10 Not-So-Obvious Items I Pack for Every Trip

best things to pack for traveling with kids

I love packing. I’d actually consider packing a hobby of mine, as strange as that sounds. I see it as a styling job-a “10 day capsule wardrobe” and a fun challenge to narrow down our genuine essentials for a certain time period. While there are obvious things that always make it into the suitcase, here are the 10 not-so-obvious items that I’ll never leave behind. 

1. Garlic Oil. Flights can do some weird things to little ears so I love to be prepared just incase the late night “mommy, my ear hurts” starts. My kids aren’t big ear infection kids. They’ve each had one bad ear ache in their little lifetime but garlic oil has always done the trick. When Keogena had RSV at 3 months old, our amazing doctor also informed us that sweet girl had a double ear infection. She sent us home with this oil and told us to put in four drops per ear on a schedule and BAM. Ear infection gone. We’ve stuck with that oil ever since!

2. Sleep cap. You guys know I love my silk cap. I don’t know why I’m so set on the word “cap” for it, but here we are. I’ve raved about it many times before but I shout my love for it from the rooftops even more than usual while traveling. I don’t ever have room in my suitcase for all the hair products I want to pack. I keep it simple and only bring my straightener which means unless I have an intense frizz situation, I do my hair once and don’t touch it up after that. This cap allows me to twist my hair into a little bun at the nape of my neck, slip it on, sleep and wake up with better looking hair than when I went to sleep. It doesn’t budge, it’s not too tight, it’s just the best.

3. Diffuser. I run the diffuser in the kids room every night while traveling. First and foremost, in an unusual new place the diffuser always makes it feel a bit like home. The oil I diffuse each night depends on the day but I tend to diffuse either Thieves/On Guard to help their little immune systems after a flight, Breathe if the sniffles or allergies are starting and Peace & Calming/Serenity. I use Doterra diffusers personally but if you don’t have an account, these ones are stunning and have great reviews.

4. My Clean Snacks. This one seems a bit obvious but I used to just pack a granola bar or two for the travel day itself and planned on grocery shopping when we arrived. Since switching to a plant based, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free (this is the point where all the jokesters usually say “fun-free,” “joy-free…) diet, I can’t play that game. I am prepared, friends. I bake something I can eat as a treat so I don’t feel miserable when I can’t have something a friend is eating, I pack black RX bars to never be caught without a snack and all my tried and true safe foods line the suitcase. Food is just something I can’t risk, ya know?

5. My Medicine Bag. I have a little travel pouch that never gets unpacked and it is the first thing I toss in the carry-on every time. The pouch holds a thermometer, a Nose-Frieda, Neosporin, a few band-aids, a mini nail clipper and a few essential oil rollers for the kids. It’s that thing that always makes me feel better even though most trips we go without touching it once. No one wants to be doing that frantic CVS run for something you have at home and definitely don’t need two of.

6. Probiotics for all of us. This one is obvious. Traveling puts immune systems to the test and we all take a probiotic first thing in the morning every day whether we’re home or away. I take this one, I love this sugar and dye free one for the kids and O is loyal to this one.

7. Stickers. More stickers than you think and then a few more.

8. Ginger and Peppermint tea. We stay in Airbnbs often. That first night tends to be a bit wonky for me and accepting I’m sleeping in someone else’s bed and eating off someone else’s dishes takes me a while to get over. Being able to wake up in the morning, boil some water and make a tea does something for my soul. I’m soothed, my stomach is settled and I’m ready to face the day and whatever this-isn’t-your-house weirdness it brings.

9. Individual packets of coconut oil. I use coconut oil to take off my eye makeup so having these little packets make that situation much less messy.

10. 8 Greens. I first purchased 8 Greens in February after reading such great reviews about the company and product. It’s a tablet made from greens including blue green algae, spirulina, kale, wheat grass, chlorella, barley grass, aloe greens and spinach that you dissolve into water and drink. It truly tastes delicious, but even if it tasted like a shoe I’d drink it every day because it’s so high in vitamins and minerals, it alkalizes and balances the PH levels in our body, decreases inflammation and does many other large word things that I need for my body to thrive. Getting all our greens in isn’t as predictable as it tends to be at home so these tablets always make the trip.

What things can you just never leave behind? What items have made traveling for yourself of your littles better? I can’t wait to hear your list!

If you have the travel bug, here are my 10 tips for traveling with littles, my packing essentials and the makeup + skincare I never travel without (although that has changed lately!)

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