Vacation Checklist for Toddlers

Exactly one week from today we will be landing in sunny California for some much-needed family and friends time. I’ve been counting down this vacation since we booked the tickets a few months ago. We have so many great events planned out and restaurants to try for the first time. I haven’t been to California in a few years so this will be a nice refresher. Especially since I’ll be going to a few places in California for the first time. Example: San Diego.

I’m also excited about this trip because it will be my two-year old, Jordyn’s, first ride on an airplane. Jordyn absolutely loves seeing the airplanes in the sky. She yells “look Mommy, look Daddy, it’s an airplane!” whenever she sees one, and it never stops being adorable. I can’t wait for her to see the airplane up close and to ride on one for the first time. She tends to get motion sickness fairly easy though so I’m hoping this is as pleasant an airplane ride as I imagine it to be. Either way, I’m going to take plenty of pictures and videos!

Jordyn has been traveling with us since she was three months old. (Yes, she got an early start. Lucky her!) Our method of travel has always been by car or train. 95% of the reason we always travel by car or train is because it’s so expensive to travel by plane out of the Montana. Since the airports are all smaller airports the prices to travel anywhere are insanely ridiculous. Unless, you’re traveling to a state right next door, and even then there is no guarantee the tickets will be cheap.

Since we’ve been traveling with Jordyn for so long we’ve been able to figure out what we need to make the trip as hassle free as possible. The first few times we traveled with her, we completely over packed for her, as typical first time parents of course. Ha! I have finalized my list since then and wanted to share it with all of you. My list is broken down by categories: Basic, Comfort, Emergency, Entertainment. The details are as follows:


The “basics” is exactly what it sounds like. The bare necessities needed for travel. This is important for infants, babies, and toddlers, because forgetting these items will seriously make your life a living hell if you realize you forgot them.

– Pull-Ups (& changing pad)

-Baby Wipes

-Drink(s) and Snack(s)


If you’re lucky enough your little one will fall asleep at some point on the trip. You want to be sure they’re comfortable for many reasons. The most important reason being the more comfortable they are, the longer they sleep, which means the longer you hold on to your own sanity.



-Favorite Stuffed Animal


There is one thing I know for sure about traveling: it’s completely unpredictable. You may get to your destination 2 hours early or two days late. Nobody knows for sure. But being prepared for anything thrown your way is best handled by being prepared for all possible scenarios.

-2-3 changes of clothes

-Mini toiletries

-Medicines and measuring cups


The best way to make the hours of travel go by smoothly is to be sure your little one is entertained as long as possible. Entertained little ones means less complaining, tantrums and tears you have to deal with. Win-win situation. Who could argue that?


-Coloring book

-Favorite games

Of course every child is different and you know what is best for your child(ren). I used more vague terms for some of the descriptions because of how much kids vary in their preferences. For example, I always have to be sure Dramamine is packed for my little one because of her motion sickness, and she really only needs the ipad for her entertainment on long trips. What methods have you used to make traveling with your toddler easier? Please feel free to share any and all tips for us Mamas below!


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