Top things to pack inside a kid’s travel backpack

By Emma

With road trips and camping adventures being some of our favourite family travels, the kids’ backpacks are essential. They save many a long road trip, family lunch, travel delay, and down time along the way. Cram them full of good stuff!

I always love asking the kids what they’d do – you can never be sure what they’ll say!! So here goes… Brace yourselves.

What my 6 year old said he would pack inside his bag:

  • Snacks (obviously)
  • Water bottle
  • Pens
  • Paper and notebook or drawing book
  • My purple torch
  • Camera
  • Books
  • Stickers
  • Monster Trucks
  • Switch
  • Tennis balls (random)
  • 2 of my swords (I’ll probably need to explain this one…)

To be fair that is quite a good list. It could have been much more obscure… My children do seem to think some kind of sports equipment is essential for literally any outing so the tennis balls were probably to be expected. I don’t know what to say about the swords, other than they are only made of foam, he wants to be a knight when he grows up (this is no joke), and the number one place to visit this year for him is Warwick Castle so he can see some real live knights.

Here’s how I see the essential list to pack inside a younger kid’s backpack:

To be fair I am actually borrowing some ideas from Sir Ralphington (the knight).

  • Snacks and water are essential – although I normally have these as a whole separate entity (quite honestly we always need so many they totally warrant their own bag). Parenting 101 right there

  • Activity books – there are so many brilliant ones out there for travelling with kids. Mine also like a blank notebook they can doodle in or note down things they see. Sticker books are great as they really take concentration and last for ages! Winner

  • Pencils/pens. Naturally these will be dropped, lost and thrown. But go in to it knowing this and it doesn’t feel so bad…

  • Reading book (or two) in case I can persuade them that reading is a good idea (easier with one of my children than the other)

  • Switch/screen/device (totally essential and absolutely has its place in my mind. They (and we) need that down time

  • Headphones (this is a biggy for me – I don’t always want to listen to Mario and his buddies racing their karts quite frankly). There are so many great kids options for headphones.

  • Gadgets that they like to use on road trips and when camping – so for my youngest this would be a mini torch, compass, magnifying glass and camera

  • Small toys – my youngest has to have some of his favourite toys with him. Its comforting I guess, and I think he likes the idea of them coming along on the adventure with us. Mini monster truck, hot wheels car, mini Buzz lightyear are all regular features

  • Card games. We don’t leave the house without UNO. I mean does anyone? So that’s always in there, plus something like Dobble, Exploding Kittens or Snap usually. We also really like this range of ‘I spy’ car games/books.

They love a backpack crammed full of their own special stuff. It keeps them occupied at moments you need them to be, and means you don’t have to carry every single entire thing in the universe in your own bag. I mean you’ll probably still end up carrying their bag too…but you get the idea.

Kids and their backpacks
Never without his backpack, and pen and paper.

Happy travels, Emma and the Wild Ones x

About the author

Hi I'm Emma, mum to two boys, ex-teacher, now on a new career path running my own business. I have always loved to travel and as a big history nerd, love a good city break. We try to travel and spend as much time outdoors as we can with our two little ones, and are passionate about exploring new places with them. Living in Devon provides lots of opportunity to explore, and we are keen to share tips and experiences of travel, days out and good eats. We are a bit obsessed with photography too so will probably have a few of those to share along the way...

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