6 Travel Essentials for the Family

When I was packing travel essentials for trip across the island last weekend, I found myself distracted in the middle of packing and needed some time to pull myself together. When I resumed, I thought I was picking up where I left off, but somewhere in between, I packed my four year’s old’s swimsuit bottoms and no the tops. Yikes! Hello, mom fail.

Luckily though, that is the only thing I forgot, but to avoid that happening again I thought I might make a list and share some of the not so common travel essentials items I pack for my family for some time away from home.

My family lives in Jamaica, and while we don’t have to hop on a plane to experience tropical vacations, we still do one of the few things we can do relatively safely. That said, I will share a few things you may forget on your list that are necessary and/can be lifesavers to pack with the kiddos during the pandemic.

I am a minimalist packer or so I think (my husband might have a thing to two to say about that), but I’m me, so ‘just in case’ packing is also a thing. I know you typically want to travel light, but these aren’t typical times and there are some things you don’t want to leave at home and should consider taking with you that aren’t on your typical travel packing list.

travel essentials 2021


1. Bath Soap/Body Wash

When packing for a few days away, I through in at least one bar of our favourite bath soap at home. Resorts generally provide very basic body washes. Sure, it’ll clean up, but if you have dry skin or any other skin ailment that might require moisture, then you may want to stay on the safe side. Additionally, we are in the middle of the pandemic right now, so think about whether the little flimsy soaps in the resort’s shower are offering the level of antibacterial cleansing you will want for your family.

2. Toilet Paper

No, I’m not extra. Take toilet paper with you. Personally, between my daughter and I, we have sensitive bums and toilet paper hunting is generally a frustrating affair since chafed bums aren’t fun. The resort isn’t going to be likely to provide your preferred brand., so I take the tube out and pack one into the bottom of our bag, ‘just in case’. If you want to know if I’ve ever had a reason to break it out? Yes. Wishing a day, I can tell whether the toilet paper is is an issue.

3. Lotion

Not all resort provide lotion and even if they do, the moisture content tends to be questionable anyway. So you want to bring your own lotion and some body oil to seal in moisture while you are at it.

Travel essentials jamaica

Other Travel Essentials

4. Bug Spray/Insect Repellent

Here in the tropics, there are mosquitos. In Jamaica, the Ades Aegypti mosquito which is responsible for transmitting a number of mosquito-borne diseases is present. So don’t forget to pack some bug spray, especially with little ones. On our Royalton White Sands trip the other day, the mosquitos were relentless during the evening hours. Luckily, I had packed it. Contracting Dengue Fever or some other disease is not what you are trying to accomplish on your trip.

5. Sanitizing Paraphernalia

Sure, there are sanitising stations every few feet, but what about inside the hotel room. Consider taking your own sanitisers, travel-sized Lysol, Alcohol sprays and/or wipes so that you can clean down the surfaces inside your rooms regularly. You never know what you may be tracking in on a daily, just like at home, so be prepared.

6. Masks

Take masks with you for your family. Even if you have cloths masks, take a pack of disposables as well. Masks are mandator in public spaces in Jamaica and pretty much any other country that is taking the virus seriously, so be prepared in case masks become damaged, lost or wet during your vacation.

Travel might be slow now, but if you must, do it safely.

What about you parent? Do you have any travel essentials that aren’t commonly in packing lists?

Xo, Shandean.

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Shandean Reid

A heavily caffeinated, quintessential millennial wife and mom doing modern family life. I’m a communications professional following a five-year stint as a SAHM, switching roles with hubby, a physician and now WFHD. I also read and write books for fun! Stick around if I'm your kind of person!




  • Marsha

    Great list! I pretty much include all of those except bug spray. I need to start adding that because mosquitoes love me!

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