Allianz - Travel
Travel Resources

Packing Checklist for Traveling With Toddlers

traveling with a toddler
Allianz - traveling with a toddler

We completely understand: it’s tough traveling with toddlers. It can even be daunting moving from one room to another in your own home, depending on their mood — and yours, too. But your young child deserves to see the world, and you deserve to escape your backyard.

We’re here to help you devise and execute a practical game plan for getting all the stuff you and your toddler need to feel safe, comfortable — and even have fun — on your next trip.

Be sure to use this list as a primer, making additions and subtractions as you see fit. And if all goes well, you’ll have more than one moment when you and your family are relaxed and enjoying your time away, making all the hard work totally worth it.

Here are suggestions on what to pack when traveling with toddlers:

Toddler Travel Essentials

These are the items that are important to bring when traveling with toddlers no matter the destination, whether you’re headed away for the weekend to visit the grandparents or headed halfway around the world for a once-in-a-lifetime family reunion.

  • Diapers or pull-ups, diaper cream, wipes and changing pad
  • Potty seat (if toilet-trained)
  • Wipes or sanitizer for little hands
  • Easy-on, easy-off outfits (the fewer the buttons, the better) and PJs
  • At least two pairs of shoes (they're known to go missing...)
  • Rain and cold-weather gear
  • Blankets
  • Umbrella stroller (You can also pick up a cheap one — and even donate it afterward — to conserve space.)
  • Backpack carrier
  • Car seat (A rental car company may be able to provide one for an added cost.)
  • Pack-and-plan and travel crib (unless your destination provides one) and sheets
  • Bed rail (if your toddler has moved out of a crib)
  • Baby monitor and batteries
  • Your passport (if traveling overseas) and child's passport or birth certificate
  • Consent letter from other parent if you're traveling solo
  • Extra plastic bags (for all the reasons you can think of. And some you can't...)

Travel Insurance for Kids

“Do I need travel insurance for my baby/child?” That’s a question we hear all the time. At first, it might seem like the answer is no. Your toddler isn’t paying for the vacation. Your toddler doesn’t have valuable items in their suitcase (aside from their stuffed Bluey).

Nevertheless, it’s really important to have travel insurance to protect your young child, especially if you’re traveling overseas where U.S. health insurance plans aren’t accepted. It’s an easy decision, because children 17 and under are covered for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent when you purchase the OneTrip Prime or OneTrip Premier plan (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents).

Getting travel insurance for your toddler means:

  • Emergency medical care can be covered. If your child gets sick or injured while you’re traveling, emergency medical and dental benefits and emergency transportation benefits can save the day. Call 24-hour assistance, and your assistance coordinator can arrange the help you need: an evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility (if medically necessary), payment for medical care for a covered illness or injury, language interpretation when speaking with doctors, and more.
  • Trip interruptions can be covered. If you have to interrupt or end your trip early for a covered reason, trip interruption benefits can not only reimburse you for the unused part of your trip, but can also cover reasonable transportation expenses — for you and your child — to continue your trip or return to your primary residence.
  • You can reap the rewards when your trip is delayed. With the OneTrip Prime or OneTrip Premier plans, SmartBenefits® can give you an inconvenience payment of $100 per day for a covered travel delay or baggage delay, if certain conditions are met. That’s per insured traveler — so if you’re traveling with your insured toddler, you could get an automatic $200 for a covered delay.

Find a travel insurance plan

Health and Safety

Traveling with toddlers means escaping your (and their) comfort zone, so do what you can to make your home away from home as safe as possible.

  • First-aid kit (with thermometer)
  • Kids' medications for gas relief, pain, bug bites and cuts
  • Toddler toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby shampoo/wash
  • Toddler-sized nail clippers
  • Sunscreen and sunhat
  • Outlet plugs, doorknob covers, toilet locks and other toddler-proofing devices
  • Nightlight
  • Any required prescription medicine
  • 1-2 travel-size packets of laundry detergent


Maybe you’re fortunate to have an adventurous eater, and your toddler gladly eats dishes from around the globe. Or you’re like the rest of us, which means you have to pack more food to keep your picky eater happy.

Play time

It’s tough to play during a long car ride or plane trip, but by packing a few favorite distractions and planning plenty of play breaks, you can keep your toddler happy. And if that doesn’t work, you can always buy something bright, shiny and new from the truck stop or airport gift shop.

  • Books and small toys
  • Crayons, washable markers and paper
  • Favorite stuffed animal or blanket
  • Apps for toddlers
  • Tablet and children's headphones

Essentials for Beach, Lake and Cruise Vacations with Toddlers

Traveling with toddlers on the high seas or in a beachfront rental can require a few extra items. But it’s a small price to pay for fun in the sun with your favorite people.

  • Swim suits and sun suits
  • Swim diapers (Know that a toddler who's not potty-trained won't be allowed in most pools on a cruise ship, even in swim diapers.)
  • Wading pool and beach toys. (Or you can grab these items at a beach shop — and donate them to another family before you leave.)
  • Personal flotation device for safety in pools or on boats. Federal law requires children under 13 on moving boats to wear a correctly sized, Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times, unless they’re below deck or in an enclosed cabin. Some states have different laws; check yours here. Floaty wings or a non-approved swim vest won’t work.
  • Inflatable bathtub (This is a must-have on cruise ships for toddlers who won't take showers.)
  • Baby powder or cornstarch (to get the sand off more easily)
  • Beach tent or shelter (to keep the sun’s rays to a minimum)

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Apr 21, 2022