When packing for a holiday with a toddler you need to think big. Remember all the stuff you carried around when your child was a small baby? Well, double or even triple that and you’re getting an idea of what you’ll need to keep your toddler entertained and comfortable. Here are out top tips for what to pack:
- Nappies – even if you’re not venturing too far afield it’s always a good idea to pack plenty of nappies in case of emergencies or delays
- Baby wipes – keep plenty of these to hand for wiping, soothing and general cleaning up
- Disposable changing mats – you’ll wish you’d brought some when you end up changing him at the roadside or on the train
- Tissues – you can never have too many of these if you’re travelling with a toddler
- Sun hat and sunscreen – make sure you take plenty of sunscreen to protect your baby’s delicate skin
- First aid kit – you never know when you might need some pain relief and plasters
- Small bottles of toiletries and hand gel – you don’t want to spend your holiday hunting for shampoo
- Plastic bags – always have a few to hand for soiled nappies and messy emergencies
Toys and books
- As well as old favourites, pack a few new things to keep him entertained
- Choose sturdy toys that don’t have lots of bits than can get lost
- Books – you may find yourself reading these many times, especially if you’re delayed en route, so make sure you take your favourites too!
- Favourite teddy – forget this at your peril…
When you’re packing for a toddler it’s a good idea to take two outfits per day, just in case. Denim and dark colours are good for hiding dirt and stains and lots of layers are good for changeable climates.
Other useful things to remember include:
- Bathing suit – you never know when it might be handy
- Lots and lots of socks
- Comfortable shoes, especially if he has started walking
- Washable bibs
- Blankets – useful for comforters and keeping him warm on an evening stroll
Food and drink
You can never take enough snacks when travelling with a toddler – and don’t forget to pack some high energy treats for yourself as well!
Sippy cups or bottles are travel essentials – travelling can be thirsty work so encourage him to drink as much as possible to avoid dehydration.
You might also want to put some favourite treats in your suitcase for when you arrive, especially if he’s a fussy eater.
Useful equipment to have when you arrive
Now that the journey’s over, make sure you have what you need for a successful break:
- Portable highchair – feeding him on your lap for a week won’t be fun for anyone
- Socket protectors – keep small fingers out of danger
- Travel cot and playpen – lots of places will provide these but make sure you check in advance if you don’t want to share your bed with a toddler
- Lightweight buggy– these can be checked in at the gate on most airlines
- Car seat– you can’t always rely on finding a suitable seat when you get there and even if you’re not hiring a car you’ll need this for taxis
- Lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils
Start preparing to pack a few days before you travel and you can’t go wrong. Keep a running list of things to bring, or put items out on a table or dresser as you think of them.
- Use a nappy bag with a waterproof lining and a shoulder strap
- Pack an extra shirt for yourself in your carry-on bag — just in case
- Prevent leaks by packing medicines and toiletries in re-sealable plastic bags
- Keep your child's outfits together in one suitcase so you can find them easily
Take your camera — and don't forget the battery charger
Let us know what's in your carry-on bag. Got any insider tips for keeping everyone happy on the journey? Share with us on Facebook.