Traveling over the holidays is no easy feat. Going someplace with kids in tow? You are a brave soul, indeed!
It’s winter, for one. Hello delays, bad weather, cancellations, long lines and terrible driving conditions. Also, ya, we all know, it’s the busiest time of year. But… you don’t need me to tell you any of that…
To help you conquer your holiday travel plans and execute well on all things big and small – it’s time to plan ahead. Below you’ll find my 10 must-haves for winter travel:
A Secure, Padded Car Seat Bag
I am a big fan of NOT bringing a car seat on a flight for a child over a year old – but that is just me and to each their own! We use an FAA safety harness on the flight (there are knock offs for cheaper – only get the one approved by the FAA) and use a Car Seat Bag for Checked Luggage for your actual car seat (did you know car seats check for free?).
This particular car seat bag we use is padded for extra protection to your seat and has backpack straps which is like, the key to everything. We have two car seats and legit both have to strap them on through the airport to and from picking up and dropping off all our crap. One of us had to push one of the handcarts and the other one pushes the stroller. We have a lot of stuff, even when we travel “light.” Apparently kids need stuff. Ugh.
Traveling in winter means gross shoes – it just does. Salt, dirt, wetness. We use shoe bags to keep our shoes contained within their grossness and all our other goodies well protected. We use packing cubes for everything else because – well – we are awake now. What the hell did we do before? I’m not sure.
A Good Suitcase
If you travel a lot, a good suitcase is worth it. One that rolls in any direction is my absolute favorite, but a brand that is that a good reputation is also key. I really prefer a water resistance, rolling suitcase in a bright color for holiday travel. If it doesn’t make sense in the description: winter = wet, snow, rain and slush. Having a waterproof bag (like a hardshell) is awesome. There are a billion people traveling – having a bright suitcase helps a lot in finding and keeping track of your stuff.
If your kid is old enough to start handling his own travel stuff – check on these awesome sit on or this super cute iPlay plane ensemble. Our toddler does love having his own backpack (the *pride!*) and Amazon has a million options, like these adorable animal ones.
Some Portable Power
Holiday travel means waiting. Delays and cancellations, blah blah blah.
Long hours at the airport, rental cars or waiting for some random place like a bus terminal all means battery drain in this day and age! If your savvy, you’ll plan ahead and have a reliable Portable Charger Hub like myCharge and a secondary retractable USB cable handy at all times. If you are super on it, you might even want an external battery pack for all things laptop and phone.
If you travel with a lot of electronic gear, consider a good Cable organizer.
Warm Gear for the Kiddos
…Like bunting and car seat covers. Even getting in and out of the airport, waiting for an Uber or grandpa curbside can be a painful and cold. So can getting to and from a rental car agency. It really doesn’t matter – traveling is not easy, especially with kids. Keeping them safe, warm and happy to the best of your ability will go along way.
For more on this all visit: How to Survive Holiday Travel with Kids.
Don’t forget those headphones for the kids! I have almost walked out of the house a time or two without these – and honestly- I don’t know what I’d do. My earpods don’t work well for the kids and buying headphones at the airport is a rip off.
If you are letting your little ones watch or play with an ipad for a long trip- make sure it has a good cover (good = bumper) so you don’t end up with a broken screen! The worst.
Easy to Grab Bags
Like… ReZip Bags for the million snacks you need on hand for those hungry kids and clear liquids bags for the airport security so you don’t have to spend any extra effort packing and unpacking your toilettes and make-up.
We also whip out our handy dandy stroller bag at the jet bridge to protect our stroller getting carried off and on the plane through rain/snow/sleet.
Going in the car versus a flight?
Car Emergency Gear is critical! Like thermal blankets, flares, flashlights, and ya know, a Lusso Gear Kids Travel Tray. Check out my post here on packing for a road trip, and my post here about must-haves in the car with kids!