Adults and babies aren’t the only ones who need a lot of stuff when traveling, and toddlers can be even needier! If they’re still in diapers you’ll need all of those supplies, plus extra clothing, entertainment and snacks. No one wants to shlep over to a store to buy forgotten things while traveling; it involves a lot of extra time and can be much more expensive if you can’t find any nearby discount stores. Here are most of the things you can bring to keep everyone happy when traveling with toddlers.
Bringing the Basics
First things first: Make sure that you are using the right car seats, and set them up in the car. Then you can create a packing list several weeks before your trip, with different ones for each person who’s going. If you need to bring a diaper bag, The Organized Mom Life recommends bringing plenty of diapers, wipes, a changing pad, hand sanitizer, diaper rash ointment, and empty plastic bags.
It’s very important to have a fully-stocked first-aid kit in the car, and you will probably want to bring it inside wherever you are staying as well. And if you take day trips while traveling, stick some of the first-aid supplies in your backpack because toddlers are prone to getting boo-boos. Also bring along sunscreen, sunburn cream, hats and sunglasses. Bring their favorite healthy snacks and drinks, but try to get ones that are less messy. And for road trips, add a few paper towel rolls and keep a trash bag in the car.
What Clothing Should I Bring?
Toddlers can also be messy eaters, so unless you are able to wash your clothing while traveling, you’ll want to bring plenty of extra clothing. Check the weather forecasts before hitting the road, but always bring a little bit of everything in case the predictions are wrong. Extra t-shirts and sweatshirts can be great for layering. And depending on where you’re going, Parenting recommends bringing at least one dressy outfit, swimsuits, a swimsuit cover ups, two pairs of PJs, extra socks and underwear, jackets, good sandals and walking shoes, dress up shoes and boots.
Toddlers might also want to have their own backpacks and beach bags. It’s best not to bring brand new clothing on vacations though, especially if they haven’t been worn yet. When their clothing is too tight or otherwise uncomfortable, you will have a very unhappy toddler on your hands. Have them choose some of their favorite clothing to bring along (choose out a bunch that you feel are okay for them, and then let them pick to take to avoid arguments), and your little camper will be much happier.
Toiletries and Other Things
Take your time to list all of the toiletries that your toddler needs, because you won’t want to be running out at bedtime to buy them that only toothpaste that they like. You’ll want to have that plus their own toothbrush, lotion, extra baby wipes, a comb, hairbrush, hair ties and bows, and their own shampoo and conditioner if they don’t use yours. Other important things to have are extra sunblock, Tylenol or Advil, antibiotic cream, and anti-itch cream. These should already be in your first aid kit, but it’s always good to have extra. And if your little ones wear glasses, invest in an extra pair and a repair kit and bring those along as well.
Toddlers will also need their favorite toys, and things like inflatables for the bathtub are easy to pack. Don’t leave the house without their favorite stuffed animal or blanket or you will be kicking yourself later! Also bring along things to keep them busy on the plane, train or automobile, like books, crayons, soft toys and a video player. And as a final word of advice, reach out to your hotel or host in advance to see what amenities they have. If they provide things like beach towels and hair dryers, you can save room in your suitcase!