Must Have Items When Traveling With a Toddler

Having toddlers should never stop you from traveling. While it is stressful, you will make memories worth cherishing. If you are traveling for the first time with them, the experience can be as significant as their first solid bite, first step, or first day at school. 

To make sure your travel is as enjoyable for your toddler as it is for you, you will need to take care of their comfort. 

Here is our ultimate guide on traveling with kids as toddlers. Just make sure you prepare and plan adequately! 

Toddler Travel Accessories For Kids Luggage

Image of travel bags.

First things first: right after tickets, you have to start packing your luggage. With all the traveling essentials you’ll need for toddlers in this guide, it is essential to have the right luggage accessories for a seamless traveling experience. 

Buying luggage accessories for toddlers is never a one type fits all situation. Choose your best type by selecting Here, is how to choose the one best for you with our personal favorites:

Types of Luggage Bags: There are several types of luggage bags out there for traveling with kids. Here are the three most common picks with everything about them:

Duffels 

Wheeled Backpacks

 Rolling Suitcases

Design Elements

Spacious, versatile, and with handles and wheels sometimes

Features like straps, heavy-duty zippers, mesh pockets, device compartments, with mobile size

Have traditional design elements like average luggage suitcases

Common Material

polyester, vinyl, and canvas

nylon or polyester

Hard: polypropylene, polycarbonate

Soft: microfiber, leather, nylon, PVC, or polyester

Style

long tubular-shaped tall cylinder backpack shape

bright, colorful designs, with variety of kid-friendly patterns

Traditional luggage bag designs

Size 

Variable: larger ones can go up to 8,000 cubic inches

40 to 42 linear inches and 17 to 21 inches in height

Variable

Highlights

Available in all shapes and sizes 

Highly versatile

Easy to carry

Suitable for road trips, carrying through crowds, and easy maneuvering 

Suits long-term traveling with kids

Hardside and Softside Luggage: Many travelers have a preference for one. But, either can suffice in general. 

Hardside

These are hard-shell suitcases. They feature materials like polycarbonate and can be ultra-lightweight, durable, and strong. You can also clean them with ease against soft ones. We recommend them for protection against fragile items. Their downside is that you cannot squeeze them in the overhead bin or anywhere. They are also prone to scuffs.

Softside

 If you require flexibility, soft-side luggage is your way to go. They are more common against hard shell ones, especially for carry-on luggage. You can easily squeeze them in tight overhead compartments. They also absorb shock better against molded counterparts. 

Soft bags are also available in different styles: for instance, carry-ons, zippered backpacks, and duffels. They tend to have large interior compartments.

Soft bags are generally lighter than hard side bags. We recommend going for bags featuring ballistic nylon or another durable nylon for the best protection against wear and tear. Do not forget the extra points for waterproof and stain-proof fabric.

Extra Features: When traveling with kids, your luggage bags need to do a lot more than just packing stuff. Look for extra features like handles, bottle holders, organizational systems, and locks. 

Cost: With bags, expensive also does not always have to be better. So, check with all the features available. A good one should cost around $100-$300.

Capacity & Size: Make sure the bags you choose are compliant with the luggage restrictions of the airlines or buses, or trains if you are using one. You can get this information from your travel agent or the concerned authorities.

Our Picks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Trunki Luggage - Shaun, The Sheep
Rockland Duffle Bag
Kiddietotes Ladybugs Bag


1. Trunki Luggage - Shaun, The Sheep


This Shaun the Sheep Trunki luggage is an excellent product for toddlers on a trip.  From functioning as a suitcase, stroller, and toddler entertainment device, this is a versatile product. It is a lightweight suitcase with locks. The straps it features are durable, allowing your kids to push it through.  It can easily fit all toddler essentials. The design inspiration comes from the famous cartoon Shaun the sheep on the cartoon network.  However, we only recommend this one for older toddlers. Smaller may trip over. Pros: Lightweight and Durable Portable Excellent Design and Functionality Cons: Hard and may hurt if your toddler trips over

2. Rockland Duffle Bag


This Rockland duffel bag is the ultimate luggage bag for toddlers on a trip. It has several pockets for organization with handles for functionality. The material is 100% polyester, making it a durable and sturdy bag. The design is also classy with a pink color and white polka dots. The central U-shaped compartment can handle all toddler items.  The bag is friendly with washing machines. Pros: Washing machine friendly Polyester material with synthetic lining Spacious with multiple pockets Cons: No wheels

3. Kiddietotes Ladybugs Bag


We love the Kiddie Totes Kids Carry-on Luggage for travel purposes. Featuring a trolley suitcase and bag: it lets you store all toddler essentials in a place. Your little ones can also carry these independently as they are lightweight. They are also roomy enough to deflect and absorb impacts.  The product is durable because its hard side is strong with a thick ABS exterior. It offers water and scratch resistance. As the wheels are smooth, you can maneuver with ease. You can also carry it with its short handle or use the adjustable telescoping handle. For the protection of the items within, there are sturdy cross straps inside the luggage. They keep your essentials organized. The bags are also TSA- and IATA-approved, which means it meets domestic and international flight size requirements to fit inside overhead cabin bins, or under seats. Pros: Kid-Friendly Design  Excellent functionality TSA and IATA approved  Spacious, Lightweight, and Portable Cons: Features no locks The handle can be small 

Toddler Travelling Essentials: Gear 

Image of a woman taking her kid in a stroller on a walk.

If you are a parent, you would already know that toddlers have a mind of their own. They tend to sleep, roam around, and do things at their decided times. Hence, we suggest getting traveling gear for toddlers to keep them nearby at all times. These items will also help you explore. Before buying traveling gear for toddlers, consider the following three important things:

Traveling Locations: If you are going to a location with beaches, you would require traveling gear accordingly. As traveling spots differ from family to family, assess your needs. In general, a toddler carrier or a stroller is good to go.

Mode of transport: Whether you are traveling on an airplane or car matters when you buy toddler gear. For instance, you would need a car seat for a road trip. 

Material: Toddlers tend to nipple everywhere they can get their tiny teeth about. So, ensure that the gear has no toxic materials for your baby. We also recommend going for baby-proofed items to protect them from injuries.

Features: Look for extra features in the gear items according to your preferences. For instance, a traditional stroller is not a great idea for hiking. 

Our Picks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Summer Infant Store - Compact Foldable Stroller
Cosco Mighty Fit Convertible Car Seat
LÍLLÉbaby Ergonomic Toddler and Child Carrier


1. Summer Infant Store - Compact Foldable Stroller


A reliable stroller while traveling could mean the difference between a fun or miserable day out. With this stroller by Infant Store, you can travel easily with toddlers. It is lightweight and compact, featuring folds for easy carry. The handles are comfortable to push with a canopy to protect the ones inside. It is also car seat compatible. It grows with your baby, so it is long-lasting. The maximum weight capacity is 50 lbs. Some great features include an adjustable seat recline, leg rest, auto-lock, child snack tray, large storage basket, cup holders, and 5-point safety harness for security. Pros: Foldable and Compact Lightweight Strong security features Cons: No trendy colors Expensive

2. Cosco Mighty Fit Convertible Car Seat


With two modes of use, this Cosco car seat accommodates 5 pounds to 45 pounds. It is compact and a fit for car travel. The 5 point harness allows for security. It features plush padding and premium fabric for a comfortable ride. It is also easy to clean, with the cloth being machine and dryer-friendly. Pros: 5 Point harness Machine and Dryer Friendly  Compatible with the safety standards of federal, ASTM, and JPMA. Plush padding Cons: It May take extra space

3. LÍLLÉbaby Ergonomic Toddler and Child Carrier


A toddler carrier is not always necessary, but it can help if you plan on traveling. This one is a lightweight stroller. It weighs 60 lbs with comfortable and breathable material to keep you and your baby fresh. It works till six-year-olds! With this, you can wear your baby like a backpack. Pros: Ergonomic and Breathable Adjustable straps Portable Cons: No extra security features.

Toddler Snack Essentials on Travel

Picture of packets of ships on a black surface.

When traveling with toddlers, there is one thing you should never forget: snacks, snacks, and more snacks. You can take anything you prefer to feed your baby. Things to consider before:

Snack Type: If you are carrying liquid snacks, make sure you get spill-proof cups. 

Materials: Avoid items with toxic materials. We recommend going with eco-friendly ones.

Size & Capacity: The size and capacity of your feeding crockery should fit the snacks you are taking. 

Our Picks

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
SpillProof Snack Cup
Spill-Proof Sippy Cup
Silicone Baby Bibs


1. SpillProof Snack Cup


This spill-proof toddler snack container features soft flaps for easy food access. It fits all standard cup holders in cars, airplanes, strollers, and more. With a capacity of ounces of snacks, you can carry this spill-proof snack cup on travels to keep your toddler full. The product is BPA-free, hence, safe for use. It is also easy to clean as it is top-rack dishwasher safe. The best part? It costs little to nothing!  This one also won the Cribsie's Coolest Snack Container Award in 2016. It is also great for home use. Pros: Inexpensive BPA free SpillProof Cons: Not trendy in design to attract kids

2. Spill-Proof Sippy Cup


With this set of 2 sippy cups having a capacity of 9-ounce liquid, you can pack water, milk, and juice for your baby. The spout for sucking is bite-proof and gentle on gums.  The cups are leak-proof. They feature a click-lock technology lid. It is also easy to clean with no BPA and is friendly and dishwasher safe. Pros:  Inexpensive Bite-proof spout  Click lock technology No BPA Dishwasher friendly Cons: The spout may be hard

3. Silicone Baby Bibs


Bibs prevent mess when feeding babies. These silicon ones featuring a compartment to hold excess food will keep you safe from food spills. They are lightweight, safe, and comfortable. Silicon is also easy to clean. All you need is wet wipes!  The buttons allow you to anchor the bib safely. These bibs are also flexible. Hence, let your baby move around freely while eating. You can also store them in small bags. Pros: Flexible and Safe Lightweight Features Food tray Cons: It may become greasy over time

Toddler Sleep Essentials on Travel

Image of a baby unicorn toy and sleeping essentials like pillows and comforter.

Your baby may feel cranky and throw tantrums if their sleep is compromised. Sleeping essentials depend on how your little one likes to sleep. Always carry a:

Comforter

A comforter can help put your toddler to sleep in places unfamiliar. It will keep them warm and give their bodies a cue to sleep. You can also use a comforter blanket as shades for blocking out sunlight. Take their favorite one!

Neck Pillow

A neck pillow keeps your baby comfortable and may help induce sleep. You can get the one that fits their neck the best. Make sure the material it features is safe, breathable, and comfortable to use.

Toddler Entertainment Essentials on Travel

Picture of a crop hand reading a book on superheroes.

Keep your toddlers busy during the travel with gadgets or activity packs. It will make the trip more memorable and spare you time for yourself. Consider:

Age Group: Make sure your entertainment items are compatible with the age group of your toddler.

Personal Interests: They may not like some toys or gadgets or enjoy others more.

 Luggage Space: Do not take items that are too big.

Cost: Kids often misplace items on travels and trips. Go for entertainment items that are handy but not too expensive if they lose them.

Our Recommendation

Gadgets

Image of a hand holding a tablet.

Gadgets today are the most common form of entertainment. From animated movies on smartphones to games on tablets, take these to keep your baby entertained on travels. You do not have to buy extra gadgets for kids. Just make sure you supervise them and have portable charging pods.

Activity Packs 

Image of super Mario toys.

Activity packs consist of toys, books, and items that your baby may find interesting. Customize your activity pack as per the liking of your child!

We highly recommend taking coloring books, a soft toy, and a storybook. 

The Bottomline

With all these traveling essentials, you can hope for an excellent family trip. Make sure you get all the things required well before time. You may also add more items that cater to the needs of your little one. If you are new to parenting, we have one more read for you. Do not forget to have a look at our guide on essentials for new parents.

We also wrote one on must-haves for a road trip with kids if your little ones are not so little anymore!