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Packing Checklist for Traveling With Toddlers

Allianz - checklist-traveling-toddlers-updated

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 back yard.

We’re here to help you devise and execute a smart and 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, diaper cream, wipes and changing pad
  • Potty seat (If toilet-trained)
  • Easy-on, easy-off outfits (The fewer the buttons, the better) and PJs
  • At least two pair of shoes (They’re known to go missing…)
  • Rain and cold-weather gear (If the forecast looks iffy)
  • Blankets
  • Umbrella stroller (But you can pick up a cheap one — and even donate it afterward — to conserve space).
  • Backpack carrier
  • Car seat (Although a rental car company may be able to provide one for an added cost)
  • Pack-and-play 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 grocery store-sized bags (For all the reasons you can think of. And some you can’t…)

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


Maybe you’re fortunate to have an adventurous eater, and your toddler eats what you eat. Or you’re like the rest of us, which means you may have to pack more food to keep your picky eater happy.

  • Spill-proof cups
  • Toddler-size utensils and mat
  • Snacks, such as cereal, puffs, crackers and fruit (Keeping in mind TSA regulations, if flying)
  • Small cooler with ice packs

Play time

It’s tough to play during a long car ride or plane trip, but by packing a few favorite distractions and planning in plenty of play breaks, you can keep your toddler happy. And if that doesn’t work, you can always find 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
  • Phone apps for toddlers
  • Tablet and children's headphones

Essentials for Beach and Cruise Vacations with Toddlers

Traveling with toddlers on the high seas or in a beachfront rental high rise 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 (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. (Easy items to grab at a beach shop for under $30 all together — and donate to another family before you leave.)
  • Personal Floating Device for safety in pools or on boats
  • Inflatable bathtub (This is a must-have on cruise ships for toddlers who won't take showers.)
  • Baby powder
  • Beach tent or shelter (To keep the sun’s rays to a minimum)
Sep 11, 2018