Looking for the best holiday packing list for a toddler? Here’s everything you need to take when you’re taking your little one away for a weekend / week / longer – just add the amount of outfits to suit the length of your trip!
My son (now 19 months) and I have been on many trips abroad together now. He’s a proper little traveller! Of course all he has to do is turn up, while there’s me having been plotting and planning for months, wanting to be ready for every eventuality. Starting, with holiday packing list for a toddler.
This travel with toddler checklist covers everything you need to consider when you’re packing for your little one. You probably won’t need to take it all, but I can guarantee you’ll want to pack a good chunk of it. It’s amazing how much stuff such a small person requires.
These traveling essentials for toddlers will help make your trip go smoother, for everyone. So, pen and paper, or phones notes at hand, and let’s go through everything you should pack when you’re travelling with a toddler.
Packing List for Toddlers
Follow this toddler packing list for everything you need to take on your next adventure.
Packing essentials for toddlers
First up on your toddler packing list, the most important thing – your toddler’s passport. If you haven’t got one yet, you better get applying! Ours took about two months to come, when my son was a few months old. We got the photos done at Max Spielman and set them off to the Home Office. Your toddler will need their own passport to travel abroad.
Sleep packing list for toddlers
Wondering what to pack when travelling with a toddler for the best sleep possible, for all? Here are my tips…
Some hotels will offer bedsheets for cots, but I read somewhere that taking you own – for a familiar smell of home – is a better idea. I’ve stuck by this and it’s worked for me. Some of the best sleeps my 19-month old son has ever had were when we stayed at the Hotel Gran Castillo Tagoro in Lanzarote. I took his sheets with us then, and will continue to forever more!
Well, sure I’ll stop at some point.
3. Sleeping bags
Depending on the temperature of your holiday destination you’ll want to take a sleeping bag or two for your little one. I’d always take a spare, in case of illness. We’ve got these Mosebears sleeping bags for the summer, although if it’s too hot, we obviously don’t bother.
Pack more than you think you need – they get lost / dropped / vanish into thin air.
5. Snooze shade
Snooze shades are always good for naps on the go.
It’s a good idea to take a blanket in your hand luggage on the plane, you just never know what temperature they’re going to set it at on the day you travel. It can also double up as a pillow, or light shade.
7. Travel cot
Many flight operators will allow a travel cot for free if you’re travelling with an under 2. This can be a good way to travel with a cot your toddler is more familiar with, or you might just see it as extra bulk to carry. But either way, the option is there to consider!
We use this nightlight every night with our toddler. It gives a familiar glow, and is also USB powered for easy charging. It seems to last for ages!
Packing footwear for toddlers
Any toddler packing list needs to feature some great footwear to suit the conditions of your destination.
I bought Reggie these toddler adidas trainers for his next trip. This one time, when I went to Lanzarote, we lost one of his shoes on the flight and only realised when we were at the luggage carousel. Cue me going on an emergency trip to the local sports shop for some trainers the next day (which was a Sunday, so it was closed). In short, I wouldn’t travel with only one pair of footwear again!
You could even get matching women’s trainers, if you’re that way inclined.
I am, and I did.
10. Breathable water shoes
My toddler packing list will always feature some breathable water shoes, because, we’re always around water. That’s a holiday for me!
These make for a great second pair of shoes for a trip, as they’re so multifunctional. These shoes will do for pebbly beaches, sandy shores and sea paddling too. They’re easy to put on, and they stay on too.
READ MORE: My Baby Essentials Packing List
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Packing clothes for toddlers
Right, next up on the checklist for travelling with toddler: clothes.
I’d recommend taking twice as many outfits as you have days, at least. My son gets filthy. I don’t know how but between dirt, snot, food and drink, I change him at least once a day.
- Hoody / Jumpers
- Wet weather clothes
Packing for cleanliness
If you’re wondering what to bring when traveling with a toddler, thinking ‘cleanliness’ is a good place to start.
- Shampoo and conditioner or 2 in 1
- Towel – you can use a towel as a bath mat, if you need. I’ve got Reggie one of those hoody towels for the beach.
- Bath toys
- Bath bubbles
- Wipes – save space and buy these when you’re there, depending on where you’re going.
- Nappies – again, buy when you’re there if it’s a typical tourist spot.
- Nappy bags
- Tissues – have these easy to hand.
- Nappy cream
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail clippers
- Swim nappies
- Inflatable bath – if your child hates showers as much as mine does, these can be a great idea. We took one to Sardinia as he was only a few months old and their bath was massive.
- Washing tablets – if you have a washing machine at your destination, washing tablets can help you to cut down on your packing list for toddlers. Doing a wash halfway through your trip is a necessity if your toddler gets as dirty as mine!
Sun protection for toddlers
Any traveling with toddlers checklist needs to think about the sun. Toddler skin is so delicate and vulnerable, we need to look after it as best we can.
- Hat – I take a few to see if he’ll keep any on his head longer than a few seconds.
- Sun cream – Factor 50 is suggested for little kids. Choose a kids one for sensitive skin.
- Sunglasses – same as the hat, fun game to see if he’ll keep them on longer than 10 seconds!
- Swimsuits – if you’re packing for a family for a beachy holiday take at least two so your toddler has one to wear and one to dry.
- Inflatable or PFD – at a minimum I have an inflatable ring for my son to swim with. If it’s a beachy holiday I like to have a toddler lifejacket too, so I know he’ll keep it on at all times. Just helps us both to relax a bit around water!
- Beach tent – you can get beach tents that fold up into very small circles, enabling you to sit out on the beach for longer, knowing that they’re protected.
Toddler packing list for transport
One of the top essentials for traveling with a toddler is to consider how they’re getting from A to B. Whether A is the airport and B is the beach, is up to you.
40. Car seat
I travelled with a car seat when Reggie was very young, but I’ve recently bought one of these Urban Kanga foldable portable car seats (the low reviews are for the bag it comes in, the seat is fine) so that he can be safe and secure on the go. I just worry that the car seats abroad won’t be up to standard and although he’s tall, he’s still young, so I want him to have the proper head support for sleeping on long journeys.
Unfortunately the haphazard streets of Thessaloniki were no match for the pram we’d had from birth and the handle broke while we were there. As Reggie was older we decided to get an ‘umbrella’ stroller, to take up less space. There are lots of travel prams to choose from though – and quite honestly, it’s a minefield!
42. Sling / backpack carrier
I’ve just bought this hip wrap belt from eBay for walking round the souks and streets of Jordan – I’ll let you know how it goes!
43. Car sun visors
If your trip includes a car journey or two, I’d definitely recommend packing the visors to keep the sun off them for their skin, and for the quality of their sleep too.
Feeding packing list for toddlers
Your traveling with a toddler checklist needs to consider your little ones feeding, and how they’re going to do it. Obviously this will vary greatly depending on where they are on their feeding journey. This is what I’ll be packing for my next trip to Jordan with my son.
44. SMA Milk
My son is on cow’s milk but I’m going to go back to the SMA just because I know his tummy is used to it, and I can carry the cartons in the heat without worrying about it spoiling. He’ll be fine if he skips a feed or two, but I just need to know I have it on me in case!
45. Milk bottles
Yep, he still drinks it out of a bottle for comfort. You might want to change this up for a sippy cup.
46. Water bottles
My son loves to drink out of these dinosaur gulp water bottles, so that’s what we’ll be taking. He does like a cup too, but these are better for on the go.
Always good for mopping up messes!
Try and protect those clothes!
There is absolutely no way I would travel without an excess of snacks for my 19-month old. Oat bars, veggie straws, those banana biscotti things…
50. Cutlery and plates / bowls
Plastic bowls and cutlery can help your child feel more at home. I’d recommend getting one of those bowls with a lid on, so you can take food for later if they’re taking too long or prefer to graze.
51. Packing toys for toddlers
Make sure to pack a few golden oldies for your toy packing list for toddler, as well as some new surprises. My toddler usually takes a few plays to warm up to new toys, so I’ve packed a few old toys, as well as some new toys for our trip.
Electronics packing list for toddlers
- Powerbank – you do NOT want to be running out of power. Here are some of the best portable chargers on the market.
- Plug adaptor – I also like to take a plug bar so I know I have enough plugs for all my equipment, and it’s all in one place rather than being strewn around the different plugs of the room.
- Pushchair fan – essential to keep toddlers cool in their prams and car seats.
- Thermometer – so you can keep an eye on the temperature of their room.
- Baby cam – so you can enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony / verandah / terrace!
- Extra phone / baby screen / kindle FIRE – we have an extra phone for YouTube.
- Headphones – both for you and the toddler!
READ MORE: How to Get to Heathrow via RailAir with a Toddler
More things to pack for toddlers
Here are a few more things I don’t want you to miss from your traveling with a toddler checklist.
- First Aid Kit
- Bug spray
- Books – for both of you
- Day bag – for packing for day trips while you’re away.
How to pack for toddlers
If you’re travelling from place to place you’ll want to pack efficiently, so you can grab whatever you need on the go without messing up the whole system. Even if you’re not, it’s best to be organised from the start when you’re packing, so you don’t get frustrated trying to find things.
Here are a few things you could add to your toddler packing list to help make life easier.
65. Packing cubes
I have some packing cubes for me, but I’ve also recently bought these clear packing cubes for Reggie’s things. It makes it so much easier to see what I’ve bought for him, and to stay organised. Some people say to pack in outfits, but I like to pack in clothes type, and by using these bags I can see it all laid out.
66. Drop down shelving
These might make your packing list for toddlers a bit easier to access. These drop down shelves mean that you can hang up a mini wardrobe and see what you have. It can help with organisation in small spaces like little hotel rooms, and campervans.
TOP TIP: Make sure to leave space for all your souvenirs!
Your toddler packing list printable
I hope this travel with toddler checklist has helped. It will work as a flying with a toddler checklist and a road trip with toddlers checklist too. In fact, bookmark it for any time you plan on travelling with a toddler!
Enjoy your trip!