Travel hacks for traveling with grandkids. Packing tips for family vacations and what to pack when travelling with grandkids.

What to Bring on a Family Trip – Top 10 Packing Hacks for Grandparents

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This is a must-have top 10 packing hacks for grandparents! The grandkids are a little older and you have decided to take them on their first trip! The parents have sent over a garage full of stuff for you to bring, but is it all necessary?

Grandparents and grandchildren traveling together can be a blast if you are properly prepared.

This top 10 packing list for traveling with grandchildren on your family vacation will help you to stay organized and have what you need for your trip without sounding off the weight alarms at the check-in counter!

What to Bring While Travelling with a Toddler and Kids

Strollers – This is one of my favorite space-saving travel hacks. Strollers are a great tool for when littles get too tired to walk. Especially if you are going to an amusement park. But do not opt for the big fancy stroller. They take up a lot of space, they are bulky and HEAVY!

We love the umbrella stroller with a basket. Lightweight and easy to breakdown, they are a must-have whenever you are traveling with anyone who would still ask to be carried.

These light strollers are perfect if you are going on a long road trip with a toddler.

Backpacks – Every packing list has to have a backpack. A backpack is a great tool over a purse when you are traveling.

You can keep your wallet, money keys and phones secure and have room for snacks, toys or even a change of clothes in case there is an accident. In addition, the kids can bring their own backpack to keep their travel toy and snacks organized!

Traveling with Grandkids what to pack, top 10 hacks!

Travel Planning for a Family Vacation with Grandkids – Supplies You Need

If you are traveling with your grandkids of any age, but especially young children, you will want to pay close attention to this advice.

Zip Lock Bags – Speaking of accidents, it is great to have these just in case or you need to store a wet bathing suit. I also bring smaller ones for leftover food from a restaurant that we can keep for a snack later. The best part is they do not take up a lot of real estate in your backpack!

Diapers and Supplies – Most parents will, with good intentions send over a whole weeks worth. But you really can not realistically fit all of that into your car or luggage. It is much better to buy them on the road or after you arrive.

If you are traveling by car just bring one pack and buy them as you need. If you are flying then bring 1-2 days worth. Another great packing hack is to order them on Amazon and have them shipped to your hotel!

Layering clothes – When you are traveling to a colder or warmer climate, weather-related clothes can take up a ton of room. So we suggest layering clothes.

Some people travel for a week with just a carry-on by layering to get on the plane. Bring clothes that mix and match and can be layered easily for cooler weather.

Bathing Suits – I always recommend they bring two. We are into everything with water, beach, pool, or lake. If there is water we are in it! I like to have a dry suit on occasions and they do not take up any room in your suitcase.

If you are in the pool at your resort the night before and then drive to a waterfall that you can swim the next morning, I would prefer to drive to the waterfall in a dry suit!

Snacks – I made the worst mistake the other day when flying to NY. I did not bring any healthy snacks and my flight was delayed for several hours.

Whether you are flying or driving just bring one day’s worth of kid friendly snacks. You can buy more at a grocery store when you arrive.

You will be grateful you brought snacks on a long road trip with a toddler or kids.

Hair – For longer trips, you can buy supplies when you get there, otherwise we bring mini bottles and leave the soap at home. Also, most hotels provide hair dryers. I leave that at home now, too.

If you are traveling with teen girls this can be tricky but I would try to accommodate everyone by using one person’s straightener or curling iron and leave the rest at home!

How Do You Entertain Children While Travelling?

Travel Toys – New toys are exciting for kids. Packing a new toy or two is a reliable trick that travel-savvy families use to make long travel days easier. Magnetic PlayBooks are all the rage in mom circles.

Electronics – If they have them you may want to let them bring it. I am of the camp that I got to just look out the window on vacation and have my thoughts.

Personally, I want my grandkids to unplug when they are with me. So we have a hard rule. No phones or electronics when we eat or when we are on an activity, period.

They are not even allowed in their pocket when we are at the table. With that being said, it is just a part of their culture. You can have them with rules and boundaries. Set up the rules early and stick to them if you are like me.

Related Article: 5 Bucket List Travel SpotsWith Your Grandkids!

We would love to see your packing hacks in the comments!

Traveling with Grandkids what to pack, top 10 hacks!

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What to Bring on a Family Trip – Top 10 Packing Hacks for Grandparents

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92 responses to “What to Bring on a Family Trip – Top 10 Packing Hacks for Grandparents”

  1. Annette Durbin Avatar

    Such great tips!!! No grandchildren yet, but I’ll be ready!

  2. T.M. Brown Avatar

    Great list!! We have been traveling with our boys since they were little and finding ways to entertain them during longer road trips has been fun. We’ve been lucky and they enjoy the ride. Of course, you mentioned ziploc bags……DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM! LOL. They come in very handy for many reasons.

  3. Jordin Avatar

    Excellent suggestions! I do not have children of my own but I teach 2nd grade. I second your suggestion of ziplock baggies. You can use those for anyone and anything!

  4. jen Avatar

    Such a smart thing to have a list! Just like a Grandma! 🙂 Well done!

  5. Clara Avatar

    I like the no electronics rule. It’s so necessary

  6. Taci -life Beyond zebra Avatar
    Taci -life Beyond zebra

    Great tips for anyone! Not just the grandparents. Love the one about shipping diapers to your destination!

  7. Leeanne Avatar

    I’m also a big fan of ziplock bags. This the easiest thing to use when traveling.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Traveling or in life!

  8. Missy Avatar

    Great tips. It is crazy all the ways to entertain.

  9. Heather Avatar

    These are great tips. Ziploc bags are a must, even now with my kids at age 13 and 17. Boys can get smelly. LOL!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      They sure can Heather! Thank you!

  10. Sarah Avatar

    Love the “have Amazon order shipped to hotel” hack! Perfect!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I love it too! Just make sure to let the hotel know!

  11. kmf Avatar

    Great tips…I don’t have grandchildren (yet), but do have young nieces that travel with us sometimes…this list will come in handy.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome! Glad I could help!

  12. Liz Avatar

    Ziploc bags are such a great idea to bring. I always make sure to bring one when I might get rained on or I go to the beach, specifically to protect my cell phone! Keeps the sand out, and you can mostly still use it through the bag.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      That is a great idea! I did not even think of that one!

  13. Lori Nielsen Avatar

    Great items! I can’t imaging going anywhere without them! The electronics are a lifesaver for the car, although I don’t like them during the activity either.

  14. Stacey Avatar

    We have a nine-year-old, and with the exception of the diapers and strollers, my list hasn’t changed too much! This is the first year I didn’t take in a change of clothes to the theme park! I’m definitely still carting around a backpack for the whole family.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      That extra change of clothes is a life saver!

  15. Julie Avatar

    Even though I have teens, some of these still apply. Great tips!

  16. Susan Carey Avatar

    This is great! I have a new baby grandson to try these hacks out on!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome Susan! Congrats!

  17. Arianny Rodriguez Avatar

    I’m a huge fan of ziplock bags, I always bring extras!

  18. Lisa Manderino Avatar

    Great tips! I always had to bring change of outfits too for little ones!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      An accident is guaranteed if you do not! Lol

  19. Jennifer | Me and My Traveling Hat Avatar

    These are great tips. I agree with your hard rule no electronics for meals and activities.
    Thank you for sharing!

  20. Briana Avatar

    Such a great post!! I would send my poor parents a ton of unnecessary stuff too ha! Love the lightweight stroller!

  21. Cindy Avatar

    Good suggestions! I love taking my grandkids on trips. They are old enough now to be super travelers but I used to get creative to keep them entertained. New toys are a fun surprise!

  22. Karla Avatar

    I like the idea of getting what you need upon arrival (the diapers) instead of packing it. Thanks for these tips!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thank you Karla! Glad they were helpful!

  23. Tonya | the Writer Mom Avatar

    Great ideas, especially the boundaries you have set for using electronics!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Yes, more parents need to in my opinion. It saddens me to see families eating out and everyone is looking down.

  24. Meagan Avatar

    Great tips! Traveling with kids can be quite an experience!

  25. Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef Avatar
    Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

    Traveling can certainly be challenging with little ones. Super tips for us grandparents, ziplock bags and snacks are always a must! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  26. Melissa Jones Avatar

    Great information! I love to travel and am always looking for new tips and tricks!

  27. Karie Avatar

    Yes to ziploc bags! I can’t count how many times those have been handy in every traveling circumstances.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I love having them too! Thanks Karie!

  28. Amber Avatar

    Wonderful tips!

  29. Paloma Cotton Avatar
    Paloma Cotton

    This was awesome thank you! Will share with my daughter’s grandparents 😀

  30. jen Avatar

    Really nice list! I always forget zip locks and they are always so useful! If not for wet clothes, for collecting shells and rocks 🙂 I will remember next time!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I always leave one in the bag when I unpack then I remember to get more when I see it next time!

  31. Jane Avatar

    Great tips Tricia! You can never go wrong with backpack as it’s handy and it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a bag. Your chance of losing it is slim. Also, I like the no gadget rule (although it’s hard to reinforce it these days – with so much influence on social media).

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Yes, if I banned them completely then no one would want to go. Limiting keeps us all happy!

  32. Leigh Ann Newman Avatar

    Traveling with kids can be tricky but these are great tips. I love being able to leave things like my hair dryer home too!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Total room sucker in the bag! Good for you!

  33. Jelane Avatar

    Great tips! I love the magnetic play boards. They are great for keeping little ones busy.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I love them too. Anything is better than an IPAD!

  34. Haley Kelley Avatar

    This is a great post! Everyone who loves to travel should definitely read this!

  35. Laura Avatar

    Snacks are a must! Love magnetic books too.

  36. Suzan Avatar

    Nice tips! I have shared with a few girlfriends who now have grandkids 🙂

  37. angela Avatar

    Traveling with kids (family) are really the best memories. I think people get exhausted just thinking of it all and the details – your list is a great help.

  38. Stephanie Dee Avatar

    We’re taking a 9 month old on a 6 hour plane trip to Hawaii next month. These tips are invaluable. Thanks for the heads up on a few things.

  39. Kymberly Irwin Avatar

    Awesome list – and – advice!!! I’ll try them on my grandchildren when I have them! 🙂

  40. Robin Avatar

    These are great ideas! I will def be using them while travelling with grandkids (in the farrrr future!)

  41. Holly Bird Avatar

    Great tips! I appreciate this advice, being a grandparent sometime you forget how hard it can be to travel with a young child!!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Oh yes. It is not easy going back! lol

  42. Laura Lee Avatar

    I agree with the no electronics rule! My daughter and her husband have been so good about not allowing their children to have electronics, period. Their 3 and 4 and don’t have tablets, etc. like so many kids their ages. They’re great at imaginative play and love to read. We just got back from visiting them at midnight last night. 🙂

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It really is important to build those independent skills and imagination those first years!

  43. Cynthia Mackintosh Avatar

    I have a while before becoming a grandparent, but these are all great tips!

  44. Jennifer L Markell Avatar

    Wow! That’s a lot of great ideas!

  45. Joanne Avatar

    Great tips…even for the parents 😆

  46. Jennifer Avatar

    Great tips! Passing this on to my children’s grandparents 😁

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome! Thanks, Jennifer!

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