We travel with our son often, so we needed a checklist to make sure we had all the things we needed for a trip.
We do not live near family so we spend a decent amount of time in the car visiting them. We live three hours away from my family and five hours away from my husband’s family. We spend a lot of time in the car throughout the year for holidays and just visiting when we can. I remember our first trip with our seven week old son. We took everything. I made a list (you can get your free Traveling With A Toddler Checklist below!) and we checked everything off and loaded the car to the brim. We have this down to a science now and actually pack less than we did when he was an infant.
I have a checklist that I keep in the Memo section on my cell phone and whip it out every time we go somewhere for a weekend or week long trip. Some stuff I have learned to do without and other stuff I have learned that I cannot live without.
- Diapers – We bring a large sleeve of diapers and never use all of them. Better to have and not need.
- Wipes – Wipes are great for everything and good to bring everywhere. You can use as tissues, too!
- Diaper Bag – I feel like this is an obvious one, but you want to take your regular diaper bag. If you’re like me, you’ll forget something important in your diaper bag if you swap it with a different bag.
- Changing Pad – You can buy disposable changing pads, but I have been using the one that came with the diaper bag.
- Favorite Blanket – I’d hate to leave home without Rion’s favorite blanket. It’s the first thing that gets packed every single time!
- Plastic Bags – THIS ONE IS HUGE. I always have a few in our diaper bag. Plastic bags are a must for every diaper bag.
- Hand Sanitizer – Grab one of the small hand sanitizers so you are able to travel in an airport with it. You never know – soap may not be filled in a public restroom and you need to wash your hands.
- Toddler Toiletries – Diaper rash cream, shampoo, their toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloths, sunscreen.
- Clothes and Shoes – Socks, two sets of clothes for each day, pajamas for each day, two extra sets of pajamas, bathing suit and sun hat if needed, bibs and shoes. Kids clothes roll up really well so extra clothes isn’t a big deal for us. If it is for you, scope out laundry places and make arrangements to spend time washing.
- Toys and Books – We have “car toys and books” that are always in the car. We use those when we travel and try to avoid bringing additional items unless it’s a favorite and must have item.
- Utensils, milk straw cup, water straw cup – Fill your milk and water cup up for the trip.
- Snacks for ride in spill proof container – I cannot stress “spill proof” enough! Cheerios everywhere is no way to start a trip.
- First Aid and Medicine Bag – Toddlers think they’re invincible. Bring a small first aid kit.
- Umbrella stroller – We actually debate this one every time so we purchased a small umbrella stroller and it’s been great to leave in the car. It has no storage so you need to think about where you are going.
- Ergo carrier / Wrap – I don’t leave home without some sort of carrier. My husband prefers our Ergo and I prefer our wrap. The Ergo carrier folds up smaller so it usually wins out. Plus if I can get John to carry Rion for some time I am all for it.
- Car Seat – You can rent car seats if you’re renting a car – check with the car rental companies!
- Pack N Play – The Pack N Play is on my list, but Rion sleeps in our bed so we haven’t taken this with us.
Plastic bags are a must. I mentioned this earlier, but place all of your liquids in these bags when traveling. You never know what could happen when traveling and it’d be best to keep any liquid disaster contained to a bag rather than all over your clothes.
Always pack medicine and pack extra if you have it. This was one of those things we messed up on last year. Rion started running a fever in the middle of the night and we had to wait until the morning to hit the stores to give him Tylenol. I try not to give medicine for every fever but this one warranted a dose of medicine.
Car toys is the tip I give to everyone who asks how I got my son to stop crying in the car. The toys in the car are just for the car and just for travel. I end up not bringing them home and have Rion be excited to see the toys. It has worked when nothing else has. I will bring his favorite toys and books, but I don’t bring them out in the car unless absolutely necessary. I also have a few apps on my phone if the car ride is not going so well and I need to call in reinforcements.
Fill the sippy cups for travel. Now that we are at toddler age, we can pick up whole milk and a bottle of water anywhere. It’s so much better than having to nurse or worry about pumping or packing formula for the trip.
If you forget something, DON’T PANIC. I promise you will survive without it or you’ll be able to pick up a replacement.
Get your free traveling with a toddler checklist below!
What do you pack? How do you react when you’ve forgotten something? What’s on your checklist?