Vacation Checklist - Healthy Holiday Travel Tips

Vacation Checklist - Healthy Holiday Travel Tips

Make your list, and check it twice! Learn about the travel medicine that should always be on your vacation checklist for holiday travel with kids.

Family loading a car getting ready to go on a trip

Whether you’re taking a day trip to see the holiday lights and pretty poinsettias in a nearby town or traveling across the country to share feasts and festivities with relatives this holiday season, you’ll need essential supplies to keep your children happy and healthy along the way.

One thing every parent should always have close-at-hand is your pediatrician’s phone number. Maybe you already have your child’s doctor saved as a favorite contact in your phone. If you don’t, be sure to write his or her number down before you make your holiday rounds. Even the most experienced mom or dad sometimes faces an illness or injury that warrants professional advice.

Holiday Travel Health Kit for Your Vacation Checklist

When it comes to packing for the trip, in addition to the snacks, toys and weather-appropriate clothes, be sure to pack a holiday travel health kit with the following kid-appropriate supplies.


Child Medicine
  • Children’s or infants’ acetaminophen or ibuprofen – These fever- and pain-relievers can help a little one with a headache or aches from a cold, as the grandparents may only have adult versions around.
  • Antihistamines (topical or oral) – Topical creams, as recommended by your doctor, can help soothe the itch that comes with bug bites, hives or mild allergic reactions. Children’s doses or oral antihistamines can help if seasonal allergies act up in another state.
  • Children’s upset stomach relievers – Antacid, anti-gas and anti-nausea formulas for kids can bring some relief for little ones suffering from a stomach virus or motion sickness when traveling. It’s also a good idea to bring along an oral hydration solution (with electrolytes) so your child doesn’t get dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Children’s cough and cold medicine – ‘Tis the season for celebration – and also for the common cold and the flu. Bring children’s cold medicine along on your holiday vacation to reduce any coughing and sniffles that could make your kid miserable.

First Aid

  • Infant or child thermometers – If your little one has the chills, it might be the seasonal breeze, or it may be a fever. Find out for sure by carrying one of these with you.
    First Aid Kit
  • Adhesive bandages and antiseptic ointment – Again, most of your friends and relatives probably have these on hand, but if only a favorite superhero or princess bandage will soothe your child’s cuts or scrapes, make sure you pack them. Antiseptic ointments can also stop little cuts from turning into big infections.
  • Cotton balls and swabs – For cleaning up cuts and scrapes or dabbing some dried sweet potatoes off your baby’s eyebrow, these are a must-have for family travel.
  • Tweezers and a needle – Splinters can spoil any child’s merrymaking, so be ready with these to quickly dislodge any painful invaders.
  • Diaper rash ointment – You’ve packed the diapers, so make sure this comes along in your diaper bag, too. Twinkly lights and cheery music won’t distract your baby from a sore bottom.
  • Blister pads – Those new winter boots were irresistibly cute, but now your child is complaining that her heels hurt. Come to the rescue with these stick-on cushions.

Other Things to Bring

  • Tissues – It’s a good idea to bring plenty of these on the road (or in the air, if traveling by plane), even though your holiday hosts can probably provide them. From viruses to allergies to cold-weather sniffles, having tissues will come in handy.
    Nasal Aspirator
  • Nasal aspirator for baby – Sure, it’s not the most pleasant thing you’ll do this holiday season, but babies can’t blow their noses, and older relatives you visit won’t have these at home.
  • Antibacterial gel – You’ve taught your child to wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom or playing outside and before meals, but that’s not always possible if a sticky situation arises on the road. For waterless hand-washing that kills just as many germs, keep antibacterial gel easily accessible.
  • Sunscreen – If you’re going to be outside, keep your little ones’ skin safe from harmful rays. Sunburns can happen even when it’s cloudy and cold. It might be wise to pack some aloe or sun-soothing cream in case you miss a spot.
  • Teething aids (rings, numbing gel, etc.) – Your relatives are so happy to see your family, but they’re a little less excited about three sleepless nights. Pack these to soothe your baby’s sore gums.

Since many over-the-counter medications can be fatal to children in large doses, keep curious little ones out of harm’s way by locking your travel health kit in the trunk or by keeping it well out of reach of curious explorers.

Did we miss any must-pack-items on our vacation checklist? Leave us a comment to tell us what kinds of supplies you bring in your holiday travel health kit.

allergy, pharmaceutical drugs, common cold, dehydration, hand washing, allergen, hives, gastroenteritis, Ibprofen, immunology, fever

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