Best Travel Tips for Toddlers?

Best Travel Tips for Toddlers?

Best Travel Tips for Toddlers?

As an early childhood educator and parent of two toddlers, I have learned a lot about traveling with little ones over the years. Toddlers can be a handful, but with some planning and preparation, you can make your next family trip fun and stress-free for everyone. Here are my top tips for traveling with toddlers:

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Packing Tips
  3. On the Plane
  4. At the Hotel
  5. On Trips and Tours
  6. Safety Tips
  7. Handling Meltdowns
  8. Making Travel Easier

Plan Ahead

  • Make reservations for flights, hotels, and car rentals in advance. This gives you access to the best deals and ensures there will be room for your family.
  • Consider bullet trains or driving. Toddlers may have trouble with air pressure changes during flights. Driving or taking a train lets them move around.
  • Pack a "go bag" a few weeks early. Include a change of clothes, snacks, diapers, wipes, small toys etc. This way you won't forget essentials later.
  • Book rooms with balconies or sitting areas. Toddlers need space to play and unwind.
  • Research family-friendly destinations. Pick places with parks, playgrounds, kid menus etc.
  • Have toddler-safe snacks and drinks on hand. This prevents meltdowns from hunger or thirst.

Packing Tips

  • Pack a lightweight stroller or carrier. Toddlers can't walk long distances and get tired quickly.
  • Bring small toys, books and activities. This provides entertainment and minimizes fussiness.
  • Pack familiar items from home. Favorite blanket, stuffed animal, sippy cup etc to comfort them.
  • Bring plastic bags and Tupperware. To store snacks, separate dirty/wet clothes etc.
  • Pack plenty of extra clothes and diapers. Toddlers are prone to messes and accidents.
  • Bring a small first aid kit. Include children's medication, thermometer, bandaids etc.
  • Pack toddler-safe sunscreen, hat and swimsuit. For playing outdoors and in the water.

On the Plane

  • Have toddler walk through airport. This lets them burn energy before the flight.
  • Bring their car seat on board. Using this ensures safer travel.
  • Request bulkhead or aisle seats. This gives them space to move around.
  • Bring stickers, coloring books, and toys. Rotate activities to fight boredom.
  • Pack healthy snacks and drinks. Prevent hypoglycemic tantrums by feeding regularly.
  • Encourage swallowing, chewing gum, or sucking on pacifier/bottle. This can help relieve ear pressure.
  • Bring an extra change of clothes. In case of accidents or spills.
  • Keep medications handy. In case they are needed during the flight.
  • Try to schedule naps. Cover stroller with blanket to create dark, calming space.

At the Hotel

  • Request cribs, baby gates, outlet covers. Provide a safe environment for your toddler.
  • Check for balconies, pools, or hazards. Move furniture or use safety devices as needed.
  • Unpack a few favorite toys and books. This creates a sense of home and familiarity.
  • Keep a consistent bedtime routine. Toddlers thrive on regular sleep schedules.
  • Feed meals and snacks on a normal timeline. Hunger can disrupt sleep and cause tantrums.
  • Use white noise app if unfamiliar noises disrupt sleep. It mimics the womb and muffles disruptions.
  • Ensure any caregivers know your routines, needs. Communicate toddler's schedule, medical needs etc.

On Trips and Tours

  • Plan activities appropriate for your toddler's age and ability. Don't overschedule them.
  • Look for playgrounds, parks and interactive spaces. Toddlers need to move and play frequently.
  • Build in plenty of downtime. Toddlers need naps, snacks, and time to unwind.
  • Limit time in stroller or carrier. Give opportunities to walk and explore too.
  • Bring entertainment. Books, toys and tablets with headphones help on long excursions.
  • Pack enough snacks, milk, water. Hungry, thirsty toddlers quickly melt down.
  • Be prepared to skip activities. If toddler is having an off day, stay in and regroup.
  • Build in familiar experiences. Include swimming, zoo trips, etc. that toddler is used to.

Safety Tips

  • Use childproof locks and guards. Secure cabinets, toilets, balconies etc.
  • Keep doors closed. Install hooks or guards to prevent wandering.
  • Keep purses, medications, and toxic items locked up. Toddlers are adept climbers and explorers.
  • Always buckle into strollers and carriers. Use wrist straps in crowded areas.
  • Stay within arm's reach. Toddlers are lightning fast - blink and they disappear.
  • Write contact information on your toddler. Include your name, cell phone and hotel in case you get separated.
  • Teach them their name, parents' names and hotel name. Practice until they can repeat it back reliably.
  • Set physical boundaries. Reiterate over and over where they can and cannot go.
  • Be vigilant near water. Always maintain eyesight with pool, ocean, ponds etc.

Handling Meltdowns

  • Pack comfort items from home. Favorite toy or blanket can soothe away from familiarity.
  • Bring snacks and prepackaged foods. Hunger underlies many toddler tantrums.
  • Build in nap times. Overtired toddlers have more frequent meltdowns.
  • Limit scheduling. Too many activities cause frustration in little ones.
  • Provide boredom busters. Sticker pads, magnetic doodlers, small toys etc.
  • Allow safe physical outlets. Provide space for jumping, climbing or hide-and-seek.
  • Offer verbal choices. Gives toddler a sense of control and independence.
  • Have alternatives ready. Be ready to step outside, take a walk or return to hotel.
  • Stay calm yourself. Toddlers cue off parent emotions.
  • Distract and redirect. Shift focus to something positive and fun.

Making Travel Easier

  • Involve toddler in planning. Talk up fun things you'll do together on the trip.
  • Buy a few new small toys. Bring these as surprises to generate excitement.
  • Read books on traveling. This familiarizes them with what to expect.
  • Play "practice runs." Pretend trips to the airport or hotel pool help acclimate them.
  • Create a photo book of places you'll go. Review regularly to build anticipation.
  • Pack a security blanket or item. This provides familiarity in a new environment.
  • Stick to routines. Follow mealtimes, nap schedule and bedtime rituals as much as possible.
  • Build in one-on-one time. Alternate child care with spouse to prevent burnout.
  • Have realistic expectations. Travel days are tiring and toddlers will act out more.
  • Most of all, have fun! Don't sweat the small stuff - make lasting memories together.
  1. What are the best travel tips for toddlers on long flights? Traveling with toddlers on long flights can be challenging. To make the journey smoother, consider bringing comfort items, snacks, and entertainment such as toys, books, or electronic devices. Additionally, plan for breaks to let toddlers move around and stretch during the flight.
  2. How to keep toddlers entertained during road trips? Keeping toddlers entertained on road trips involves packing a variety of activities and snacks. Consider bringing coloring books, interactive toys, and listening to music or audiobooks. Make frequent stops for playtime and stretch breaks.
  3. Are there essential items to pack when traveling with toddlers? Essential items for traveling with toddlers include diapers, wipes, extra clothing, favorite toys, snacks, and any necessary medications. Also, pack a first aid kit, travel-friendly stroller, and important documents such as health records.
  4. What are the safest car seats for toddlers during travel? Look for car seats that meet safety standards and are approved for air travel. Some convertible car seats are suitable for both planes and cars, providing convenience and safety during travel.
  5. Tips for managing toddler sleep schedules during vacations? To manage toddler sleep schedules during vacations, try to maintain a consistent bedtime routine, bring familiar items like a favorite blanket, and create a comfortable sleep environment in accommodations.
  6. How to handle toddler tantrums while traveling? Addressing toddler tantrums involves staying calm, understanding their needs, and having distractions on hand. Keep a routine, communicate expectations, and be patient during unfamiliar situations.
  7. What are the top toddler-friendly destinations for family vacations? Some top toddler-friendly destinations include beach resorts, theme parks, and destinations with interactive attractions like zoos or aquariums. Look for places that offer a mix of relaxation and age-appropriate activities.
  8. Are there travel-friendly snacks for toddlers? Travel-friendly snacks for toddlers include cut-up fruits, crackers, cheese, and bite-sized snacks. Pack a variety to keep them satisfied during the journey.
  9. Tips for toddler-friendly activities at airports? Engage toddlers with airport activities like observing planes, playing with small toys, and reading books. Utilize airport play areas if available and plan for enough time between connections.
  10. What essentials should I pack for toddler hygiene on trips? Pack essentials such as diapers, wipes, changing pads, hand sanitizer, and a portable potty if needed. Having a well-stocked diaper bag ensures you're prepared for any hygiene needs.
  11. How to childproof accommodations for toddler safety? Childproof accommodations by moving breakable items out of reach, covering electrical outlets, and bringing plug-in safety gates. Check with accommodations in advance to inquire about childproofing options.
  12. Are there apps or games to entertain toddlers during travel? Many educational and entertaining apps and games are designed for toddlers. Consider apps that involve interactive stories, simple puzzles, or age-appropriate games for entertainment.
  13. What are the best strollers for travel with toddlers? Look for lightweight, compact strollers that are easy to fold and navigate through airports or crowded areas. Some travel-friendly strollers come with features like reclining seats and storage space.
  14. Tips for managing time zone changes with toddlers? Adjusting to time zone changes with toddlers involves gradually shifting their schedule before the trip, maintaining exposure to natural light, and keeping meal and sleep times consistent with the new time zone.
  15. How to choose toddler-friendly accommodations? Choose toddler-friendly accommodations by considering factors like the availability of childproofing options, family-friendly amenities, and proximity to attractions suitable for toddlers. Look for accommodations with spacious rooms and play areas.
  16. Are there travel tips for potty training on the go? Travel tips for potty training include using portable potties, scheduling regular potty breaks, and having a travel-friendly potty training kit with wipes, spare clothes, and training pants.
  17. How to handle motion sickness in toddlers during travel? To handle motion sickness, keep toddlers well-hydrated, avoid heavy meals before travel, provide fresh air, and consider using motion sickness wristbands or medications recommended by a pediatrician.
  18. Tips for maintaining routines during toddler travel? Maintain routines by bringing familiar items, sticking to regular meal and nap times, and incorporating familiar rituals. Consistency helps toddlers feel secure in new environments.
  19. What are the best travel-friendly toddler carriers? Travel-friendly toddler carriers include ergonomic options that provide comfort and support. Look for carriers that are easy to pack, adjustable, and suitable for various activities.
  20. How to navigate public transportation with toddlers? Navigating public transportation with toddlers involves planning routes in advance, using strollers that are easy to fold, and being mindful of schedules. Check if there are family-friendly services available.
  21. Tips for introducing toddlers to new foods while traveling? Introduce new foods gradually, offer familiar snacks, and explore local markets for fresh options. Be flexible with mealtime expectations and let toddlers experience local cuisine in a positive way.
  22. What are the must-have items for a toddler travel first aid kit? A toddler travel first aid kit should include essentials like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, children's pain relievers, thermometer, and any specific medications your child may need.
  23. How to create a comfortable sleep environment for toddlers on the road? Create a comfortable sleep environment by bringing familiar bedding, using blackout curtains, and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine. Portable travel cribs or sleep pods can enhance comfort.
  24. Are there travel-friendly toys for toddlers? Travel-friendly toys for toddlers include lightweight, compact options such as soft books, stacking cups, and travel-sized puzzles. Consider toys that engage their senses and promote interactive play.
  25. How to involve toddlers in trip planning? Involve toddlers in trip planning by showing them pictures of the destination, discussing activities, and letting them choose simple aspects like snacks or a small toy to bring along.
  26. Tips for managing toddler screen time during travel? Manage toddler screen time by setting limits, using educational apps, and bringing a tablet or device with pre-downloaded content. Use screen time selectively for entertainment during travel.
  27. What are the best toddler-friendly attractions at popular destinations? Research toddler-friendly attractions at popular destinations, such as interactive museums, parks with playgrounds, or animal encounters. Choose activities that cater to their interests and energy levels.
  28. How to handle toddler car sickness during road trips? Address toddler car sickness by keeping the car well-ventilated, planning frequent stops, and avoiding heavy or spicy foods before the trip. Consider using motion sickness remedies if needed.
  29. Are there travel safety tips specifically for toddlers? Travel safety tips for toddlers include childproofing accommodations, using proper car seats, supervising near water, and having an emergency plan. Stay vigilant in busy or unfamiliar environments.
  30. What are the top-rated toddler travel accessories? Top-rated toddler travel accessories include travel-friendly strollers, portable high chairs, travel cribs, and toddler backpacks. Look for accessories that enhance comfort and convenience during travel.

With the right preparation and expectations, traveling with toddlers can be enjoyable for the whole family. Follow these tips to keep your little ones happy, comfortable and safe during your next trip! Let me know if you have any other great tips.


  • What are the best tips for flying with a toddler?

Bring car seat, pick aisle/bulkhead seats, have toys/books, feed regularly, help pop ears.

  • How can I keep my toddler safe in a hotel room?

Use outlet covers, secure balcony, keep doors closed, lock up medications and toxics.

  • What should I pack for traveling with a toddler?

Stroller/carrier, favorite toys/books, plenty spare clothes and diapers, first aid kit.

  • How can I keep my toddler entertained?

Rotate new small toys, stickers, coloring books, tablets with headphones. Build in active time.

  • How do I handle toddler meltdowns?

Stay calm, distract and redirect to something fun, offer choices, provide snacks/comfort items.

  • How do I prepare my toddler for traveling?

Involve them in planning, read books on travel, do practice runs, make a photo book.

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