We just got back from a wonderful summer mountain vacation to Devil’s Thumb Ranch. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Colorado and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a mountain vacation.
It is a couple of hours drive to get there which isn’t super long, but I have learned that car rides and plane rides with kids go A LOT smoother when I pack well. In this post find a free printable family packing list and ideas of what to pack.
Here are some helpful travel essentials for kids we bring for vacations whether by car or plane.
I used to pack crayons and coloring books, but the crayons always end up being dropped which caused major meltdowns. So when looking for alternatives, I found these great Doodle Boards. I like that they have a tie to keep the drawing pen attached to the board. And while I have NOTHING against screen time in the car for long drives. But I like to start the vacation without it. I give my girls these doodle drawing boards in the beginning. I tell them no screentime until we reach a certain pit stop in our journey. I save the drawing boards just for vacations so that they feel special and “new”.
Another option for keeping kids entertained without screens is these stickers by number books. My 5-year-old loves them. And I love that it helps with number recognition.
When you are ready for screentime, don’t forget a kid-friendly case if using an iPad. Protect those iPads from inevitable drops. We always download a few show options for them before we leave and let them choose what they want to watch. Also, don’t forget to pack Kids’ Headphones. I love these because they limit the volume and come in a variety of colors.
Obvious, but don’t forget their water bottles. This is our tried and true. Each girl has a different color so they don’t get mixed up.
I keep this wet bag in my diaper bag for unexpected soiled clothing and wet bathing suits when we are at the pool.
If traveling by car this car backseat organizer is handy for keeping all the things off the floors.
And so you don’t forget all the things you want to pack, I made a free printable family packing list. I prefer to write mine out by family member rather than by category (toiletries, clothes). For example, I would write “Josephine” at the top of one of the sections and write down things like diapers, wipes, and bedtime books. But I left it blank so you can use it however you would like.
And my favorite part is a printable pre-vacation to-do list. I always have 100 random things I need to do before I go on vacation and it is so nice to have a place to brain dump them all. I broke them up into four sections:
Here is a link to download the printable vacation packing list. I hope you found this post about travel essentials for kids helpful! Feel free to share or pin it!
p.s. If you liked this post, you might also enjoy this one about a summer screentime checklist.