You may be a spontaneous traveler, but traveling with your toddler is one instance when you do not want to leave things to chance. You've probably been warned about this or already experienced the things that can go wrong. Still, packing for a family trip doesn’t need to be all that difficult with the right insight and just a bit of planning.
Here are some tips from seasoned toddler-accompanied travelers. Take 10 minutes to read through them and 10 minutes to plan your next trip. We promise you'll be fine!
Pack a carry-on diaper bag for the transport to your destination
No matter what mode of transport you're using, make sure you bring an easily accessible diaper bag with you. Don't forget to bring it as hand luggage if you are going by plane. Otherwise, you are in for a disaster. Depending on the travel length, you will know how many diapers your little one needs — but make sure to pack just a bit extra.
Be prepared for a mess, of course. Buy a small pack of wipes along with some soap or hand sanitizer. Most importantly, bring spare clothes for your toddler! You need new ones when you expect it the least, which is a lesson you've probably already learned. It is advised to pack two complete outfits in two separate storage bags, allowing you to zip up the removed stinky gear if necessary.
The final item in your bag: medicine! You never know when fever or nausea may occur, so stay alert. Bringing a thermometer as well. It may help — if only to relieve your anxiety.
Pack your toddler's bag as well
A separate bag for your child's stuff is always a good idea. Plus, you know that kids enjoy dragging their own bag around. It’s annoying, yes, but you will occasionally find it really practical — especially if your own luggage is heavy. What to pack: one-day complete outfit, shirt, pants, socks and pajamas, all with two extras.
If you will have laundry facilities, then one emergency extra will do. Remember to use Ziploc bags to save space, especially if you are prone to carrying too much. In addition, they will probably save you from smelly clothes on occasion.
Extra things to bring
First things first: If you’re going by car or planning to rent one during your trip, make sure you have a car seat. If you do not have one, now is the time to get it. Ideally, find a seat that is lightweight, not too large and simple to install.
In addition, make sure you bring a good, collapsible stroller, but make sure it is not too light and uncomfortable for the kid. It may be a good idea to invest in a new one, and you can always sell it later.
Not to sound too dark, but it's good to be safe. Take a good picture of your toddler before the trip. If the child gets lost (and this happens more often than you think), you'll be happy you have a recent picture with you.
Above all else, enjoy packing! Spend some of the time with your child and make it an exciting part of the moments you will doubtless cherish. After all, next year your bag will be completely different!