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Travel Essentials for Toddlers on Long Road Trips and Family Vacation

Toddlers can be unforgiving during their meltdowns. Make your family vacation and long  road trips hassle and tantrum free with these travel essentials for toddlers.

Vacations are one of the most anticipated trips in a family. It sets a break from daily family routines and creates a new refreshing atmosphere. Not only does it strengthen family relationships, it also teaches awareness and creativity to kids. Family vacations create life-long memories.

But a well-planned family trip with toddlers can be a disaster if you forget to cross out their travel essentials. You wouldn’t realize how important a simple toy, bib or pillow is until you need it.

Traveling with toddlers might feel like bringing the house with you, but there is no packing light. Here is a list of travel essentials for toddlers to make your family trips smooth and easy.

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Comfort Toy

What is your toddler’s favorite toy that he can’t leave without? Bring a special toy that will remind him of home.  

Snacks, Snacks and a Lot of Snacks

Always pack a variety of light, pre-packed, to-go snacks. Not just one, but a lot. When the kids go hungry, they mean it, they are hungry. You may buy individually wrapped snacks from the store or you can put them in reusable snack cups.

Travel Stroller / Carrier

Give your toddler a break from walking. Those feet get tired easily and you wouldn’t want to tire your arms either. Bring a lightweight travel stroller that folds easily and can hold some of your toddler essentials. You may also consider a toddler baby carrier for trekking and hiking.

Diaper bag and accessories

Always choose a diaper bag that fits your style and comfort. Don’t forget to pack an extra set of clothes, diaper (if not fully potty trained), and wipes.

Bug Spray

A handy bug spray will save you from an irritable toddler. Bug bites can cause a stinging pain, swelling and blisters so a skin protectant, especially on summer days, will be one less worry on a vacation. You can also spray it on beds or cots to avoid possible bugs.

Stroller Fan clip

Keep your toddlers cool and comfortable on hot summer days. Aside from hydrating and wearing light clothes, cooling them down with a portable fan will help do the trick. There are battery-operated rechargeable fans that you can hold by hand or clip in the stroller.

First Aid  Kit

Save yourself for an emergency trip to the store by having a first aid kit on your backpack. Be sure to have plasters, antiseptic wipes or spray, bandages and prescription medicines at the very least.

Toddler Backpack

While getting a toddler travel backpack is not necessary, it will give them the freedom to bring books and toys. Kids are fond of keeping collections along the way so having their backpack gives them a sense of ownership. Choose a travel backpack that is light, stylish and durable for multiple use.


Traveling with kids will give you extra hours on the road. A pee break, meal time, or a stretch is needed at least every 3 hours. Keeping them entertained and organized will save your time and sanity.

Travel tray organizer

Whether your toddler needs a drawing table, snack table, organizer or something to put his toy, travel tray organizer will do it all for you. This will also be a life saver if you don’t want all toys and trash scattered around the car.

Car Headrest Tablet Holder

If you want a hands-free gadget holder that’s within your reach, a tablet holder mounted on the car’s headrest is the key. No more fighting who’s holding the device or who can’t see it properly. Store tons of pre-downloaded videos or movies to keep the kids entertained.


What is tablet holder without the device? You may choose from an android tablet where you can control and install apps or a tablet with pre-loaded subscription videos like Amazon Fire Kids.

Travel Pillow

Long Road trips are tiring. Sleeping in the car is one the toddlers do best. Make the kids as comfortable as you can by giving them a toddler travel pillow. Hence, keeping them asleep will give you some peace and quite.

Car shade screen

Protect your child from direct sunlight exposure inside the car with a car window shade. There are cars with built in shade. But if you don’t have one, there are varieties of design in the store you can choose from.


Leaving the comfort of your home especially when feeding your toddler is difficult. Kids these age have their special sets of utensils or else they will make a very big mess. Try these mealtime travel essentials to make mealtime a fun time for the whole family.

Travel Booster /High Chair Seat

Eating when you are tired from traveling and exploring on a vacation is essential. You wish to enjoy the food like the rest of the family does. Toddlers should practice independence too when eating through a travel booster and high chair that you can easily set and pack away. There are boosters that you can prop on a chair securely or set on the floor.

Spill Proof Sippy Cup

Save yourself and your toddler from frequent change of clothes due to spills. Make sure to get a spill proof, non toxic and durable sippy cup for those squirmy and clumsy little tots.


When on a travel, dishwasher is not always accessible to clean your utensils every after meal. Since wearing a bib protects your child for potential stain and mess, having a disposable bib that is handy to discard is a life saver

Table Mats

What could be the best partner of disposable placemats on a travel and outside dining but a disposable mat. Most of these adhesive table mats have colorful and fun designs to keep your toddler entertained while you enjoy your meal.

Kids Plate and Utensils

Most restaurants have fragile plates or too big for toddler’s use. Having your own set of plates and utensils will make your toddler feel at home when eating.



A whole day on the road or activity-packed vacation will exhaust your little one. Either he easily sleeps or too stimulated to get his bedtime rhythm. When this happens, make his sleeping time comfortable through this bedtime travel must-haves.

Soothing Music

A soothing lullaby after a night’s bath will help your toddler calm down and prepare for bedtime. Play some soft music through a portable soother.

Essential Oils

These essential oils have calming and therapeutic benefits. They also improve sleep and relaxation. Some of the best oils to sooth your toddler are lavender, chamomile and frankincense. You can make a roller blend and apply on soles, wrist or under the ear just before going to bed. Remember to use only the purest essential oils for your family.

Portable Sleeping Tent / Portable Cot

If your kid is used to sleeping at home alone, it is best to give him a separate bed when sleeping on a hotel. When getting a bigger or multiple room is not the solution, bring a portable sleeping tent or cot that fits him well.


Bathroom breaks are non-negotiable for toddlers. You need to attend to their immediate call for nature. When your toddler is potty trained and doesn’t want to go back on wearing diapers, here are to-go bathroom travel essentials to minimize accidents and make bathroom breaks smooth. Plus, a tool to make toddler bath time easy on your next family vacation.

Disposable Toilet Seat Cover

If you are very much concern using public restrooms on a travel, worry no more. You can have a disposable toilet seat cover to protect them from sitting and getting wet.

Portable Toilet Seat

When the nature calls and your toddler despise to use the public bathroom, get a portable toilet seat that makes him comfortable and familiar. Most portable toilet seats fit standard toilet size so the kids won’t fall through.

Pee bottle

Toddlers are unforgiving when they need to go to the restroom. During a long car trip, you can’t just pull over anytime or finding the nearest loo is a treasure hunt. Good thing there is a portable pee bottle for girls and for boys. Next you will get stuck in a traffic jam, a handy urinal for toddler’s emergency call will be your savior.

Inflatable Bath Tub

During a family vacation, you don’t expect to enjoy all the comfort from a hotel. For one, toddler bath time will be extra difficult when the kids don’t use shower just yet or bathtub floor is slippery that they may get hurt. Having an inflatable bath tub will take your worries away.

More than the money spent, vacation should be fun and enjoyable for the whole family. Make memories and let kids do what they do best, have fun! You may come across “what if’s” and “I forgot to” along the way so getting your travel essentials for toddlers checklist all marked is important.

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13 thoughts on “Travel Essentials for Toddlers on Long Road Trips and Family Vacation

  1. This is an interesting list of things that parents may need when travelling. Careful planning is essential, especially with toddlers in the family.

  2. Oh my goodness – your article brought back memories of my family. As a child, my mother and father packed up us kids and travelled across the Nullarbor Plain, from Qld to Perth Australia. They had 7 kids! I’m sure my mother would have loved this list!

  3. These are great. Our daughter gets carsick easily though, so not so sure about snacks and definitely no tablet (found out the hard way) as she has to look out the windows. We’re hesitant to do a long road trip for that reason.

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