This post is part of the traveling with kids series. Check out part 1 (airplane travel), part 2 (your in-vehicle bag), part 3 (packing), part 4 (while you’re gone and making unpacking easy), and part 5 (safety).
Sometimes, people go away to someone else’s house or a program or Shabbaton where Shabbat will be prepared by the host. Yay! That’s fun!
But if you go to a cabin, or are traveling somewhere else and stop for Shabbat, or any number of other scenarios, and you need to make Shabbat on the go, what should you pack?
I recommend having a Shabbat-on-the-go kit. But that’s really only good for a small group (the tiny bottle of grape juice would provide a taste to my family only – and that’s just one kiddush). So we pack more. Here’s our list:
- Candles or tea lights and candlesticks if necessary
- Tape (to prevent people, including a hotel employee, from turning off lights or keep an automatic light off)
- Grape juice / wine (alternative beverages can work in a pinch, or you can make kiddush on motzi – but the specifics vary, so AYLOR)
- Kiddush cup – we have a collapsible one to travel with, or you can use a nicer glass where you are
- Challah or another appropriate bread, or matza if you can make motzi on it (we can’t if it’s not Pesach)
- Salt – a little baggie works fine, or you can bring a whole shaker or tiny packages
- Something yummy for food! Here’s when those disposable aluminum tins really come in handy. (What you can bring depends on what you have available to heat your food – see below for suggestions.)
- Siddur and tallit
- Havdallah items: spices, grape juice, and a braided candle or two more candles
It also helps to bring something to entertain the kids. We have brightly colored wooden blocks in a plastic shoebox with a lid. At home, they don’t get played with much, but outside, they were cities, angry birds pieces, hide and seek parts, and more. We also brought a set of tiny board books which are a hit. Going outside can be a bit tricky, with hotel room re-entry (metal keys are rare now!), no eruv (carrying), and more, but you can work it out if you want to.
Food is really tricky to give general guidelines on. It depends what you have available! But cold cuts and spreads, if you have access to them, are very helpful. I bring plain pasta, cooled, in a gallon sized plastic bag, and some Parmesan cheese for the kids. You can also bring cold soup like gazpacho, string cheese, sandwich makings like peanut butter, or other easy to prep things.
Non-perishables make things easier, like crackers, cereal (with or without milk), pastries, or other shelf-stable items.
If you have an oven, you can warm (or prep) food. But if not, it is still very possible to have a nice Shabbat away from home!
Anything else you would add? What do you bring?