Packing with Kids: Vacation Without the Kids

Going on a vacation but not taking the kiddos? Now, not only do you have to worry about packing for yourself for a vacation but you also need to pack for your child’s staycation with the babysitter.

I’ve packed Alexis up to stay with grandma from just a weekend once or twice to a 14-day-stay while my husband and I went to Hawaii.

I start a week or two in advance and for about three days, I pay close attention to how much formula/milk she’s currently drinking, how much food she is eating in a day and how many diaper changes we have. I take the highest of the three days and multiply that by the amount of days we will be gone and — viola— that’s how much of each you will need to send.

Once I know what I need, some things go right on the shopping list. I use an extra storage bin I have around the house to start collecting items. During the three days of observation, make a list — write everything down you use in a day.

Also, take who the babysitter is into consideration. I am lucky enough to have my mom, who will watch Alexis when we go away, so she has the basics. If you have someone babysitting who doesn’t have kids, you’ll have to think of everything! You will also want to find out what the babysitter has planned so if they have any special trips planned, you can pack accordingly.

If you are going somewhere where you won’t be immediately reachable by phone, you’re going to want to get a temporary medical release form. If you’re anything like me, take a deep breath. This isn’t as bad as it sounds.

We had to do it when we went on a cruise because we didn’t know if we would have cell phone service at all times. My husband searched online and found a form to print, put the dates we were gone, signed it, and then took it to the bank to be notarized.

I also make a list of emergency contacts, the pediatrician’s number and address, the hotel’s phone number where we are staying, our flight information, any allergies, medications and our child’s past medical history. I also wrote down alternative babysitters my mom could call if she were ever in a pinch and needed help.

I went ahead and started a basic list for you:

Daily Basics

  • Clothes (send extras)
  • Socks and shoes
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper bag fully stocked
  • Hair brush, hair ties, hair bows
  • Bottles/ sippy cups
  • Milk/formula
  • Food—Meals and snacks

Big Items

  • High chair
  • Car seat
  • Play yard
  • Toys

Bed & Bath Time

  • Shampoo and soap
  • Bath toys
  • Bath towel
  • Pajamas
  • Security toy (Alexis’ is My Pal Violet)

Just in Case

  • Thermometer
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Medicine you would normally use (i.e. Baby Orajel, acetaminophen)

Seasonal Items

  • Bathing suit
  • Swim diapers
  • Sun screen
  • Heavy winter coat

I also want to add that if you are thinking about going on vacation without your kids but are not sure how you will handle being apart from them, I say GO! You will not regret it.

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