Are you getting ready to take a trip and homeschool your kids at the same time? Whether you are going on a road trip or flying somewhere, there are some items you will want to make sure to bring with you. Some things, like pencils and paper, are essential for any type of learning, while others may depend on where you are going and what activities you have planned. Here’s a travel homeschool checklist of what you’ll need to make sure your trip goes smoothly!
Download your free homeschool travel checklist!
Before we get into it, be sure to download this free traveling homeschool checklist! This lists all the need-to-haves when you’re homeschool and traveling. Not necessarily homeschooling while traveling. We never homeschooled when we were en route. But once you get to your destination, then you’ll need to homeschool. Unless you’re in an RV. Now that would be cool.
Your Road Trip Travel Packing List
Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun – or a total nightmare. If you’re packing for a road trip, make sure you have everything you need to keep your little ones entertained.
From travel games to homeschool supplies, here’s a list of must-haves for a successful road trip with kids:
I recommend a bag for just about anything you pack and travel with, so you can rearrange your car accordingly! A box is stuck in those dimensions, while a bag can be re-transformed into new dimensions! Plus, boxes can be hard to carry and will always make you take a second (or third) trip back to the car to unload whenever you get to where you’re going. Think about that.
Think travel-sized versions of your favorite board games, card games, and coloring books. I’ve written about some fun traveling games numerous times here on Homeschool & Humor! You can also find travel-sized versions of classic board games like Monopoly or Sorry at many stores. Just make sure to check the dimensions before you buy so they’ll actually fit in your car or bags.
If you’re planning on doing some homeschooling on the road, make sure you have all the supplies you need. This includes textbooks, notebooks, pens and pencils, and other necessary materials.
But don’t get carried away. The last you want to do is have to postal mail your books back and forth. This can add up, even when you are using media mail.
Instead, just bring your essential textbooks, notebooks, and supplies. Read on in the next section for what homeschool supplies to bring with you.
Snacks and bottled water
Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and drinks for everyone. And if you’re traveling with young children, bring along some healthy snacks that won’t make them too hyperactive.
Make sure these are snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated, unless you want to pack a cooler with ice and then refill it once or twice a day with more ice (been there, done that).
First aid kit
You never know when someone might get a cut or scrape, so it’s always best to be prepared. Pack a first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and other essential items. This doesn’t have to be a big box.
Even if you do purchase a big box of first aid supplies from the store, you can condense this down into a smaller carrier, box, or small bag.
Map out your route and make sure to take into account rest stops, gas stations, and food options. Of course, you can use your phone, but I also recommend a paper map too. This will let you see more of the areas and give you more options for stopping than Siri will since you can look ahead and map it out.
Now when it comes to directions to your destination, it’s Siri all the way!
Tablets and Movies
If you’re going to be on the road for more than a couple of hours, make sure to bring along some tablets or laptops with movies or shows downloaded. We all know how important it is to keep kids entertained on long car rides!
But that’s the kicker…movies or shows that are already downloaded onto their tablets! I can’t count how many times we’ve brought their screens and then realized after we’ve left that I forgot to download movies or games onto their tablets. Sorry kids. At least you have a one-way mirror to watch yourself sleep.
Just make sure to bring headphones so everyone can watch their movie or show without disturbing anyone else. Headphones ARE A MUST.
If you’re traveling with pets, make sure you have supplies for them as well. This includes food, water, a bowl, leash, and anything else they might need.
You should also make sure your hotel or Airbnb is pet-friendly before you book it! We’ve made the mistake of not doing this before and had to find another place to stay at the last minute.
Travel Potty or Portable Potty Seat
If you have young children who are still potty training or in diapers, make sure to bring along a travel potty or portable potty seat. This will make life so much easier, especially if you’re going to be on the road for a long time.
Plus, believe or not, I bet it’s more sanitary than some of those rest-stop toilets…
And don’t forget the wipes! Lots and lots of wipes! These will come in handy for just about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.
Bring the potty as well as some backup clothes like undies and pants for everyone. Because accidents happen, even when you’re potty trained, no matter how old you are.
Speaking of accidents, taking it a step further, it’s always a good idea to pack extra clothes, just in case. This includes underwear, socks, shirts, and pants.
I also like to pack one extra outfit for everyone in case we get caught in the rain or someone spills something on their clothes. And let’s be honest, with kids, spills happen. A lot.
Blankets and Pillows
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, chances are the beds aren’t going to be as comfortable as your own bed at home. So make sure to pack some blankets and pillows to make it more comfortable.
This is also a good idea if you’re going to be driving for more than a few hours. You can use the blankets and pillows to make a makeshift bed in the backseat so everyone can take a nap. Just make sure someone is awake to keep an eye on the road!
Camera or Camcorder
Last but not least…
Don’t forget your camera! And if you’re traveling with young children, make sure to bring along a portable potty seat or travel potty.
Double check that you have all your important documents like passports and driver’s licenses, and travel insurance if needed.
Bring stuff for the beach in it’s OWN separate bag. This includes sunscreen and hats for protection against the sun.
If you’re going to be in the water, make sure to pack swim diapers and swimsuits. And don’t forget the pool toys! These will keep the little ones entertained for hours.
Don’t forget the sand toys! These are a must for building sandcastles or playing in the sand. Like I said, make all this beach stuff packed in it’s own separate bag. Because when you get done with it, it’ll be all sandy or wet or whatever. You know what I mean. You just don’t want to mix it up with your clothes or other items.
Phone Chargers and Extension Cord
This can be car chargers – more than one if you have more than one kid. But also, if you’re going to be staying in a hotel or Airbnb, make sure you bring an extension cord.
You’ll be glad you did when you realize there’s only ONE outlet in the room and it’s being used by the TV.
And you can take this one step further by buying a car charger outlet charger for anything you might have to plug in for the car. Ours came in handy SO MUCH when we travel for charging laptops or plugging in fans because of the heat or even plugging in a charger since all the car chargers were being used up!
And for charging my earbuds, Apple Airpods (my MUST HAVE). You can also bring the wired headphones just in case you want to listen to something while you’re charging these bad boys.
An Extra Empty Bag
I know this seems crazy but trust me. You’re going somewhere and you’re likely to purchase things and souvenirs. So having an extra bag to put all these things in will make your life so much easier.
And that’s it! These are the essential items you need for your travel homeschool checklist and packing list for kids. Just remember, when packing for a trip, always think ahead and plan for the worst-case scenario. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way while you’re on the road.
What To Include for Your Homeschool When Traveling
Now that you know what to pack, it’s time to start planning your homeschool travel curriculum by doing a quick homeschool packing list for kids by making quick notes on your travel homeschool checklist. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to focus on different subjects. But there are some core subjects that all kids should learn, no matter their age.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing your homeschool travel curriculum:
This includes reading, writing, and grammar. You can find plenty of books to read aloud on the road, and there are also many travel-themed writing activities you can do with your kids.
Math is an essential subject for all children to learn. And there are many fun ways to incorporate math into your travel homeschooling. For example, you can have your kids help you budget for gas and food, or keep track of the miles you’ve driven.
Science is all around us, even when we’re on the road. You can point out different animals and plants, talk about the weather, and stargaze at night. You don’t really need any textbooks for this subject, unless you really want to. But you can do a lot of field trips that incorporate science, and then go to their local public library to get books on it to read.
Social studies is another subject you can easily incorporate into your travel homeschooling. Visit historical sites, learn about different cultures, and talk to locals to get a better understanding of the world around you.
Instead of textbooks, opt for online curriculum, such as Home School in the Woods! They have World History packs as well as American History packs. I love Home School in the Woods. We used them for Medieval and for studying the New World Explorers. And we’re in the middle of studying the Colonial Era now, and then next will be the Revolutionary War! And yes – Home School in the Woods has it all!
No matter what age your children are, writing is an important skill to practice. You can have them keep a travel journal, write postcards to friends and family, or even start a kid blog about their adventures! This is something I considered doing too, and still might in the future! That would be cool.
BONUS ITEM: City Passes
If you’re going to be visiting a lot of different cities or tourist attractions, it might be worth it to get a city pass. This can save you a lot of money in the long run, and it’s something you can use over and over again if you travel often.
If your family loves to travel and see new things, this is perfect then. With a city pass, you can explore all sorts of different places without having to worry about the cost. And if you’re a homeschooler, a city pass can be a great way to add some variety to your education. Many city passes include places that homeschoolers can go for free or at a discount, specifically for homeschoolers!
With a city pass, you can easily travel to different cities and learn all about their history and culture. So if you’re looking for a way to save money and learn new things, a city pass is definitely the way to go.
Essential Travel Homeschool Checklist + Homeschool Packing List for Kids
Now that you know what to pack and what to include in your homeschool curriculum, you’re ready to hit the road! With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure your trip is both educational and enjoyable for the whole family.
Don’t forget to download your free travel homeschool checklist!