School holidays are here, meaning family vacations and long trips are likely to be in your upcoming plans. These packing hacks will make your trip a more fun and less weepy experience for everyone.

Every mum knows that children (especially babies) come with stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. For mothers, the term ‘bare essentials’ has a whole different meaning. Packing light, whether for a quick trip to the grocery store or an afternoon at the playground, is a concept that quickly flies out of your vocabulary.

On the best of days, it is hard to manoeuvre baby gear and all of baby’s essentials with an excited child (or more!) in tow. Doing so in a busy airport, bus or train terminal as you make your way to your destination can leave you stressed out and frustrated. A far cry from the rest and relaxation that is the whole point of a vacation.

Long distance travel can be hard on both small children and the parents travelling with them. Being in the same space for hours is not something toddlers excel at, especially when they are excited. Add to this the tiring nature of long-distance travel, the disruption of routine changes, mummy’s frayed nerves at it all and you’ve got a recipe for the perfect storm.

Maybe you’re taking an international flight, going on a long train journey or driving for hours to get to your holiday destination. Either way, travelling with small children does not always have to be a dreaded affair. These packing hacks will ensure that you (and your tots) arrive at your travel destination happier and less frazzled.

1. Make A List Of Everything You Need At Least 10 Days Before The Trip

This might seem like a no-brainer, but its amazing the small items that can escape your mind when you’re up to your neck in finalizing travel plans. The last thing you want is to discover (miles away in another country) that your child’s comfort toy or pacifier did not make the trip. 

2. Keep All Essentials Within Easy Reach

Diaper blow-outs and travel sickness happen. Kids get peckish. To avoid panic, make sure your diaper bag has all the essentials and is within easy reach. Double-check to make sure you’ve got snacks, all your diaper and toileting things, wipes and a change of clothes for both you and baby.

3. Keep A Good Number Of Varied Activities Within Easy Reach

Keeping an active toddler happily occupied can be difficult, even in his regular home environment, surrounded by all his toys. A bored child confined in an airplane cabin or a car seat for long hours will get irritable and bring on the tears in no time at all.

Aside from tablets and a variety of toys, you could also print images of your child’s favourite character for your child to do some colouring. Don’t forget to pack the crayons!

4. Load Up On The Snacks

Every mum who has travelled with a small child knows that you can never, ever allow yourself to run out of snacks. A hungry toddler is a very angry toddler. Keep a varied supply of healthy snacks handy for your child to nibble on. Avoiding the hungry or low-sugar outbursts will make a pleasant journey for everyone.


Our children are delightful bundles of joy, laughter and all things fun: we adore the living daylights out of them. If you pack right, sharing memorable experiences and creating beautiful memories with our babies on a family holiday does not always have to be a panic-inducing experience.

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