Travel with young grandchildren is not without its challenges, but you can make it more pleasant for yourself and your grandchildren if you do some preparation beforehand.
Check off lists work great for me. That way if my brain is cluttered with too many “to do’s”, I can just go down the list and feel fairly confident that I have what I need! So I created a form that works for me and I’m hoping it will be helpful to you. Keeping in mind that these are suggestions and you might feel that your grandchildren’s needs vary. I left some empty lines so you can add your own items and ideas!
Categories I included on the form:
- Clothes – plan ahead by bringing extra clothes for the unexpected and little emergencies.
- Bath Time – when travel includes a motel room stay, I include a bath mat when packing. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel better if they have a bath mat for sitting on in motel room tubs.
- Toileting Items:
- we carry a tub in our vehicle that has a small potty, toilet paper, water for rinsing potty, Clorox wipes to give it a quick cleaning and hand cleaning wipes. The tub is easy to move from vehicle to vehicle or just remove from the car when you don’t have room for it. You’ll be glad you have this when it’s an emergency and the nearest bathroom is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy!
- I also purchase toilet seat covers at Toys-R-Us and stick a few in my purse for when that little potty isn’t handy.
- a permission slip from parents to obtain medical treatment for your grandchild if needed.
- insurance information
- first aid kit
- any other medical needs your grandchild has, such as medications.
- Things to Entertain – I keep a small tub with grab-n-go packs, crayons, small sticker and coloring books. The grab-n-go packs can be purchased in stores like K-Mart and Wal-Mart. Little Dover activity books are small, making them great for travel. I have purchased some of these at Five Below and Cracker Barrel. They also can be purchased from Amazon.
- DVD players are fantastic for travel! What did we ever do without them? Many vehicles come with them now, but if you’re like us and your vehicle isn’t one of those, it is well worth the money to purchase a set of the portable ones. Ours contains two screens and they each hang over the headrest in the vehicle.
- Ipads, smart phones or other devices the kids can play games on can be a life saver too.
- musical CDs for the little ones!
- keep a journal of your travels with your grandchildren.
- camera – if you’re crafty, putting together a photo album for your grandchildren after the trip can keep the memories fresh.
- bring along whatever it is that your grandchild sleeps with every night at home (special blanket, stuffed animal, pillow)
- play games in the car such as “I Spy”. This is also a great one for waiting in lines, etc.
- Table Toppers are plastic stick on placemats; it seems that little ones always decide to lay a chicken nugget or French fry or whatever they’re eating on the table! Some restaurants have these, but most don’t, so I just travel with my own.
- we recently stayed in a motel room with our grandchildren and realized that a small folding step stool would have come in very handy for brushing teeth and washing hands. Also, a small nightlight doesn’t take up much room in your luggage and is very useful.
- we keep small blankets in our vehicle for each grandchild.
- a stroller will provide a welcome break if your destination requires very much walking.
- also, if your grandchild is very young, a pack’n play is definitely a necessity! We have a small one that folds up easily.
- drinking water in a small thermos or sippy cup is a must!
- we do our best to choose healthy snacks such as carrots, crackers, Belvita bars, raisins, fruit (keep in mind that grapes are the number 1 food that kids choke on! I don’t give them to my grandchildren without cutting them in half first.) We like Annie’s brand of organic crackers and other snacks.
Click on the link below and the checklist will open so that you can print it for your use. Our hope is that you find it to be useful in your travel preparation!
If you have other ideas, please let us know, we would love to hear from you! Enjoy and good luck in your travels!
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