Toddler Travel Essentials

When it comes to traveling with a little one, the task of packing up and going somewhere can be daunting… what do we really need? what can we leave? I only get how many bags to check? Well I’m breaking down what we found to be the most helpful when we traveled this past time.

First things first: How are you traveling? Driving or Flying?

While Ranger is still a lap child we are flying as much as we can and always on Southwest so we are fitting everything we can into our 4 checked bags…. but ideally 3… unless you want to rent a small U-Haul when you get there.

If you’re driving, you have a little more lead way in what you can take… but still preferably not the whole house.

Also, if you’re flying (and plan on flying a lot) I would consider getting TSA PreCheck.  Just apply online, then go to the nearest airport that offers the TSA PreCheck screening, do the background check and finger printing and then you just wait for your approval!  It’s TOTALLY worth it.  Disrobing with a little one isn’t ideal! HERE is more info.


So here’s our packing list:

Carseat: If you’re flying, you have the option of taking one with you or renting one from the car rental company.  In my experience, we’ve had some bad rental carseats issued to us so I’ve opted to taking our own carseats now and have invested in the travel bags for them.  Safety first!  Some airlines let you check these for free so check with your airline before you depart.

Pack N’ Play: I’ve started calling ahead to where we are staying to see if they have one that we can use, if so this is one less thing to haul with you.  But I have invested in a mattress for it that we can throw in the car (like this one HERE).  If you’re flying pack an extra blanket or two and take your own Pack N Play sheets to use (sheets like these).

High Chair or Table Top Seat:  When we head to vacation, I usually plan to eat out most meals, but sometimes you just want to eat in a meal or two.  Call ahead and most rental places have one in room for you to use like this one HERE, but if you need some options you can shop these that are some of our favorites from the Summer Infant Pop line.

Stroller:  Once Ranger was out of the carseat, I decided to start using an umbrella stroller like THIS one, instead of the big stroller with adapter.  It makes it much easier to fold up and doesn’t take up as much space in the car or rental. I’ve linked some other options:

Other things I take from home to make it feel more like “home” and easier for the transition:

  • Sound Machine
  • Video Baby Monitor
  • Bouncer
  • “Lovies”
  • Munchie Mug or snack bowls and their own Sippy Cups
  • Towels and wash cloths (especially if your little on has skin sensitives

To save space if you’re traveling, consider buying diapers, snacks and swim diapers once you arrive.

I’ve linked all of our favorites to travel with below!

Happy Travels!!