How to Travel with a Toddler

I absolutely LOVE traveling! I always have! I especially love road trips. There is something so fun about stopping at the gas station and getting all of the best junk food out there, singing the best songs on the radio on the open road and of course spending time with my favorite people in the world. I just got back from a week long vacation and let me tell you – it is a completely different experience traveling with a baby! I learned a LOT and thought I would share with you a few tips and tricks on how to travel with a toddler. Spring Break is just around the corner, Summer follows shortly after, and vacations are on the horizon. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you travel with your toddler.

How To Travel With A Toddler
THE DO’s:

1. PACK IT ALL: I remember the first time I went to church with my baby someone said, “Wow! Did you bring the whole house?!” And I said… “YEP!” I honestly don’t think you can be OVER prepared… especially when it comes to traveling with a toddler. They are very needy {do you blame them?!} so you must be prepared. I highly suggest if you think you might need it, throw it in the bag! Don’t forget their favorite toys, snacks, something that comforts them like a blanket or bottle, books and movies. Your car might be packed, but just trust me. You won’t regret it when you are in the middle of nowhere and they need some entertaining.

2. BE FLEXIBLE: On vacation it is always fun to have a schedule and a list of things you would like to do, but make sure that you remember to be flexible. You may be running out the door and a poopy diaper needs to be changed. You may be on your way to something and they have the biggest meltdown of their lives because they are tired of traveling. Always be willing to change your plans if needed.

3. STOP AND STRETCH: Maybe I should have put this as number one?! This is so important! At one part of the trip, I drove home with just Laila and I in our car. JUST the two of us! This was our first experience doing this and I can’t say it was all roses. We were about an hour and a half away from our home when she got SO upset. I learned the importance of stopping and stretching at that moment. Pull over and get the baby out of the car. Let them run around and stretch for a minute. Those car seats can’t be that comfortable! Let them get some energy out before you carry on.

4. iPADs, KINDLES or CAR TVS SAVE THE DAY: I am normally not one that plops my baby in front of the television for hours, but I am not kidding – these are LIFE SAVERS! Luckily, Frozen came out the day we were traveling so Laila was spoiled with a brand new movie to watch. It was entertaining and kept her busy. I HIGHLY recommend this – especially if you are going a long distance.

5. FOOD, FOOD, FOOD: The first thing I put that I loved about road trips was the junk food right?! Well – our kids need food too! Not necessarily junk food, but they need something to eat. Crackers, juice boxes and fruit packets are our favorite foods to travel with. Little messes and easy to carry! Food can really help when you are on that long stretch of no gas stations and no restaurants.


THE DONT’s:

1. DON’T THINK YOU ARE GOING TO BE ON TIME: Getting the car loaded with a baby can be rough! If you want to be on time, make sure you give yourself PLENTY. I am a late person to begin with, so add a toddler with me and we are just doomed! Go into it knowing you may not be able to be on time to everything you would like to. The road trip to California was only supposed to be 5 hours, but after all of our stops and breaks it took us 6! It’s okay though, as long as you go into it knowing that this might be a possibility.

2. DON’T RUSH: Even if the clock is ticking and it seems like you aren’t going to EVER make it to your destination, don’t rush. You will eventually get there, even if it takes double the time to. I noticed when I rushed, I would forget something! I even forgot diapers in the hotel room one day because I ran out of the hotel too quickly. Make sure you have everything and remember your daily items you will need with a toddler.

3. DON’T LOSE CONTROL: Sometimes traveling with a toddler is stressful! You may seem like the baby is out of control and there is nothing you can do about it. Always remember in these situations that you can always control one person – and that is yourself. As long as you can control YOU, you can do it. Stay calm {easier said than done, trust me!} and take control. Remember that the baby is your priority. You are their mom. If they are crying, they need something – maybe they just need you. Give them the attention they need, even if that means pulling over and snuggling for a minute at the rest stop. {Been there, done that!}

4. DON’T OVER PLAN: Your toddler should be your focus of the day. I am very active and I love to pack my schedule full of fun things to do and places to see! It is so important to remember to not over plan. A toddler needs a nap. A toddler needs to eat. A toddler needs to be changed. A toddler needs attention. Make sure you focus on THEM. If the baby is happy, you will be happy! Which will make for a much better adventure!

5. DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN: This is NUMBER ONE! Vacations are FUN! Traveling is FUN! SO don’t forget to have FUN! Remember to make memories and take lots of pictures! Treasure these special moments and times that you get to spend with your little babies. Don’t forget that one day they will be grown and you will be on a road trip missing these days of being a young mom. Enjoy it and treasure it!

I am a list person. I HAVE to have a list of everything I need to pack or else I am guaranteed to forget something! And often that thing I forget is one of the most important things I need! I made this Packing List for A Toddler PRINTABLE for you today. Save it for your next trip with your baby or toddler and print it off! I am sure it will help you, just as it helps me with EVERY trip we go on!


Packing List for A Toddler

Traveling with a baby or toddler can be overwhelming and stressful, but it can also be the best trip ever. It really is what you make it! I honestly thought this past week traveling without my husband was going to be the longest week of my life, but I can’t believe I am already home! I can’t wait to plan our next trip and have fun! Children really bring the greatest joys in our lives. I hope you have FUN as you plan your vacations for the next few months as the weather gets warmer. Enjoy every minute and make every day, the BEST day for your family!

Don’t forget to share it with your friends and pin it for later! —

6 Comments on How to Travel with a Toddler

  1. Laura O
    May 31, 2017 at 1:16 am (4 months ago)

    These are great tips. I love the packing list. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Nicole Stanley
    April 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm (3 years ago)

    Nice post!I Love the idea of going on road travel with family.Whenever,we take road trips, I always do some online research to find interesting places to stop for breaks and also beautiful places to make it fun experince for my kids.

    Reply
  3. Aimee
    March 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post, Danielle! I’m part of the FLBN Facebook group, too. I pinned this so I can refer back to the packing list! I loved the “don’ts” on this list. What a sweet blog with a great purpose. Moms far and wide need to band together and support! Can’t wait to read more.

    Reply
  4. Kathy
    March 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing, it takes me back to when my boys were little.

    Reply
  5. Angel
    March 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm (4 years ago)

    I always admire how organized you are! I’ll bookmark this list for when we head out on the road 🙂 Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Jessica
    March 24, 2014 at 6:53 pm (4 years ago)

    Lots of good tips. If people are prepared they are more likely to have a better outcome.

    Reply

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