What my kids pack in their fanny packs when we travel

When we went to Japan, each of our girls took a fanny pack with them.

During our airplane travel days, they kept them (empty) in their backpacks, but once we arrived in Japan, they used them every day to carry their items with them. It was magical to not have to carry any of their things!

They used the Cotopaxi Fanny Packs – my in-laws gave them each one for Christmas – and they were perfect because they’re so lightweight but can hold a lot (Ella has a Cotopaxi one but she brought along this one that we’d given her for Christmas).

I also loved that they could be worn around the waist like a traditional fanny pack or across the shoulder.

Here’s what they kept in their fanny packs:

fanny packs for kids while traveling


  • A Kindle e-reader. These were great to have along since we rode lots of subways and trains while we were in Japan, so they could whip out their e-reader and read whether it was a 10 minute train ride or an hour long one.
  • A small notebook. I bought one of these for each of the girls just before we left and they were perfect – under $3 each, a small size, a band to keep it shut and a small pocket in the back for collecting stickers, tickets, etc. The girls journaled about the trip, drew pictures and played paper and pen games in them, plus collected the station stamps all across Japan!
  • Colorful pens. I bought two packs of these (they were about $3 for ten) and then each girl got five of them so they could draw or write in their notebooks when we had down time (often on the train or subway or while we waited at a restaurant).
  • A snack or two. I brought some snacks along with us (these are a major family fave) and then most days, we’d stop by a convenience store and pick up a few fun things to try and the girls would keep them in their fanny packs until they were hungry.
  • A small game. We didn’t bring these along every day but on days with longer train rides, it was great to have a deck of cards or a Spot It tin (the mini one is under $5 and especially great for on the go!) along to play as the miles flew by.
  • Sunglasses. A couple of my girls brought along sunglasses and it was nice for them to be able to stash them in their fanny pack when we were inside or if it wasn’t bright outside.
  • Water bottles. We didn’t bring water bottles on our Japan trip, but occasionally the girls would save one of the small drink bottles from a vending machine and refill it with water and they could put it in their fanny packs.

Any other questions about fanny packs for kids? Happy to answer – leave your questions in the comments!


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