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What to pack

Naturally, there are variances involved with any family packing list, especially one involving youngsters. How old is your child? How many children will be traveling? If you are traveling with your baby, is he/she mobile yet? Are you nursing? Does the hotel baby-proof the room before your arrival? Just some considerations. Maybe your kids are elementary or middle-school aged, in which case, they can pack their own little bags (with you, the parent, checking them of course!) This list is just a starting point made for adding and subtracting your own items. The most important thing is that you have a list and that it is given consideration. Pull your suitcases or bags out of the closet four or five days ahead of time, and begin the packing process early. There is nothing more unnerving than having packing left to do the day of your departure, while trying to get the kids ready and leave the house on time!

A set of brand-name suitcases may be stylish, but when traveling with babies and children, we say go for practicality! Select a few of the wide-mouth duffle bags with the wide openings which simplify packing and unpacking. L.L. Bean has a nice, reasonably-priced selection of kid-friendly travel bags, but there are other good practical lines as well. The many outside pockets make accessing small items like toys or diapers easy. Wet or soiled baby clothes can be stuffed in the separate side pockets during the drive, for those with babies and toddlers. These bags are also more pliable when packing them into a trunk with limited space. Put on some music and have fun packing. Involve the kids in the packing process as much as possible! Let the travel fun begin even before you leave by making packing a time for building anticipation in the kids' minds of the journey ahead!