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}