Traveling with a toddler can be a little daunting, but if you are prepared with these toddler travel essentials, you have nothing to worry about!
When you hear the phrase traveling with a toddler oh, do you get excited or anxious? If you get excited oh, congratulations! If you get anxious, I’m so glad you’re here! I used to be really anxious when it came to traveling with toddlers. I always saw all the travel influencers make it look so easy, but the thought of leaving the house with my toddler and his Madness was more than I could bear sometimes. However oh, my love for travel eventually won over, and I did what any self-respecting and over-analytical mother would do, I made a million list of how to make traveling with my toddler bearable. I mean, enjoyable. and although it’s not perfect, it’s getting so much better! And I owe it all to these toddler travel Essentials that I’m about to share with you. I swear by them and use them all!
This post is all about toddler travel Essentials to help make traveling fun again.
Toddler Travel Essentials
These toddler travel essentials are perfect for most types of travel, whether by car, plane, train, or bus…. Did I miss anything? Haha. We tried to travel without these things and we saw a significant difference by using these things, which is why I’m recommending them to you.
You may already have a stroller that you love and is easy to fold up, and that’s great! Bring that one. If you are in the market for one though, I highly recommend this travel stroller. Like really recommend it. It’s so perfect. It’s super smooth to push, has a nearly flat recliner for your toddler to nap, and has a large basket at the bottom for your stuff. It also folds up pretty small and stands up by itself when folded. I could go on, but this is such a great stroller!
This one isn’t super necessary if you are going to be bringing your diaper bag. However kids get older, they may want to carry their own stuff. Or you may want for them to carry their own stuff. Either way, some of the taller backpacks out there are pretty small and won’t fit wipes and diapers along with snacks toys, and water. This is why I’m recommending these toddler backpacks. I actually don’t even know if they’re meant to be toddler backpacks, but they’ve worked really well for us. They are big enough to fit everything we need to put in there, but not too big that it’s overwhelming for a little toddler’s body.
Toddler Neck Pillow
Getting a toddler neck pillow was such a funny thing for me to buy, but it’s been super handy. When you’re traveling in cars or airplanes and your little toddler falls asleep, you usually get the limp head rolling around, and sometimes he’ll wake themselves up. With these little toddler pillows however you’re able to keep their heads in one place allowing them to sleep better and not have any neck problems or aches when they wake up.
There are a lot of changing pets out there, and they will all work perfectly fine. I’m not saying that you should go out and buy yourself a new changing pad, but if you don’t have one I would highly recommend getting this changing pad. It’s so small when it folds up and it wipes clean super well.
Pack and Play
I’ve talked about Joovy pack and play before in other blog posts, but this is by far the best toddler travel bed that I have found. Hands down. We used to use a regular pack-and-play, but Ollie was getting too big for them and not sleeping great because he couldn’t move around as much. That all changed when we got this toddler travel bed. It’s big and so wonderful. And the carrying bag for it has straps that you can use like a backpack which makes it easy to travel with.
Inflatable Toddler Bed
If your toddler is a little toddler and in the weird stage where they are no longer in a crib, but still too small for a pull-out hotel bed, this cute little inflatable toddler bed is perfect for you! It packs up pretty small and at only 8 pounds can easily fit in your suitcase. it’s also easy to blow up and so fun for your toddler to sleep in! Plus you don’t have to worry about them falling out!
Ollie sleeps so well with sound machines, which is why we have one that they keep with our suitcases to bring with him whenever we travel. We didn’t buy one just for traveling, we just happen to have an extra one. So don’t feel like you have to buy a new one just for traveling. If you already have a sound machine and it’s small enough and it works well, I just recommend reading that when you travel.
My one recommendation with sound machines though, is that you get one that doesn’t have to be plugged in. When traveling, it can be hard to find plugs when you need them to plug in your time machine. And you don’t want to always have to put your phone next to them with a sound machine white noise so they can sleep. That’s why I recommend using this Sam machine. It is chargeable, so you can have it plugged in before you leave. When you need it you just turn it on and it will run. Ours typically runs for more than 12 hours easily on one charge.
Ok, before I tell you what I love about the SlumberPod, I have to give the disclaimer that it doesn’t fit the Joovy pack-and-play that I recommended. So sad, I know.
I didn’t know how amazing this slumber pod would be until we actually bought it. It’s basically a blackout tent for your kid’s pack-and-play. It makes it so much easier to provide them with a dark quiet and unstimulating environment for them to fall asleep quickly. I’ve ever even seen some people set one of these up at the airport for their toddler to take a nap while they are waiting for a flight or a layover. This was such a game-changer especially when we had to share a hotel room with Oliver. It made it so much easier for him to get the rest he need and us not to have to go to bed at 7 PM with him every night.
I was pretty skeptical about the JetKids originally and wasn’t going to include it as a toddler travel essential. However, once we finally tried one, traveling with a toddler changed. In a good way! The JetKids is definitely more suited for airplane travel. However, I have seen other people use it for road trips and other vacations. So it’s totally up to you! For us, it worked best for the airplane. Especially here in Salt Lake where it takes a lot of walking to get to some gates in the terminal, this has been perfect to help get over there in one piece.
Prior to this we would bring the stroller with us and have gate-check it because Oliver couldn’t walk that entire way. We often had to carry him, and as he got older, this got harder. So it wasn’t very easy to carry him the almost mile walk to our gate. When we got the JetKids, we were able just to check the stroller with our bags, bring the diaper bag and any of our personal items, and drag him along on his little JetKids suitcase. It has worked out so great for us and for him. He loves being able to sit on it and glide down the hallways as if he’s riding a motorcycle.
Again if you already have bibs, Bring those with you. If you’re looking for some though, I recommend silicone bibs. They’re really easy to wipe off and store really well.
Diaper Bag Dispenser
These are perfect for on-the-go poopy diapers. They keep the smell in so if you are having a hard time finding a garbage can or don’t want to leave a smelly poopy diaper in a garbage can, you can use these bags and know when will be the wiser.
These reusable pouches are perfect to keep things organized in your bag or in your toddler’s little backpack. You can put small toys in there or medicine or anything you need to keep separate and organized in your bag. We all know what it’s like to reach into a diaper bag looking for something quick and only find a bunch of loose items in there.
When you’re traveling you never know the sanitary nature of anything that you or your kid has been touching. That’s why I recommend having sanitary wipes with you at all times when traveling.
You never know when sickness is going to come up, so it’s always helpful to have some medicine with you. That will make a cough or a little fever less stressful than having to go find an open store or a rental car or something at the hotel.
When it comes to toddler travel essentials, we always like to have some snack containers handy. As your toddlers get older, you don’t need snap containers as often. However, I still like to bring them when traveling. It makes it so much easier to hand them something and know that it has some chance of being contained versus just handing them an apple for a bag of goldfish.
I always like to travel with a little water bottle for Molly. It makes it easier for us to keep it filled up so that when he needs a drink he can we can be sure that he is staying hydrated.
Again, if you already have light blankets, I recommend bringing them. If you don’t, I recommend these like blankets. They’re perfect for travel and there they won’t keep your toddler too hot. However it’s always nice to cuddle up with a blanket every now and then, and I’m sure your toddler will appreciate it.
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Toddler Travel Toys
If your screen-free household, skip the slot next few on the last to the good, non-screen stuff. However, we like to bring that Amazon Tablet with movies, audiobooks, and other educational things that Oliver can play with on the plane or on the car. I used to always bring the iPad, but there are no parental controls on that, so we switched to the Amazon Tablet and it’s been so much better for us!
As much as we love listening to hear our kids’ movies, I’m not sure other people like it as much, especially if you’re traveling on an airplane or a train. These portable headphones are super soft for kids’ ears and heads, and they fold up for easy storage.
We love these doodle boards. They’re perfect for encouraging creativity without the mess. We take this one with us along with the iPad when we travel.
Busy Board Book
This cute little busy book is perfect for toddlers. It’s educational but also good at keeping them busy.
These are so cute and so small. They are perfect toddler travel toys. It also helps that they are magnetic, so losing pieces isn’t as easy. Thank goodness.
There you have it! These are the toddler travel essentials that we love so much! Seriously, these things have made traveling with a toddler so much more enjoyable. As Ollie gets older, some of these are not going to work anymore though good which is such a bummer! We’ve gotten into such a good groove! Packing now is so easy! Haha. Oh well. I will be sure to create a new post with the travel essentials for kids that we use and love as Ollie gets older and outgrows some of these things.