Could we possibly pack one more thing? With a toddler, yes!
This is my master list of all of the essentials you could need for toddler travel.
It’s everything from what we use for flying to road trips, plus some of the other essentials like for a beach trip.
I personally like to keep things to a minimum when traveling with our toddler (as much as possible). So each trip I have a good think about what we may need on the ground and what will help us get there. There are a few things that I have with me on almost every single trip, things like our baby carrier, compact stroller, and a good sound machine.
As she grows and as we test out new gear, I will be sure to add it to this list and keep it up to date. I know we will outgrow a few things but these are all really staple items to use for a few years.
Traveling with a toddler does not have to be super complicated, so I try to keep that in mind. After overpacking on a few trips, I learned my lesson fast on how to edit down.
This is my toddler travel gear essentials list!
My Toddler Travel Essential Gear List
Airplane Gear for Toddlers
The Big Gear
- Our Lightweight Car seat (FAA-Approved and <$50)
- Car seat Airplane Bag (if you plan to check your car seat)
- Compact Stroller (fits in the overhead of planes)
- Caraa Baby travel backpack (I use the smaller size for domestic, the larger for international)
- Portable High Chair Harness for Seats (great for destinations that don’t have high chairs like France)
- Artipoppe Baby Carrier (this is worth every penny. This carrier is with us on every single trip, we use it for the plane a lot and when we’re on the go for naps.)
- Portable Sound Machine
- Leakproof bento box
- Travel Water bottle
- Disposable placemats (we use these for restaurants frequently)
- Collapsible snack cup
- Sanitizing Honest hand wipes
Travel Toys (we always have the tablet + a few toys)
- Wireless kids’ headphones
- Amazon Fire Kids tablet
- Tegu Pocket Pouch Magnetic Wooden Block Set
- Simple Sensory Toys Silicone Fidget Toy Stress
- Crinkle Book
- Suction Cup Spinner Toy
- Silicone Pull String Activity Toy
- Busy Board Montessori Toy
Upcoming flight with a toddler? Here’s my guide on how to survive
- Guava Pack & Play (we always have this if we don’t plan to use a hotel crib)
- Slumberpod Blackout Tent (great if sharing a hotel room and your suitcase has the space for it)
- Portable Blackout Window Shade (much more affordable, great if the baby is in a room with a single window)
- Pack & Play extra sheets (I pack these if using a hotel pack & play)
- Mini Flexible Fan (we use this in the summer months and on the stroller)
- Baby Monitor No WiFi Needed (super helpful at hotels, networks are hard to connect to with monitors)
- Hatch Sound Machine (if I have the room in our suitcase, I toss this in. If not, we use the portable one listed above)
Road Trip Gear
*We use most of the same gear listed in the above sections
- Car Window Shades with UV Protection
- Willow Breast Pump (convenient for car trips)
- Attaching Table High Chair (use this a lot when on the go and not flying)
Taking a road trip with an infant? Here’s my complete packing list
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: