Traveling has become something we have done a lot this year-9 flights this year as a family (we have LOVED every second of it) I feel that through my experience with myself and now my kids I am a little more seasoned than I used to be. I’ve learned a lot about the things you actually need and things that never get used. I’ve seen several blog posts about taking everything but the kitchen sink and its just not necessary. So when traveling, what are some things that you will want and use? Now this can be different for every single person as your needs may be different than mine. Here are the things that I love to use to travel with. Not necessarily my kids, stay tuned for another blog post coming soon for them!
Lets talk about what to wear first!
1. I have found my favorite travel pants, they are so comfortable, the material is smooth , and they don’t wrinkle while you sit in a car or airplane all day. They are these Jetsetter pants from Albion. They come in several colors and I may be a little embarrassed to say I have 7 pairs of them….Yep SEVEN! All worth the money too! Now, you don’t need 7 pairs but I will suggest you buy one pair. If this is an item you don’t already have, I would go with a standard black pair. They go with everything, you can wear a sweater or a t-shirt and they all look cute! They are also cute with sneakers or a fun sandal. I’ve worn them every single way and they are THE BEST!
2. Another thing I think is important, depending on what time of year you’re traveling and the weather but I love a good jacket thats easy to take on and off. Sometimes I go back and forth on being hot and cold in a matter of minutes when traveling. Also make sure its not too bulky, you may want to be able to tie it around your waist when not wearing it. I chose to wear this super cute Patagonia one this time but I would usually go for a zippered one.
3. The next thing I will say you need when traveling is a great backpack, you may like a lot of pockets or just a few. The one I have is not available anymore from LuluLemon but I found a great backpack from Target that I have my eye on, a backpack doesn’t need to break the bank. I have expensive ones and I have cheap ones and guesss what? I love them all the same. I do like the pockets when traveling because everything can have it’s own spot, but it’s not a necessity. I used to think people only wore backpacks that had kids but they’ve become so stylish that they are more of an accessory than functional sometimes. LOL! In this case with traveling, I think a backpack is a must more than a purse-hello hands free! We bought our suitcases on a closeout but these suitcases are very similar and we have loved the durability. With how much we’ve traveled I’ve been very impressed with them.
4. Speaking of purse, you need something to carry all those items you need handy right? Well I decided on this last trip that I wanted to take both a backpack AND a fanny pack. People think of fanny packs and have this awful image in their mind from the 80’s but now they are so cute and stylish and they are so fun to wear. I’ve used them on dates, football games and just running to the store. If your heading somewhere like Disneyland or an amusement park a fanny pack is a necessity! I found this one I love from LuluLemon and it has hidden pockets that can keep things safe (like money!).
5. Also a tip for flying: I would wear shoes with socks. My feet always get cold and while I’m sitting in my seat, I usually slip off my shoes and feel very comfortable after I’m all settled in. I love these Vans I’ve been wearing and on my last flight they were just perfect! Slip on and off and it made everything easier, especially with going through security!
What should I put in my carry-on?
Now that we know what to wear, what are things you may actually need when traveling? Some of the most important things I bring on my carryon are:
- Charging cord
- Charging brick
- Wipes (wipe down that tray table)
- An EMPTY water bottle
- Hand sanitizer
- Chapstick or lip gloss
- Chewing gum
- Hair tie
- iPad, laptop
- Any medications you may need and possibly some motion sickness medicine.
- I have a bag that goes inside my carry-on has all sorts of medicines that we may need…I have a theory: if you have it, you won’t need it! Tums, Visine, Dramamine (for kids and adults), kids Tylenol and ibuprofen, Bandaids, moleskin, tissues, anti chafe balm, Tide to-go pen, flushable wipes, hand cream, hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial ointment, and Pepto for kids and adults, etc.
In my fanny pack I have:
- My ID
- Credit card
- Ibuprofen (travel size)
- Mini hand sanitizer
- Hair tie
These are just things that you want accessible immediately. My phone always has my boarding pass, if you need your paper one stick that in your fanny pack, too!
These are all ideas of things to bring if you are checking a bag, if your using your carryon for your actual suitcase this would look very different. I always check my bag so its one less thing I have to worry about while waiting to board the plane. Plus kids and carryons and personal items becomes way too much.
Depending on how long your traveling you may need to bring something to freshen up if you’re on a connecting flight. I’ve done long flights where I have packed an extra outfit for a child of mine but unless you’re traveling for a while you may not want to do that. If you have littles and you think they may fall asleep and have an accident I would bring a Pull-Up or spare pair of undies and pants. We had this problem while traveling to Florida. Hazyl fell asleep and had an accident. Thankfully our flight was long enough that I was able to wash them out and let them dry before we got off the flight but that isn’t always the case. I’ve learned the hard way that airport doesn’t sell many kids clothes, especially not underwear! LOL!!
Entertainment: If you use Netflix, YouTube TV, or any of those amazing apps…Remember you can download things to your devices so you won’t need the internet to watch them. Utilize that! Sometimes the airplanes don’t have great movies or don’t have TV’s at all. I also like to download a book to the Kindle app or listen to an audiobook.
Finally sitting in your seat, ready for takeoff.
First things first when I sit in my seat on an airplane, I get out my wipes and wipe down the tray table. I’ve had several flight attendants message me and tell me that is one thing that never gets cleaned and they are SO gross. I wipe every single one down. I also get situated with my devices and head phones right away so that I’m not fumbling during the flight. I always bring a few extra snacks because sometimes what they serve just isn’t enough. Especially with kids, always pack more food than you think you’ll need. Chewing gum is good if your ears struggle to pop while getting up into the higher altitudes.
One rule to remember: NEVER put anything in the seat pocket. We learned from experience on this one. My youngest son left his Kindle on our flight to Puerto Rico earlier this year! I contacted JetBlue and they never found it. The was unfortunate, we’ve now talked with our kids about not moving into the seat, we are simply just staying there for a short while.
Slip off your shoes and enjoy the flight.
These are just my few tips on what to wear and what to keep with you while traveling. We’ve learned you don’t always have to be prepared for everything. Most places you go, you can find something you need.