July 25, 2023
A family vacation abroad can be a fun way to spend time together. But even if your kid is an ideal traveler and loves trips as much as you do, it may surprise you how many things you actually need to pack for your little one.
When it comes to holiday travel with babies and toddlers, knowing what to pack is crucial. From clothing and feeding essentials to health and hygiene items, our exhaustive guide to baby and toddler holiday packing has you covered.
Here's a detailed checklist to ensure you don't miss anything important while packing for your little ones.
Day-to-day Outfits: Pack enough clothes for each day, factoring in the weather, and always pack extras for those inevitable spills and messes.
Nightwear: Comfy pajamas are essential to maintaining a semblance of a bedtime routine while on vacation.
Shoes and socks: Pack both casual and formal pairs, along with waterproof options if you'll be near water bodies.
Baby formula or breast pump: Ensure you pack enough for the journey and a little extra just in case.
Sterilizing Equipment: Portable sterilizers or sterilizing tablets are essential to keep feeding equipment clean on the go.
Snacks and Sippy Cups: They are absolute lifesavers to keep your toddlers occupied during transit times.
First aid kit: This should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, a digital thermometer, and any necessary prescribed medication.
Toiletries: Don't forget to pack travel-sized baby shampoo, body wash, lotion, and a gentle detergent for any laundry needs.
Diapers and wipes: Pack enough for the journey and a few days extra. Also, a compact changing mat is always useful.
Stroller or baby carrier: Depending on your type of holiday and the age of your child, you may prefer one over the other.
Car seat: If you are traveling by car, safety is paramount, so don't forget these.
Travel cot or baby bed: Depending on your accommodation, this can be a crucial item to pack.
Favorite toys or comfort items: These provide a sense of familiarity and comfort in new environments.
Books and games: They are excellent for keeping your little ones engaged during travel or downtime.
Cell phone: Your phone is your lifeline while travelling. Be sure it's fully charged and loaded with essential apps.
Baby dreambox: This app plays soothing sounds and lullabies, helping your baby sleep peacefully in new environments.
Camera: While your phone camera may suffice for casual shots, consider packing a dedicated camera for high-quality photos and videos.
Chargers: Pack chargers for all your devices, including a car charger if you're travelling by road.
Portable power bank: A power bank ensures your devices remain charged, especially during long travel days without access to power outlets.
Flashlights: Handy for night-time diaper changes or finding your way in unfamiliar surroundings.
Travel Adapters: If traveling internationally, ensure you have the correct adapters for your destination.
Every season requires special consideration when packing for a holiday with babies and toddlers.
If you're venturing off for a summer holiday, it's all about sun protection and keeping your little one cool. As the temperatures rise, you'll need to consider lightweight clothing and ample sun protection. On the other hand, a winter vacation is a whole different ballgame. This season calls for layers upon layers of warm clothing, accessories to guard against cold and frost, and skincare items to prevent dryness caused by harsh winter winds.
Here are some items you should consider adding to your packing list for the summer and winter holidays.
Sunscreen: Babies and toddlers have sensitive skin. Choose a sunscreen specially formulated for children, with a high SPF and water resistance.
Insect repellent: In many summer destinations, mosquitoes and other insects can be an issue. Pack a baby-friendly repellent.
Lightweight clothes: Breathable fabric like cotton will keep your child comfortable in the heat. Pack plenty of short-sleeved tops, shorts, and dresses.
Water shoes: If you'll be spending time at the beach, water shoes can protect your child's feet from hot sand and sharp objects.
Beach toys: Don't forget to bring some fun beach toys and maybe a float for swimming.
Swimwear and sun hats: For those sunny beach destinations, remember to include a high-SPF sun lotion.
Layered clothing: Layering helps keep your child warm without being too bulky. Start with a thermal base layer and add sweaters or fleece, topping off with a waterproof outer layer.
Winter accessories: Hats, mittens, scarves, and warm socks are crucial for keeping your child cozy in cold weather.
Ski equipment: If you're planning a skiing holiday, you may need to pack special equipment, like ski boots, helmets, and possibly skis or snowboards for older toddlers.
Skincare: Cold weather can be harsh on a child's delicate skin. Pack a good quality children's moisturizer and lip balm.
Indoor entertainment: In case of bad weather, have a selection of indoor toys, games, and books to keep your child entertained.
Pack smart according to your lifestyle and the activities you're planning for your vacation. Each baby is unique, so consider your little one's individual needs when preparing. This customized approach will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable holiday for the whole family!
Car journeys provide a level of flexibility unmatched by other modes of transportation. Nevertheless, they require thoughtful preparation.
Successful family road trips demand careful planning. You need to consider optimal routes to avoid traffic, ensure your car's maintenance is up-to-date to prevent breakdowns, and prioritize passenger comfort. This means packing a variety of snacks, planning for pit stops, and ensuring there are enough in-car entertainment options to keep the little ones occupied.
Car Seat: Ensure you have an appropriate car seat that meets safety standards.
Sunshades: Sunshades protect your child from the sun's glare and keep the car cool.
Blankets and pillows: These can make nap times more comfortable during the journey.
Portable music player: Music or audiobooks can help soothe and entertain your child.
Snacks and drinks: Pack nutritious snacks and plenty of water to keep your child satisfied and hydrated.
Travel-friendly toys: Bring a selection of your child's favorite toys.
Flying with little ones can seem daunting, but with the right essentials, you can ensure a comfortable flight for your child.
Carry-on bag: Pack essential items such as diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and snacks.
Pacifiers or chew toys: These can help with ear pressure during takeoff and landing.
Comfort items: A familiar blanket or soft toy can provide comfort in an unfamiliar environment.
In-flight entertainment: Download your child's favorite shows or games on a tablet.
Activity books: Stickers or coloring books can keep older toddlers engaged.
Train journeys provide a unique travel experience, balancing the comfort of spacious seats with picturesque views.
Portable cot or bedding: Useful for nap times during long train rides.
Carry-on bag: Include essentials like diapers, wipes, extra clothes, and snacks.
Travel high chair: A portable high chair can make feeding times more manageable.
Toys and games: Bring a selection of toys and games to keep your child entertained.
Portable device: A tablet loaded with your child's favorite shows or games can be a lifesaver.
Traveling abroad requires a comprehensive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.
To find out more about traveling with a baby, continue to our Ultimate guide to traveling with kids: tips, tricks, and essential information.
Passport: Your baby will need their own passport for international travel.
Visa requirements: Check if a visa is required for your baby based on the destination.
Travel insurance: Ensure you have adequate travel insurance that covers your baby.
Essential gear: Depending on your accommodation, you may need to pack a travel cot, baby carrier, or stroller.
To reduce the stress surrounding packing for a family vacation, we created a list of recommended items, that your baby or toddler shouldn’t go on holiday without.
You can download the printable Packing List for Babies & Toddlers.
OUR TIP: You can put your Packing List for Babies & Toddlers in a binder with clear sleeves and use a dry erase marker to check things off of your list. When you’re done, just wipe the clear sleeve off and your list is ready for your next trip.
As a rule of thumb, pack enough clothes for two changes a day, then add a few extras.
Yes, TSA allows parents to carry baby food, formula, and breast milk in reasonable quantities exceeding the standard 3.4 ounces.
Absolutely. A baby monitor can be a lifesaver, particularly if you're staying in a large accommodation. A great choice would be a portable and versatile app like Bibino. It allows you to turn any two phones, tablets, or laptops into a single baby monitor system, offering convenience especially when traveling.
If you plan on driving at your destination, a car seat is essential for your baby's safety. Check if your airline allows it as a check-in item.
Use a baby-safe sunscreen, dress them in light, long-sleeved clothes, and use a hat and sunglasses. Seek shade whenever possible.
Carry a basic health care kit and contact information for your pediatrician. Familiarize yourself with the healthcare services at your destination.
It might help to adjust your baby's sleep schedule in the days leading up to the flight to align more closely with the flight times. Remember to pack enough essentials in your carry-on to manage feeding, diaper changes, and entertainment during the flight.
Plan ahead, pack efficiently, maintain as much of your baby's routine as possible, and give yourself plenty of time to navigate through airports or rest during road trips. Always keep essentials within easy reach.
Packing for a holiday with kids, including babies and toddlers, can indeed be a complex task, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. With a comprehensive packing list and careful organization, the process can become far simpler and more manageable. Each child and each trip is unique, so use this guide as your essential foundation that can be tailored according to your baby's or toddler's specific needs, as well as the nature of your holiday.
After all, the focus should be on creating memories and enjoying the journey, not the stress of packing. The challenge of packing for babies and toddlers should not overshadow the joy of the adventure ahead. So whether you're taking a road trip, flying to a new destination, or enjoying a fun-filled staycation, good planning will ensure a stress-free start to your family vacation. Happy travels!