suitcasesRemember traveling before you had kids? Packing was a breeze: A few of your favorite wrinkle-free outfits, makeup/toiletries bag, Advil, iPod, a good book (Kindles weren't invented yet when I was still childless, okay?), maybe a protein bar or two, and you were good to go! Fast-forward to filling a suitcase (or several) with everything your family needs to survive sans the comforts of home: Wait a second, are we going on vacation or are we moving?!

It's true, there's really no such thing as traveling light when kids are involved. But if you plan ahead and keep organized, packing doesn't have to feel like punishment. Here are 25 things every mom should have on her spring travel checklist:

Stuff to keep 'em busy on the road (or plane):

1. Books (either actual books, a Kindle, or audiobooks on iPod -- remember headphones)

2. Travel games (such as magnetic bingo)

3. Coloring books or sketchbooks and colored pencils (won't stain or get all over fingers like markers/washable markers or melt into car seats like crayons)

4. Etch-a-Sketch or Magna Doodle

5. Mad Libs or Question & Answer games like Brain Quest

Stuff to keep 'em safe, comfortable & clean:

6. Baby wipes (no matter how old they are!)

7. Neosporin and Band-Aids

8. Anti-bacterial wipes

9. Sunscreen

10. Aloe

11. Bug spray

12. Anti-itch cream

13. Tylenol/Advil

14. Anti-nausea medicine/pressure point wristbands

15. Changes of clothes in case of accidents/spills

16. Benadryl (Epi-pen if necessary)

17. Thermometer

Stuff to keep disaster from striking:

18. Batteries

19. Chargers for cellphone, camera, laptop, etc.

20. Printouts of reservations, tickets, etc.

Stuff to keep 'em full:

21. Individually packed healthy snacks (crackers, pretzels)

22. Dried fruit/fruit rolls (sturdier than fresh fruit)

23. Bottles of water

24: Granola bars

25: Lollipops (for take-off and landing if flying)

What are your spring travel checklist staples?

 

Image via Kristen Taylor/Flickr