Traveling with a toddler can be an adventure all on its own! From snacks to entertainment, having the right gear can make the journey smoother for both you and your little one. Besides the obvious diapers, wipes, and everyday toddler items you need when you leave the house, there are some must-haves when traveling with a toddler that will make everything easier. Here’s a comprehensive list of must-have items to pack when embarking on a trip with your toddler.

20 Must-Haves When Traveling With a Toddler

These must-haves when traveling with a toddler will help make your trip run smoother:

1. Slumberpod

must-haves when traveling with a toddler

If you’re sleeping in the same room as your toddler during your travels, a SlumberPod is our number one must-have! This is a total game-changer for traveling with littles and sharing a room.

The SlumberPod is a game-changer for families embarking on trips, offering a haven of peace and privacy in the midst of bustling accommodations. With its innovative design, this portable sleep solution ensures little ones get the rest they need while parents enjoy uninterrupted moments of relaxation or late-night conversations.

By creating a cozy, darkened environment, SlumberPod transforms any space into a sleep-friendly haven, whether it’s a hotel room, vacation rental, or even grandma’s guest room. Its ease of setup and lightweight construction make it a stress-free addition to any travel itinerary. Families can now savor their journeys, knowing that their little travelers will enjoy a comfortable and undisturbed night’s sleep, making for happier and more memorable trips for everyone involved. Get your SlumberPod here.

2. Kids Headphones


Comfortable headphones for toddlers are the perfect travel companion for tablet time during a flight or long drive. 

3. Sippy Cups

sippy cups

Avoid spills and keep your toddler hydrated with spill-proof sippy cups. Opt for ones that are easy to clean on the go.

4. Entertainment

Load up a tablet with toddler-friendly apps, games, and movies. This can be a lifesaver during long flights or car rides. We really like the Amazon Tablets for our travel days!

5. Comfort Items

Favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier. Familiar items can provide comfort in unfamiliar places.

6. Disposable Tray Table Covers

tray covers

To help keep the inevitable toddler mess at a minimum while on an airplane, disposable tray table covers are great for snacks and coloring. 

7. Portable High Chair Harness

Portable High Chair Harness

For destinations where high chairs are hard to find, a portable high chair harness is the perfect solution!

8. Folding Travel Potty Seat

Folding Travel Potty Seat

If your toddler is potty training, you’ll want a convenient option to keep up that training while you’re traveling. This folding travel potty seat is a handy hack to slide into your carry-on or diaper bag.

9. Travel First Aid Kit

Travel First Aid Kit

Be prepared for minor accidents with a compact first aid kit. Include items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and children’s pain relievers.

10. Portable Sound Machine

Portable Sound Machine

When you’re away from home, the new environmental sounds can disturb your kids’ sleep, especially if they sleep with a sound machine at home. A tiny portable sound machine is a great solution.

11. Gate Check Bag for Car Seat

Gate Check Bag for Car Seat

This gate check bag is perfect for protecting your car seat when you check it for a flight. It also makes it easy to spot when it’s time to pick it up.

12. Travel Stroller

Travel Stroller

A lightweight, foldable stroller is a lifesaver. Look for one that’s easy to maneuver through crowds and fits in tight spaces like airplane overhead bins.

13. Disposable Bibs

Disposable Bibs

Keep mealtimes mess-free with disposable bibs. They’re lightweight and easy to pack.

14. Ziploc Bags

Perfect for storing snacks, wet clothes, or soiled diapers. They come in handy more often than you’d think!

15. Travel-Friendly Toys

Travel-Friendly Toys

Small, quiet toys like coloring books, crayons, or magnetic puzzles can provide entertainment without disturbing fellow travelers. This busy board is a great option.

16. Baby Proofing Supplies

Baby Proofing Supplies

If your accommodations are not childproofed, bring along some childproofing supplies like outlet covers and cabinet locks for peace of mind.

17. Baby Monitor (No Wifi Necessary)

 Baby Monitor (No Wifi Necessary)

Traveling with a baby monitor is a must if you’re staying in a house, apartment, or suite with separate bedrooms. A baby monitor that doesn’t require wifi is even better since you might not always have access to wifi, depending on where you’re staying.

18. Multi-Purpose Backpack

travel backpack

A backpack with multiple compartments keeps your hands free and makes it easy to access essentials like snacks, wipes, and toys. Find out more about the best travel backpacks for kids here.

19. Travel-Friendly Clothes

Pack versatile, easy-to-layer clothing for your toddler. Comfort is key for those long travel days.

20. Toddler Inflatable Travel Bed

Toddler Inflatable Travel Bed

An inflatable travel bed can be a lifesaver on airplanes, buses, and more! 

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Expert Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

1. Plan Around Sleep Schedule

Whenever possible, plan your travel around your toddler’s sleep schedule. Traveling during nap times or bedtime can help ensure a more peaceful journey.

2. Pack a Surprise Bag

Create a “surprise bag” filled with new toys, books, or activities. Introduce these items throughout the trip to keep your toddler entertained and engaged.

3. Snack Smartly

Pack a variety of healthy snacks in small portions. Snacks not only keep hunger at bay but can also serve as a distraction during travel delays or tantrums.

4. Dress for Comfort

Choose comfortable, easy-to-layer clothing for your toddler. Avoid clothes with lots of buttons or complicated fastenings for quick diaper changes or restroom breaks.

5. Use Technology Wisely

While screens can be a lifesaver, limit screen time and use it strategically, such as during long flights or car rides. Load up on educational apps or favorite shows.


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6. Engage in Play

Encourage active play whenever possible. Whether it’s a quick stop at a playground during a layover or a short walk during a road trip, letting your toddler burn off energy can make a big difference.

7. Stay Flexible

Be prepared for the unexpected. Traveling with a toddler can be unpredictable, so stay flexible with your plans and be ready to adapt to their needs.

8. Involve Them

Let your toddler be part of the journey. Talk about the upcoming trip, involve them in packing their bag, and let them help with small tasks along the way to foster their excitement and cooperation.

9. Safety First

Always prioritize safety. Whether it’s using car seats, baby carriers, or childproofing your accommodations, ensure your toddler’s safety is never compromised.

10. Ask for Help

Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance when needed. Fellow travelers, airline staff, or hotel employees are often willing to lend a hand, especially when they see you’re traveling with a little one.

plane icon

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Final Thoughts

Traveling can have its challenges, but with these must-haves when traveling with a toddler and all the best toddler travel essentials, you’ll be better equipped to handle the journey with ease and make lasting memories along the way. Remember, flexibility is key, and sometimes the best-laid plans may go awry, but that’s all part of the adventure! So pack up those essentials, buckle up, and get ready for an exciting journey with your little explorer. Safe travels!

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