If you are taking toddlers or young children on vacation with you, there are a lot of essentials to pack – from diapers to baby powder – to make everybody’s time away more comfortable.
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Below, we’ve prepared a detailed vacation packing list for families with babies, toddlers or young children. Whether you’re traveling internationally or within your own country, go thru our list and check that you’ve packed everything you’ll need before you set off.
Before you start packing family-specific items, go over our Universal Vacation Packing List and check that you’ve packed all the other vacation essentials.
- Travel Insurance – Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Face mask – COVID is still very active in many countries and you may be required to wear an SFP2 facemask on the plane and in some indoor spaces. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser when you travel.
- Pediatrician’s Contact Information – If you’re staying in one location for most of your trip, take note of a local pediatric clinic’s address and contact information so you’re fully prepared in the event of a health problem.
For Toddlers and Younger Children
- Medication – If your child needs medication, make sure it’s packed before you leave. If it is restricted, be sure to bring the prescriptions to avoid issues with customs and security.
- Baby Bottles – Pack enough baby bottles to last thru your flight or drive, as well as a few extra. Having extra bottles available saves you from cleaning up as frequently and makes pre-measuring formula easier.
- Infant Formula – If you’re going to bottle feed during your trip, measure and store the correct amount of infant formula inside each bottle. This way, you can quickly add water while you’re on the go.
- Baby Powder – Bring at least one bottle of baby powder for the journey, especially if you’re traveling a long way. Unlike liquids, bottles of baby powder aren’t subject to the 100mL container regulations at the airport.
- Baby Food And Eating Utensils – If you have a long flight or drive ahead, pack some baby food in plastic Tupperware containers. Bring more than you expect to need in case you face any delays.
- Snacks – For older children, pack some healthy snacks and a few treats, in case they don’t like the food served by the airline. You may need to purchase these at the airport, depending on security rules. Check before you travel.
- Blankets – Toddlers and young children can get quite cold while flying. Pack a blanket or two so you can keep everybody nice and snug.
- Bulb Syringe Aspirator – The air conditioning in airplanes can give babies and young children a stuffy nose. Pack a bulb syringe aspirator and a bottle of nasal saline so you can clear your child’s nose if they feel uncomfortable during the flight.
- Baby Wipes – These are useful to pack even for families without babies and toddlers, especially for long flights and car trips. Pack more baby wipes than you think you’ll need, since having to buy more in transit can be an annoyance.
- Baby Lotion – Make sure you pack a bottle or two of baby lotion, especially if you’re traveling to a destination with a hot, humid or dry climate.
- Child-Safe Soap and Shampoo – Even if your hotel provides soap and shampoo, you’ll need to bring your own for babies, toddlers and children. Pack at least one bar of baby soap and a bottle of baby shampoo so you don’t need to shop after you arrive.
- Diapers And Diaper Bag – Another obvious essential, so pack at least enough diapers for the first few days of your vacation. Don’t forget a diaper bag to store your changing items during the day.
- Changing Pad – If your diaper bag doesn’t include a changing pad, pack one in case you need to change diapers while on the go. Summer Infant sells an excellent portable changing pad that’s ideal for use on vacation.
- Bibs – As with bottles and diapers, it’s best to pack more bibs than you expect you’ll need. We recommend five or more for your vacation, so there’s less need to wash them frequently.
- Pacifier – Include several day and nighttime pacifiers to keep young children comfortable, calm and quiet while you’re in transit.
- Car Seat – If you’re traveling by car or plan to rent a car at your destination, don’t forget to bring a car seat. If you’re traveling to another country, check that your car seat meets the minimum safety regulations and is legal to use there.
- Childproof Safety Locks – If you’re renting a house for your vacation, bring a set of child safety locks so that you can keep hazardous chemicals, kitchen utensils and other items out of reach.
- Stroller – Will you be walking much? Make sure you have a high-quality stroller to keep your toddler safe. Summer Infant has an excellent travel stroller that folds flat for storage in a car or hotel room closet.
Fun and Games
- Children’s Toys – If the journey is long, children’s toys will keep kids entertained and calm during the trip. Pack favorite dolls or action figures so they have something familiar to play with on the flight or drive.
- Video Games – For older children, nothing helps pass time on a long flight like a games console. The Nintendo 3DS has a great selection of games for children of all ages.
- Soft Toy / Teddy Bear – Long distance travel can be stressful for children, especially it’s their first time leaving home for a vacation. Pack their favorite soft toy or teddy into your carry-on luggage so they have someone to play with.
- Coloring Book and Crayons – Bringing a coloring book and crayons helps you keep young children occupied during long flights, airport layovers and other situations where entertainment is in short supply.