Girls’ Goodybags for Travel

We are about to embark on our biggest family adventure to date taking two toddlers and a preschooler on a 4-hr nonstop flight from Austin to Seattle to spend 7 days of fun with family. Then we will take a flight down to San Francisco & spend 3 days with our favorite MC, before flying home with a short layover in Arizona! Several people have expressed interest (concern?) with regard to what we plan to do with the girls to keep ’em out of trouble. I just finished packing each of them a child-sized backpack for travel and thought you might like to see what we settled on. I wanted to balance between things that they enjoy playing with but that we wouldn’t be sad to leave behind (or that wouldn’t be expensive to replace). Overall, I chose items that are good for quiet play, require few pieces, have multiple uses, and most importantly – things I already had on hand. I am actually really looking forward to getting some of these treasures out of their goodybags. Many have been neglected for lack of effort on my part to actually make the time to sit down for awhile and practice the skills required. I’m thinking a 4-hr nonstop flight is the perfect opportunity for us to spend some quality time where I can give the girls my undivided attention!

For what it’s worth, here is what each backpack contains:

Violet (20 months)

Additionally, Violet will have her special blanket, girafa, & a full supply of pacifiers! I am still debating about letting her take a baby doll as well . . . guess I’ll see how much room is left in my carry-on.

Molly (33 months)

Molly will also be able to choose her favorite doll or stuffed friend and a small blanket (she loves the ladybug one made my Violet’s godmother when Olivia was born).

Olivia (4.5 yrs)

Livy will also be choosing her favorite doll or stuffed friend and a camping pillow with a small blanket.

As a backup, Daddy will have a portable DVD player and a few new movies in his carry-on (Pinnochio, The Princess & the Frog, and Fox & Hound). We’re also packing our two Gertie balls for some inflatable instant fun. And we plan to take along some of the girls’ favorite music, probably on an mp3 player. They use a CD player in their room.

Here is the rest of the list I considered, but either didn’t fit in their tiny bags or we didn’t have it on hand. We will probably use these ideas for the next 14-hr car trip to NE (just 3 weeks after we return from WA/CA)! The key for packing for those trips is that they have to be able to do it all themselves. Another reason I’m looking forward to the plane ride where we’ll be able to sit together and work on the items that require a partner.

Well there you have it – my best list of toys, books & activities to keep a toddler or preschooler occupied while traveling! The best thing is that for this trip, we only had to purchase the coloring pages, magazine & re-usable sicker books – everything else was already here at home (but thankfully, most of it was ‘out of rotation’ so it will be like new)! 🙂

In my research, these were the best websites on the topic of traveling with babies, toddlers & preschoolers:

Best Child Toys

Delicious Baby

Good Little Traveler

Moms Minivan

6 thoughts on “Girls’ Goodybags for Travel

  1. You are such a creative and fun mom–I think your girls will have a great experience and so will Morgan! I’m excited for you all!

  2. Sounds great! Me and mine (27 -mo-old girl and 12-mo-old boy) will be travelling soon, and I’ll have to keep all these great ideas in mind! 😉

  3. That sure reminds me of when we took the train to Ca. and the kids were 6mo., 2,3,4, and 5. They each had a little bag too. Actually, the 6 mo.(Teri) was easiest as she had a basket to sleep and play in. The rest needed more thot. They were told not to play in the aisles and never take any food or candy from anyone. They really minded us and one came to me withd a piece of candy to see if she could eat it. Of course the nice lady was sitting a few feet away. Embarrasing, but she praised us for our solicitude. Having an observation car helped as there was lots to see.
    You did good, Jenny!

    • What an adventure that must’ve been!! How long were you on the train? For days, I imagine. Our flight from Austin to Seattle was only 4 hrs and then the rest were less than 2 hrs each. Was it a sleeper car?

      The girls really did well traveling and we had a great trip. It was so fun to be with Nathan & family and then a real treat to see Sr. again. As I unpack, I am already making preparations for the next big trip – see you soon!!

  4. We were on the train 2 days and 2 nites. No we couldn’t afford a sleeper car but the seats turned out to be OK. In fact, the seats were big enuf for 2 in one seat. Actually, they slept pretty good. I packed all our food, but took Teri to the diner for cereal as she was only 6 mo. old. It was quite a trip!

  5. Pingback: Girls’ Goodybags for Travel – Older Girl Version | Andrews Family

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