Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}

Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}

As I was packing our bags for our recent vacation to Los Cabos a couple of weeks ago I was hoping that I had everything we needed and that I didn’t miss anything important.

Traveling with an infant is not the same as traveling with a toddler and the last time we  traveled with him it was pre-walking stage. Totally different story.

Anyhow!  Here is a list of must have items when staying at a resort with a toddler, the ones we used the most and some of the ones I forgot to take with us and ended up having to purchase at our destination.

1) Travel Size Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid: Hello! I packed his two sippy cups (one for water and one for milk), snack cup and utensils and I totally forgot about the dish liquid. I couldn’t believe I did until we arrived in our room and I was unpacking his dirty sippy cup and realized I didn’t have anything to properly clean it with.

Using hand soap is not a good idea and will NOT get the cups clean (milk leaves residue and that needs to be cleaned properly).   I even had a travel size dish liquid bottle I reviewed from Dapple Baby  at home so it was just one of those things I forgot to pack. We ended up buying a small bottle of dish soap from a store close to the Marina downtown (outside of the resort).

2) Waterproof (PVC-Free) Bib: Don’t forget to pack a couple of waterproof bibs. The resort had high chairs at every one of their restaurants and our son loved trying out tons of new foods and eating everything on his own.  Because you have a limited supply of clothing at vacations you want to make sure you keep your little one’s clothes clean after meals so you don’t have to change tops 3 times a day or more.   I brought two with us and kept rinsing them and reusing them after every meal.

Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}

3) Child Carrier if you use it: We left the stroller at home and I used our carrier all the time instead. It made the trip SO much easier for us. We didn’t have to deal with something else to carry on top of our bags and I found the carrier was amazing at the airport and  when going for walks outside the resort.  We were both wearing light clothes so we were not uncomfortably hot (at 28°C+ temperatures) and I was surprised about that. We weren’t planning on doing a lot of walking outside of the resort but when we went out it was a great way to go for walks.

4) Childproofing Kit: This one allowed me to relax a bit more when spending time in our room. Hotel/Resort rooms are NOT childproofed and if you have a little toddler that likes exploring and he/she is clumsy then you have to be very very vigilant.  Within seconds after entering our room, dropping our bags and me removing our son from the carrier, he managed to get a finger pinched by a closing cabinet door. He was FAST.  His finger was o.k (thankfully) and I was relieved to remember I brought a kit to childproof the room (review coming up on the kit I used).

5) Lots of Snacks: Be sure to bring a good variety of healthy snacks and snacks that you know your little one loves. Our son eats rice cookies once in a while and he loves them,  having those in my diaper bag ready during the flight was very helpful, specially when avoiding melt-downs. (I wouldn’t use cookies to stop meltdowns at home but once you are in a plane for 4+ hours then you do what you can to avoid a big tantrum).

Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}

6) Baby hat and lots of your favorite sunscreen lotion: Having a nice sun hat for your little one will help you out protecting their face, ears and neck all at the same time.  Bring a few bottles of your favorite chemical free sunscreen lotion.  If you run out of it while away you won’t be able to purchase the same brands at the resort and the prices there are outrageous. A bottle of sunscreen lotion at the resort we stayed at was close to $60 (you can get the same brand here for $20). They charge a lot of money because they know tourist would pay the money to avoid having to leave the resort to look for it somewhere else.

7) Toys: We were lucky we were meeting up with our in-laws in Mexico so we didn’t have to carry all the toys (they brought beach and pool toys for him) but I totally recommend you purchasing a few toys and taking them with you.  An inflatable beach ball and a sand bucket and pail will keep your child entertained for a while.

8 ) Small containers to keep snacks for your child: At the resort there were snack bars and buffets open almost 24/7. It meant we had access to fruits and vegetables and grains and nuts and anything we wanted to snack on. Having small containers to fill and carry with us to the beach was great because it meant we had snacks ready for our little one without having to leave the beach to get snacks all the time.

9) Your child’s favorite blanket: At night it was comforting for him to have his own blanket that smelt like home. He slept with it every night and I am glad we took it with us.

10) More than one swim diaper (if using reusable): Be sure to bring more than one swim diaper to allow for them to dry in between and to get cleaned if they get messy.  Having an extra swim diaper means that if one diaper gets messy while your child is in the water you can quickly change your little one and get him back in the water right away.

Now you can get packing and get ready for your next vacation with your toddler. Traveling with children takes some planning but the experiences you are giving them are worth all the extra work. Enjoy amigos!

Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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63 responses to “Traveling with a Toddler? {Top 10 Items to Take with You When on Vacation}”

  1. CanadianMomof3 — March 18, 2012 @ 11:22 am (#)

    Thank you for posting. Great tips! Specially the baby proofing kit!

    Reply

  2. Sabrina — March 18, 2012 @ 2:37 pm (#)

    Snacks is my #1 with my kids. If they don’t have food they get cranky!

    Reply

    • Angela at OneSmileyMonkey — March 18th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

      I am the same if I don’t have any snacks so I am known for carrying lots of snacks in my bag at all times 🙂

      Reply

  3. Sophia — March 18, 2012 @ 10:02 pm (#)

    Great list! The child proofing kit is a good reminder.

    Reply

  4. courtney b — March 19, 2012 @ 10:58 am (#)

    this is a great post, tips are very informative thank you so much!

    Reply

  5. Elva Roberts — March 19, 2012 @ 1:17 pm (#)

    March 19- I have been reading your suggistions for travelling with a toddler and I think they are wonderful. I would recomment your list to anyone who plans on tra velling with a toddler. Thanks for the important information that cam make the holiday so much more pleasant.–el03ro

    Reply

  6. Deb Dorrington — March 21, 2012 @ 12:35 pm (#)

    I remember traveling when my kids were young it was a whole shopping list of things to pack…but if I didn’t have enough snacks then there was trouble..lol. I still pack snacks in my huge handbag even though I no longer need them..can’t break the habit of being prepared…Thanks for the great list.

    Reply

  7. Elva Roberts — March 21, 2012 @ 6:44 pm (#)

    March 21-I liked your idea about having lots of snacks on hand for a toddler when you are travelling with them. I seem to remember That Kate Gosling (Kate and Eight fame) always took bags of snacks when they travelled with their eight children who were quite young at the time-twins and sixtuplets. It was a must for her and she seemed to be well organized. I will be interested in reading about your child -proofing kit when you post it. -el03ro

    Reply

  8. Fleta Dolson — March 22, 2012 @ 4:33 pm (#)

    You got a very superb website, Glad I noticed it through yahoo.

    Reply

  9. Lisa — March 24, 2012 @ 9:32 am (#)

    I always have a hard time with baby hats 🙂 They just don’t want to wear them.

    Reply

  10. Chelly — March 24, 2012 @ 1:21 pm (#)

    Such a good idea on the pvc bib! We use all cloth bibs so when they get dirty they generally need to go through the washer. Can’t believe I didn’t think abotu pvs bibs. We travel often so I will definitely be using that tip!

    Reply

  11. Rachel N — March 30, 2012 @ 1:29 pm (#)

    I would never have thought of the childproofing kit! That is such a great idea!

    Reply

  12. madison — April 7, 2012 @ 1:52 pm (#)

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!

    Reply

  13. gtj Drama — April 10, 2012 @ 9:43 pm (#)

    I will right away snatch your rss as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

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  14. jennifer laur — April 11, 2012 @ 8:34 am (#)

    my son and i will by flying in may, and i think the ergo is going to be our lifesaver in the airport!

    Reply

  15. Marianne — May 23, 2012 @ 12:10 pm (#)

    Nice list 🙂 We are planning on taking our toddler to the cottage this summer so a baby proofing kit is a must have!

    Reply

  16. Eva U — June 28, 2012 @ 7:29 am (#)

    Isn’t it funny how when you travel the sleep toy always gets missed. I am glad I came on here, packing for a weekend camping trip – lest not forget my son’s favorite huggy pillow. Thanks.

    eva urban

    Reply

  17. serena adkins — January 18, 2013 @ 5:07 am (#)

    These are some great tips for traveling with a child. We are getting ready to take our son on a disneyland cruise this year and we are clueless as to what to bring. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Reply

  18. tennille — February 10, 2013 @ 10:15 pm (#)

    great suggestions, especially the snack containers.

    Reply

  19. Sabrina L — February 12, 2013 @ 10:21 pm (#)

    We will be traveling to a resort in Mexico in Nov with our little man and this is great info to know thank you.

    Reply

  20. Nena Sinclair — February 15, 2013 @ 5:22 pm (#)

    These are great tips! I’m going to pass this onto my daughter and son-in-law, they’re going to be traveling in a few weeks with their toddler, I know they’ll find this helpful! Thank you!

    Reply

  21. Emma — February 15, 2013 @ 8:08 pm (#)

    Perfect list! 🙂 thanks for the tips!

    Reply

  22. Tania B — February 21, 2013 @ 7:37 am (#)

    This is a brilliant list of tips. I hadn’t thought of the childproofing kit! Smart!

    Reply

  23. Kaitlin M — February 23, 2013 @ 3:12 pm (#)

    Those are really good ideas

    Reply

  24. comprar backlinks — March 13, 2013 @ 10:41 am (#)

    Very nice style and great articles , very little else we require : D.

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  25. Melanie P. — April 12, 2013 @ 7:59 am (#)

    Great tips! We’ve only ever travelled to visit family and take the train when we do. I often mail a bunch of the stuff we’ll need on the trip in advance so we really don’t need to bring much with us at all.

    Reply

  26. Rachel N — April 28, 2013 @ 9:27 am (#)

    Oh, I never would have thought of the childproofing kit but that is GENIUS!

    Reply

  27. Robin Wilson — May 13, 2013 @ 6:18 pm (#)

    When we traveled with our son I would always ask the hotel if they had a pediatrician on-call or recommended for non-emergency health problems. Never had to use them, but peace of mind was worth the asking. These are all great tips!

    Reply

  28. Dayna Wilson — May 24, 2013 @ 3:42 pm (#)

    We’re embarking on our first trip with my one year-old this weekend, so this article was super handy for me. Thanks a lot!

    Reply

  29. paula huie — May 29, 2013 @ 9:13 am (#)

    Great tips!! thank you we will be going to Cuba with our son who will be 2 on (his birthday) on the day we leave!! not sure if this is a good thing or not! lol

    Reply

  30. Erika B — June 5, 2013 @ 12:23 pm (#)

    Great tips Thanks a lot this list will really come in handy for our trip this summer!

    Reply

  31. Catherine — June 24, 2013 @ 2:37 pm (#)

    Saw an RT for this post on twitter and had to read it! I have a holiday rental home here in Donegal, Ireland and cater mainly for families. I have endeavour to have everything a parent needs for their little ones to save them transporting them when holidaying with us. I have the usual things such as travel cots, high chair, baby gates, etc. etc. etc. but am always looking for ideas for more things parents need when on holiday with their children. From your post I now am going to add pvc bibs to the list of what we have in the house. We do have socket covers but hadn’t thought of locks for the kitchen cupboards (as in your safety kit) so will definitely get those. Thanks for the ideas & great blog post!

    Reply

  32. Ashleigh Swerdfeger — July 18, 2013 @ 11:38 am (#)

    These ideas are perfect. I always feel like I am forgetting something even on a daytrip to the zoo or something. I always try to have diapers, wipes, wet bag, change of cloths, toys, snacks,drinks, sippy cup and sunscreen. Oh and if you;re child is old enough- a camera for them is a neat gift because kids have a completely different perspective on what is worth photographing.

    Reply

  33. Mike Gismondi — August 2, 2013 @ 9:07 pm (#)

    These are great tips… I’ll use them the next time we travel!

    Reply

  34. Charlene Vidal — August 6, 2013 @ 2:32 pm (#)

    Great Tips. Will have to remember some of these when I travel with the grand-kids.

    Reply

  35. Mike Gismondi — August 13, 2013 @ 9:54 pm (#)

    these are great ideas!

    Reply

  36. Jenny — August 28, 2013 @ 11:30 pm (#)

    That first photo is really cute! Snacks are definitely so important!

    Reply

  37. Eva Mitton-Urban — October 8, 2013 @ 11:54 am (#)

    Family holiday reunion this Christmas – travelling with relatives and their toddlers. Good tips here – anything to help the long 8 hour flight – funny how we always seem to forget to pack their bedtime buddies and blankets…good reminder, thanks.

    Reply

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  39. Michele W — June 5, 2014 @ 10:10 pm (#)

    Wow the dish soap and the travel child-proofing kit are so smart! Will keep these in mind!

    Reply

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  43. kathy+downey — October 17, 2014 @ 2:19 pm (#)

    This post is great thanks for all the tips they are very informative…

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  44. kathy+downey — November 13, 2014 @ 7:13 am (#)

    Amazing tips,hes such a cutie

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  45. kathy+downey — December 17, 2014 @ 8:47 am (#)

    He is too cute in that hat !

    Reply

  46. kathy downey — January 8, 2015 @ 4:20 am (#)

    These are great tips! I’m going to pass this onto my friend & partner they’re going to be traveling in a few weeks with their twins they’ll find this helpful

    Reply

  47. Elizabeth Matthiesen — February 11, 2015 @ 3:17 pm (#)

    You really must have thought of everything, a fantastic list. I’ve travelled a lot with my children but never even thought of a childproofing kit, what a great idea. I’m sure this list will come in handy for a lot of parents of toddlers, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  48. kathy downey — February 24, 2015 @ 6:04 am (#)

    I really like the Childproofing Kit

    Reply

  49. kathy downey — March 27, 2015 @ 5:48 am (#)

    This is such a good list for parents traveling

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  50. kathy downey — November 18, 2015 @ 8:09 am (#)

    These are perfect,thanks so much!

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  51. private label supplements — January 4, 2016 @ 11:06 pm (#)

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  52. kathy downey — March 3, 2016 @ 10:01 am (#)

    Snack are one of the most important

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  53. Debbie White Beattie — September 4, 2017 @ 6:40 pm (#)

    This is a really great post because most of these things I would have thought of but the Childproofing Kit never even would have crossed my mind.

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