hand can save you a lot of hassle.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant (for older kids)
  • Sun cream
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Hair brush
  • Hair ties
  • Band-aids
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Kids’ paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Any prescribed medication

Summer additions

  • Bug repellent
  • Tiger balm (amazing for mozzie bites!)

Winter additions

  • Moisturizing cream

4. Entertainment packing list for kids

Our entertainment checklist is totally discretionary, and you can amend or add to it as you see fit. We do recommend packing a few entertainment items, as these are great in the evening after a long day playing at the beach or sightseeing, and can bring your child a little comfort if it’s their first trip away.

  • Digital tablet
  • Books
  • Colouring book and pencils
  • Soft toy
  • Small travel games, like UNO
  • Earphones
  • Workbooks

5. Document packing list for kids

Before you book, it is essential to double check all your documents are valid and in date, especially if you are travelling abroad. You can see our list of worldwide visa requirements, and go to the Australian government’s Smart Traveller website for important up-to-date information. Don’t forget babies need passports too!

  • Passports
  • Photocopies of all your passports
  • Visas if required
  • Written permission from other parent if required
  • Immunisation documentation if required

Also, adults will need to make sure they’re also carrying:

  • Flight booking information
  • Some cash in the relevant currency
  • Credit/Debit cards
  • Travel insurance documentation

Keep all travel documents together in a safe place, from passports, tickets, travel insurance and any accommodation and car hire bookings. It’s amazing how these can go missing when you most need them.

6. Miscellaneous packing list for kids

This is just extra stuff that you may want to pack just in case!

  • Travel stroller
  • Travel pillows
  • Small blanket
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Travel adaptors
  • Snack boxes

7. Packing list for babies

This is a kids packing list, but if your wee one is still a bub, there are a few more things you need to consider. It’s actually startling how many extra things you need for such little people, here are the essentials though:

  • Nappies
  • Nappy sacks
  • Nappy cream
  • Wet wipes
  • Changing mat
  • Bottles
  • Bottle brush
  • Sterilizer/sterilizer tablets/sterilizer bags
  • Dummies
  • Formula
  • Breast pump
  • Sippy cups
  • Kids cutlery
  • Bibs

Other handy packing tips

Nominate one packer

Nominate one packer to do all the packing for your kids. Having one packer means you won’t get duplicate items, which could count for a lot if you are close to exceeding the weight limit and being charged extra fees. Work off a list, lay everything out, and do the final pack all at once.

Pack light with light luggage

Older luggage can weight a tonne, so consider upgrading to lighter luggage and save on your overall weight. It all adds up!

Roll, don’t fold

Rolling your luggage, as opposed to folding, will save you time and space and you’ll fit more in.

Know the rule on powders, liquids, aerosols and gels

Good news, the 100ml liquid restrictions doesn’t apply to items for babies such as baby food and water, breast milk and formula, but best to check on the latest information before you head off.

All set? Check out more tips for travelling with your little ones, in our Ultimate Guide for Travelling with Kids.  

All set? If you need help hiring a car, booking forwarding flights, or looking for a hotel, go over to our main website, or download our handy app!