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The Ultimate Washington DC Packing List with Kids

capitol building

The city is full of monuments, history, and government buildings with tight security. The hotels generally allow kids, but don’t cater to them. Very few have a pool. You don’t want to overpack, but you want to make sure you have what you need. What should be on your Washington DC packing list with kids?

What Should Be on Your Washington DC Packing List with Kids?

1. Clothing

2. Accessories

3. Baby Items

4. Bathroom Essentials

5. Medications and First Aid

6. Documentation

7. Payment Methods

8. Miscellaneous Items

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Washington DC Packing List

1. Clothes

Washington DC Weather

Washington DC weather varies greatly by the time of year. Check the weather at the time of your trip.

The averages are as follows:


Average High: Mid-40s

Average Low: High 20s


Average High: Mid-60s

Average Low: Mid-40s


Average High: High 80s

Average Low: Mid 60s


Average High: High 60s

Average Low: High 40s

What to Bring When Packing for DC

What you pack will depend upon the season. Pack what you need from the list below that is weather-appropriate. Be sure you have appropriate clothing for the government buildings you are visiting.

Pro tip: Pack laundry pods and do laundry during your trip. You just cut your luggage in half.

A. Shorts 

B. T-shirts – Don’t forget shirts you want to wear to specific sporting events.

C. Long-sleeved shirts 

D. Pajamas

E. Socks

F. Gym shoes 

G. Sandals or flip-flops

H. Bras

I. Underwear

J. Swimwear – If your hotel has a pool.

K. Pants 

L. A jacket 

M. A winter coat

N. Winter boots

What Not to Pack

A. Formal wear

B. Workout gear – Unless you’re going to work out after a long day of sightseeing.

C. A sewing kit 

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2. Accessories

What to Include When Packing for Washington DC

A. Ponchos – If needed.

B. Sunglasses 

C. Hats 

D. Hair ties

E. Goggles – If needed.

F. Floaties or lifejackets – If needed.

G. Gloves and mittens

H. Scarves

I. Winter hats

What Not to Pack

A. A large selection of jewelry

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3. Baby Items

Babies require a lot of junk, but you don’t need to pack things you can get at the hotel. When in doubt, call ahead to double-check.

What to Add to Your Washington DC Trip Packing List

A. Formula and baby food 

B. Bibs

C. Pacifiers

D. Sippy cups

E. Bottles

F. Diapers – Both regular and swim (if needed).

G. Wipes

H. Stroller 

I. Car seat – Unless offered by your ground transportation provider.

J. Breast pump and accessories 

K. Dish soap and bottle washer

What Not to Pack

A. Pack and Play – Unless your hotel doesn’t have one, which is unlikely.

B. Baby monitor – Unless you’re in a giant room where you can’t easily hear your child.

C. High chair – Not worth it.

natural history museum

4. Toiletries and Bathroom Essentials

Pro tip: Purchase travel bottles to bring your favorite products in smaller quantities.

What to Pack for DC

A. Toothbrush

B. Toothpaste

C. Mouthwash

D. Floss

E. Hairbrush

F. Hair styling products

G. Glasses

H. Contact solution and extra contacts

I. Face wash

J. Makeup 

K. Deodorant

L. Sunscreen

M. Razors

N. Shampoo – You only need this if the hotel does not provide it or you need a special kind. Tear-free is probably not at the hotel.

O. Conditioner – Same criteria as the shampoo.

P. Body wash – If the hotel doesn’t provide it.

Q. Loofah

R. Cotton swabs

S. Tissue

T. Tweezers

U. Laundry detergent pods

V. Feminine hygiene products

W. Lotion – If you need a specific kind the hotel doesn’t provide.

X. Hand sanitizer 

Y. Nail file

Z. Chapstick

What Not to Pack

A. Nail clippers – Unless you’re going on a long trip.

B. Hair dryer – Confirm this, but it is almost definitely in the room already.

C. Anything you can get from the hotel

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5. Medications and First Aid

What to Pack for a Washington DC Trip

A. Medications

B. Medical equipment

C. Vitamins

D. Motion sickness medicine – If you won’t feel well in stop-and-start city traffic.

E. Pain relievers – For both adults and children.

F. Thermometer 


H. Antibacterial cream

What Not to Pack

A. Full bottles of anything

white house

6. Important Documentation

You usually don’t have to print these items; ensure you can access them on your phone.

Pro tip: Double-check your tickets to government buildings. Some require a printout.

What to Pack for a Trip to Washington DC

A. Tickets for government buildings, museums, zoos, and sporting events

B. Airline reservation confirmations and boarding passes 

C. Hotel reservation confirmations 

D. Rental car and ground transportation reservation confirmations 

E. Identification for all travelers

F. Priority Pass card

G. Health insurance card

H. Proof of car insurance – If applicable.

What Not to Pack

A. Any unnecessary or duplicate documentation with your personal information

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7. Methods of Payment

What to Pack When Going to Washington DC

A. Credit cards

B. Cash – Use sparingly. Cash doesn’t earn travel points.

C. Debit card

What Not to Pack

A. A lot of cash 

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8. Miscellaneous

What to Include When Packing for a Trip to DC

A. Travel entertainment 

B. Snacks 

C. Refillable water bottle

D. Cell phones and chargers 

E. Portable cell phone charger 

F. Cooling towels – Only if it is really hot. Check the weather.

G. Noise-canceling headphones – Only if you visit somewhere where the noise level may upset your child.

H. Gum 

What Not to Pack

A. Night light – Crack the bathroom door and leave the light on.

B. Hamper – An empty suitcase is a rolling laundry basket.

C. Shoe organizer – You shouldn’t have that many shoes anyway.

D. Extra towels  

E. Pool toys

F. Cameras – Smartphones take pictures.

washington monument

Final Thoughts – The Ultimate Washington DC Packing List with Kids

The city is worth a visit. There is so much to see and do that you cannot experience elsewhere. The hotel rooms, however, are not so hot for kids. Use this Washington DC packing list to bring what you need, not what you don’t, to avoid an overcrowded room.

Visit Washington DC. You will not regret it.

washington dc packing list pin

Related Articles to The Ultimate Washington DC Packing List with Kids:

Lincoln Historical Sites in Springfield, Illinois: A One Day Touring Plan

What is There to Do at the DC Natural History Museum with Kids?

Washington DC Packing List

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