Traveling with toddlers is an adventure in itself. But taking them to Disney World?! Now that is brave! We took our youngest on a trip to Disney World when she was just under 2 years old, and we had an amazing time. There are a few things that made our trip much easier. Below is my Top 10 Things to Keep You SANE When Traveling with a Toddler!! Traveling can be stressful all on its own. Toss a toddler into the mix, and you are for sure in for a ride! This list is tried and true and really helped my family out when my youngest was a toddler.
#10 Sunscreen: Obviously sunscreen makes every packing list when traveling. But I don’t just mean the regular lotion sun screen in a bottle or spray can. I mean those little glue stick size or deodorant stick sized sunscreens. Those are amazing with toddlers and babies! I would use the glue stick size on her face, since the surface area of the sunscreen was smaller, but I would take the deodorant sized one and literally just apply it on her arms, legs and neck. It was so easy and much less messy then rubbing in lotion or spraying her down.
#9: Disposable, Sticky Placemats: They sell packs of disposable placemats that have a sticky side on the back. These are great, because at meal time, you can just lay one down, and not worry if your toddler spills or drops something, and then as they always do, immediately eats whatever they dropped! I brought Disney’s Neat Solutions Disposable Placemats with us on our last trip and they worked great. When they’re done eating, it literally just folds up to be thrown out. Leaves a lot less of a mess at the table also.
#8 Large Travel Changing Pad: I purchased a new changing pad for my daughter when we went on our trip. It was much larger than the changing pads that usually come with the diaper bags, it folded up and had a Velcro fastener, and had this handy wristlet for carrying. I don’t remember the brand I purchased, but I do remember I bought it at Target, because I wanted to actually see it versus buying online. I wanted to make sure it was large enough to cover a large area of the changing station table, since those are especially dirty! We used it until she was potty trained so it was money well spent in my opinion.
#7 Disposable Plastic Utensils: When we traveled, our toddler was “feeding” herself and loved to use the toddler sized forks & spoons. Well, I had enough trouble keeping them straight and locating them at home, I did not want to be worrying about losing utensils on a trip! I bought a couple packs of The First Years Take n’ Toss Flatware. I put a spoon and a fork into a little snack baggie and would grab a few packs on our way out the door in the morning. Then I wasn’t worried about how she would eat or how I would not lose the rather pricey character utensils. Best of all, they required no washing! Literally just “take n’ toss!”
#6: Car Seat Bag: If you are not going to use the car seat on the plane, I highly recommend putting it in a bag. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that it will help protect it. Trust me, they are not gentle with the luggage at the airport, and the second is that it will make it much easier to recognize. I was shocked the first time we flew with a toddler and saw the sheer quantity of car seats and strollers that were checked. I had never paid attention until I was trying to find mine!
#5 Baggies of All Sizes: This is another one of those I still have jammed in our travel bag for all occasions. They are great for sticking miscellaneous trash in while you’re on an airplane or driving, dirty diaper disposal, dividing up snacks, and in all honesty, we have used a gallon bag on a road trip when my daughter got car sick. I so would much rather have a bag on hand then be shampooing the inside of my car!
#4 Snacks! Snacks! Snacks! Another definite must have are snacks for your toddler. Chances are they won’t want just peanuts & pretzels that are offered on the airplanes these days. My daughter has many food allergies and at the time of our trip was allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. So we were definitely bringing our own snacks. I brought Cheerios (every toddler’s favorite), apple sauce pouches, Halo oranges and graham crackers. I had peeled the oranges after we got through security and stuck them in a baggie.
#3: Antibacterial Hand Wipes: These still make every top 10 list for even just leaving the house. They are just such a necessity. Kids get something on their hands that needs to be wiped off, or maybe they’re going to eat a snack or meal and there is no where to wash hands. Especially with a toddler, who still requires a stool to stand at the sink to wash their hands, these are a lifesaver before and after meal time! I really like the Johnson’s Hand & Face Wipes. I think they are slightly gentler on their skin than some of the other ones on the market.
#2 Car Seat Travel Cart: This was an absolute must have! I purchased a seat for my toddler when we flew, mostly because I figured the flight was going to be stressful enough, and I did not picture us flying well with her on my lap. I also wanted to be able to strap her into her own car seat so she felt more secure and could (hopefully) nap. I purchased the Britax Car Seat Carrier for our trip. The car seat gets strapped to the carrier and can be wheeled like a carry on through the airport, thereby eliminating carrying the child OR the car seat. Once we boarded the plane, I strapped the car seat into her chair, and stuck the carrier in the overhead compartment. When the plane landed, I strapped it back on and wheeled her off the plane and through the airport.
#1: Extra clothes: This one might seem like a no brainer, but in all reality, there were some days that my daughter wore 4 outfits. And not because she is a little fashionista, but because she would spill something on herself, had just gotten super sweaty, or because we had gone swimming, and who really wants to put on dirty, sweaty clothes again? And if you don’t have easily accessible laundry facilities, you will thank me later! My youngest always went through way more clothes than the rest of us.
Happy Traveling & Memory Making!!