Planning a holiday with your family soon? We have a definitive checklist of family travel essentials depending on who is in your family and what type of holiday you are planning. So if you have a baby, toddlers, teenagers or even grandparents coming along then we have a printable travel essentials list for you!
We’ve tried to break it down into different aspects of your holiday to make it easier to consider all the things you need to take. These categories are:
- Eating and drinking
- Nappies and toileting
- Getting around
- First Aid and Medicines
Head over here if you need any tips on how to pack a suitcase.
Family Travel Essentials Printable Planner
Use the planner below to keep a list of all the things you need for your family holiday. Either do one for all the family or print out individual planners for each member.
Travel Essentials – Baby
These are just some of the things you need to consider when you travel with a baby in tow. Obviously tailor your needs to the length of time you are away for and any luggage restrictions that might be in place with your airline if you’re flying.
Travel cot or bassinet
If one isn’t being provided at the place you are travelling to then you need to take along your own travel cot or bassinet. We have a long article on the different types and styles available here- best travel cots.
Our pick of the bunch is the Baby Bjorn travel cot. It is lightweight and easy to put up with no fiddly clicking. Comes complete with a mattress and sheet and can be used until your child is around 3 years old. An extra advantage of taking a travel cot with you is that they can double as a playpen for when you need to keep your child safe and contained.
- Simple to set up and fold up
- Easy to take with you
- Soft and comfy mattress
- Removable and washable cot textiles
If you have a small baby and need something that will take up the least room possible then go for a travel bassinet. The Koo-di Pop-Up Bassinet is just the ticket. Small and lightweight but still providing a safe space for your baby to sleep in, this bassinet will last until they are 6 months old. The dimensions and weight make it perfect for a camping trip where space in the tent and the car are at a premium.
- A comfortable bassinette ideal for use at home and on holidays or weekends away
- A polycotton travel bassinette
- Ideal up to 6 months or until baby can sit unaided
- Quick and easy to use
Baby sleeping bags are perfect to take with you when you travel. No need to worry about taking bulky blankets and if you have a wriggler, you can be reassured that their ‘covers’ will still be on in the morning. It’s also good to take something that they are familiar with as part of their bedtime routine, so if you already use these it’s a win-win. Just make sure you have the right tog rating for your destination.
- Multi award winning
- The only baby sleep bag recommended by The Lullaby Trust
- High quality YKK zips
- EN safety standard approved EN16781:2018
We always took a room thermometer with us when we went on holiday- it gave us peace of mind about whether the room was too hot or cold and meant we good get the right amount of layers on under the sleeping bag. Take one that runs on batteries so you don’t need a plug for it.
- 【Air Comfort Indicator】Humidity meter with humidity level icon indicates air condition -- DRY/COMFORT/WET
- 【High & Low Records】Hygrometer digital thermometer displays high and low temperature & humidity records
- 【Healthier Home】Thermometer hygrometer with temperature and humidity monitor ensures proper indoor humidity control has important skin, allergen and other health benefits
- 【Smart Design】Room thermometer indoor features tabletop and magnet-mountable design; °F/°C Selector; Powered by AAA battery (included)
Eating and Drinking
If your baby is under 6 months then you will only need to think about the drinking aspect of holiday packing.
If you are breastfeeding then you might want to take a pump with you. A manual pump is a better bet than an electric one as you don’t have the hassle of trying to find a power supply. They are also smaller and easier to pack.
- Award winning and best sellers. Recommended by nursing moms, magazines, celebrities, doulas and lactation consultants, just make sure you are getting only the original silicone breast pumps of haakaa...
- Patented design. Pat. No. USD810,925S. Perfect for anywhere - haakaa breast pump cann fit anywhere you would like to discretely express or when you wake up in the middle of the night engorged.
- Extremely Soft,Comfortable and Safe, Approved FDA,100% high quality food grade silicone.Every mom wants green safely baby products and the hakaa pump is BPA PVC and Phthalate Free.
- Easy to use. Lightweight and Portable. Simply suction to your breast and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using suction, or you can use it for letdown what would otherwise be...
Bottle feeding system
If you are formula feeding your baby then you have a few more things to consider. If you can, take formula with you, or at the very least check you can buy the exact same formula at your destination. Choose a bottle-feeding system like this one that uses pre-sterilised drop-in liners so that you have less worry about bottles being sterile.
- BPA (Biphenyl-A) free
- Mimics breastfeeding
- Significantly reduces gas and colic
- Pre-sterilized disposable liners keep air out for more comfortable feeding
Steriliser tablets or bags
Milton are the leading brand of sterilising tablets so pop enough into your luggage to last you for the holiday. If you’re using the sterilizing bags then you will need access to a microwave. If there isn’t one where you are staying, many hotels and holiday parks will let you have use of one of theirs.
To help you make up bottles when you’re out and about you will need a supply of still hot boiled water. For this, you can use a vacuum flask filled in the morning with boiling hot water to mix with pre-measured formula powder as and when it’s needed.
This one from leading brand Thermos holds 500 ml of water and can easily be stashed into a bag.
- Double wall vacuum insulation retains hot or cold temperatures
- Durable stainless steel interior and exterior
- Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweat-proof with cold
- Insulated stainless steel serving cup and not dishwasher safe
If your baby has got to the weaning stage then you’ll need some food tubs to store finger foods and purees in. To save space go for collapsible food storage tubs that can be flattened for travel.
These silicon ones come in a range of sizes depending on what you need to carry. They are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe so perfect for keeping things fresh and easy to clean if you have the option of a dishwasher. The bright colours mean your unlikely to lose or forget to pick them up when you’re out and about.
- Safe and Environmental: This lunch box is made of high quality food grade silicone, eco-friendly non-toxic, FDA approved, completely safe to use and easy to clean.
- Easy Storage and Space Saving: Collapsible Design-When not in use, the storage containers can collapse down to 1/3 of their original height for convenient storage. Easy to folding and convenient to...
- Microwave Freezer and Dishwasher Safe: This food container is safe for dishwasher, microwave and freezer. And notice that remove the small cap from the lid before putting in the microwave to release...
- Various Sizes and Colors: Lunch boxes come in 4 different sizes and colors, meeting your various requirement. Small to X-large-350ml, 540ml, 800ml, 1200ml, suitable for all food storage of your...
Eating and drinking will only lead to one thing- a full nappy! So along with all the disposable of reusable nappies and wipes that you need for the journey, take one of these as well.
Travel changing mat
At Kid Transit we sell an awesome travel changing mat. It has a detachable, wipe-clean changing pad for on the go changing that can be used all the time. It also has a little pouch that easily fits enough nappies and wipes for a full day. The perfect size to fit into a backpack or to add to a changing bag.
- PROTECT YOUR BABY from germs at public changing facilities by using your easy wipe folding travel changing mat
- DIRT RESISTANT AND WATERPROOF - BPA & PVC free baby changing surface
- INCREDIBLY CONVENIENT - Compact and portable holds upto 6 spare nappies, baby wipes, creams, disposable nappy bags in a detachable bag
- EASY TO USE AND CLEAN - Quick wipe clean changing mat that you can unfold with one hand... while holding your baby in the other 🙂
You’ve probably already got yourselves a travel system and/ or pushchair and car seat of some sort. For travelling though the aim is to take things that are lightweight and easy to pack or store. So for any child under one (and even older children) the best idea for carrying them is a sling. If you still want a pushchair as well then we have a lightweight travel one that might fit the bill.
Sling or baby carrier
Slings or baby carriers are really the perfect way to carry your baby when travelling. You can have them close to you to give them comfort and you get to keep your hands free for all the extra things you need to carry. Even when on holiday a sling is still a good idea. On public transport, you can keep them safe on your lap and you don’t have to keep manoeuvring a stroller onto buses, trains or metros.
The best and most lightweight designs are the baby wrap style carriers. These are made of stretchy cotton material which you wrap around yourself and your baby to keep them secure. Once it’s been used for the day, the sling packs small- perfect for travel.
- A SECURE BOND created making baby happy and content close to your warm body where he/she can hear your heartbeat.
- FREE HANDS for everyday tasks around the home or out in the world. Also a great idea for walking your way back to your PRE-PREGNANCY FITNESS level without the need to find childcare! All this whilst...
- 2 SIZE OPTIONS and EASY TO USE versatile design with no straps or buckles - comfortable for both baby and you! Researched and manufactured to the perfect length. Can be used for different holds....
- EXCELLENT QUALITY in baby soft cotton blend. Cool and breathable in dove grey colour. Strong and sturdy for years of wear. Manufactured around baby wearing safety. Machine washable.
If you’d rather take a pushchair with you- maybe you plan on letting your baby nap while you enjoy the evening, or your visiting a hot country and want the option of your baby in a pushchair instead of being in a sling then we have a great lightweight option for you.
The Besrey Lightweight Stroller is suitable from birth with a full recline seat, has a one-handed fold and can fit in the overhead locker on the plane. Only weighing 5.6 kg, the pushchair is a good option if you want the flexibility of a buggy. The sun canopy covers well and it comes with a rain cover if the weather turns when you’re out and about.
- RECLINABLE BACKSEAT STROLLER: This Stroller comes with reclinable backseat to fit kids from 0 to 36 months. Save your time for finding mom room when shopping.
- COMPACT BUGGY: Compact capsule size in around 55*26*31cm (21.65*10.24*12.2inch)
- EASY ONE HAND FOLD: Press the big button in stroller top and fold it in 4 steps. Within seconds !
- NO BOTHER VIEW WINDOW: When kids are sleeping the sunlight outside could be very annoying. Because it will wake them up. With no bother view window, you can check them without fold the canopy to...
With a baby, entertainment is easy(ish)! Just take along some of their favourite (and small) toys that they like to play with and make sure you have loads of toy straps so they don’t get lost. Just loop the toy onto whatever is handy- car seat, buggy, sling etc. Always be careful that they can’t get wrapped around your baby’s neck.
- 🌻HIGH-QUALITY TOY STRAP: The toy pram strap is made of durable PP, safe for kids, not easy to break. You can wash the toy hanging strap by hand or machine. No longer lost toys or fall to the...
- 🌻ATTRACT BABIES: These pram toy strap include 8 pcs toy harness strap of various color or patterns, such as triangle, plus, rhombus, heart, star, sunflower, car. So cute and pretty toy hanging...
- 🌻EASY TO ADJUST: The toys strap has three buttons to adjust length you want, easy to attach and detach. PP material is soft for your child's skin. Size: About 24 inch(60cm). Toy pram strap for...
- 🌻VERSATILE USAGE: Baby toy clip are perfectly hold toys, dummy, teething rings close to your baby to keep it clean and germ-free. Baby toy clip can be used for strollers, car seats and cot....
First Aid and Medicines
Make sure you have any medicines needed for your baby, including a supply of baby paracetamol or ibuprofen depending on their age. Always check the airline requirements of how to carry medicines if you’re flying.
If you have lots of travel documents for your holiday then get yourself a travel wallet to fit them all in. With different pockets for tickets, papers and passports you can keep it all safe and handy. Go for a brightly coloured one so you can easily see it in your bag when you check you still have it for the thousandth time…..
- 1.High Quality:Made of durable nylon fabric with moisture-proof design to protect your valuables from rain, splashes and unexpected spills.Interior offers secure storage space and prevents scratches,...
- 2.Product Dimensions:23*13*2.5cm(L*W*H), Just the size for a wallet you can simply hold it on hand or put it in bag,suitable for travel organizer.
- 3.Great Travel Organiser:Inside 8 passport pouch,5 card slots,2 ticket compartment,a large pocket for cash and a small pocket for coins,1 pen holder.OUTSIDE: a pocket on the front for phone or any...
- 4.RFID Protection:With Radio-frequency identification (RFID) protection help protecting Your Privacy information against unauthorized scans in the board check.
The type of bag or suitcase you take is entirely up to you and your travel needs. The easiest way to travel light with a baby is to have a backpack style bag that stands unaided. This means you always have hands free to do other things. A backpack is also perfect for multiple destination travel with lots of public transport in between. Another good buy are packing cubes.
Go for a bag you can carry easily, that has multiple pockets and can sit unaided. It’s a good idea to try some out for size in a nearby camping or outdoor shop and then find the best deal for your chosen bag online.
Osprey is a good brand to go for- they have loads of choice in backpacks from smaller carry-on size ones to larger full trek backpacks. The Farpoint 70 litre bag has loads of space, comfortable shoulder and hip straps (that handily can be hidden away) and a detachable daysack for when you get to your destination.
- Twin Front Mesh Pockets
- Internal Tablet Sleeves
- Removable Day Bag
- Hideable Harness & Zip Belt
Packing cubes really are a revelation if you haven’t used them before. Just by using a different cube for each person or even a different cube for a different destination if you’re doing a few stops on your holiday makes arriving and unpacking/ packing so much easier.
You could also use different cubes for different types of clothes, have one just for toiletries, even one for nappy changing items instead of a changing bag. Instead of having to unpack and repack every single thing, you can just get out the one bag you need.
- Double zipper pulls make opening/closing simple and fast
- Mesh top panel for easy identification of contents, and ventilation
- Soft mesh won't damage delicate fabrics
- Webbing handle for convenience when carried by itself
Travel Essentials – Toddler
When travelling with a toddler your essential requirements will be a bit different from travelling with a baby. Entertainment needs are greater (hello iPad) and you might need to negotiate the minefield of travel with a potty training child (argghh). Don’t worry, we have all the best products to buy to make it all so much easier.
You’re toddler might still be sleeping in their travel cot- take a look at the baby section or our full article on travel cots to find the best one for you. If they’ve moved into a big bed or have outgrown the travel cot then you will need either a ready bed or a bed guard when travelling to keep them safe overnight.
A ready-bed is a brilliant idea for a few nights away from home as it combines an inflatable mattress with a fun character sleeping bag style quilt. No need to take along extra bedding for your toddler and an incentive for them to get into bed if they have their favourite character to sleep with.
- 2 in 1 Paw Patrol airbed and sleeping bag from ReadyBed
- With pump and handy carry bag included, you'll go from bag to bed in minutes
- Cosy, machine washable cover means you can keep the air bed cover and sleeping bag snuggly, clean and fresh
- Ideal camping bed or for sleepovers, your Paw Patrol fans will feel at home wherever they go!
Your toddler might be happy to sleep in their own bed when you’re travelling. To keep them safe from rolling out, get a travel bed guard. This portable one from Safety 1st folds down for easy transport in your luggage. Just pop the feet under the bed mattress and get peace of mind through the night.
- Helps prevents toddlers from accidentally falling out of the bed
- Folds down compactly for storage and transport. Folded size: 71 (l) x 7 (w) x 42 (h) cm
- Fully assembled bedrail makes it very easy for parents to use. Assembled size: 101 (l) x 37 (w) x 42(h) cm
- Bedrail folds down making it easy for child to get into bed. Suitable for both standard and slatted beds
Eating and Drinking
Eating and drinking when travelling with a toddler can be somewhat difficult if they are past the age where they will sit in a high chair. We had a travel booster seat that really helped encourage them to stay sitting at the table for longer. Finding a leakproof and shatterproof drinking bottle is also a holy grail for all who travel.
Travel booster seat
A travel booster seat is really great for keeping your toddler safe and sat down during food times. It’s also extra handy when travelling as a lot of places might not have a highchair available. We had this one from Munchkin which straps firmly onto any type of dining chair and also has a handy pocket to fit in food and wipes.
- Stylish travel bag easily transforms into a booster seat
- Convenient and protective storage section for on-the-go essentials; durable and easy to clean materials
- Ultra portable with a strong and stable internal frame; Adjustable three point harness system to fit child approximately 12-36 months (15 kg max)
- Xtra-Grip traction pads provide a no-slip grip on chairs for increased stability