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Must-Know Packing Tips for Traveling with Kids

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A picture of a girl sitting in a suitcase

Packing with kids is always an adventure.

Photo © Philippe McClelland / Getty Images
Vacation! What this usually means is that you spend the days leading up to vacation methodically planning out what you need to pack for your kids.

Don't get caught off guard. Pack items that will make your family's travel a breeze.

Pack Brightly-Colored Clothes

You probably plan on visiting zoos, aquariums, maybe even hitting the playground in the city you're visiting. Pack brightly-colored clothing so you'll always be able to spot your children.

It's easy for them to get lost in the crowd of other kids and that can be especially scary for parents when they're in an unusual city. Instead of packing dull clothing that can blend into almost any background, pack bright yellows, greens, pinks and clothes that have contrasting colors.

Pack a Sound Machine

Even if your kids don't listen to white noise to fall asleep at home, vacation is different. Hotels are noisy and if your neighbor isn't keeping everyone up late at night with the TV blaring through the walls, housekeeping will undoubtedly be vacuuming in the hallway outside of your room at 6 a.m.

Pack a small sound machine to go with you on your trip. Most systems allow you to choose white noise or nature sounds to drown out your surroundings.

Pack Magnetic Games

Magnetic travel games are compact for easy packing and they keep your kids busy for hours while you make your way to your destination.

Game pieces are small but stick to a magnetic board so your kids can play everything from bingo to chess. If you're traveling by air, airplane activities for kids can go beyond magnetic games, even letting them play games online 30,000 feet up in the sky.

Pack a Cooler

You know an ice chest is essential when you're going on a road trip with kids. But did you know many airlines will allow you to pack a cooler as a carry-on item for your flight?

Check with your airline first and make sure your cooler fits with the carry-on guidelines. Some parents have been able to take sandwiches, small containers of pudding, water and chips on-board for their family.

Pack Your Mom Kit

Most of the mom kit essentials you always have with you when you're at home should also make their way into your luggage. You don't want to get caught hundreds or thousands of miles away from home without your go-to items.

Pack your items in a small baggie. Often, you can find travel size versions of the items you buy the most. So instead of taking that 500-count plastic tub of wipes, you can pack a smaller size that will get you through the weekend and you can always buy more when you get to your final destination.

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