Must Read Hacks for Traveling with Toddlers

Some parents will tell you that traveling with toddlers is a nightmare. They’ll warn you never to do it. The real problem is that these parents weren’t prepared. You need to understand that traveling with a toddler can be done, but there are some tricks you’ll need to use. Whether it’s making sure your toddler is comfortable or remembering to plan around naptime, you’ll love these hacks for traveling with toddlers.

Bring a Pillow and Blanket
First things first. You want to make sure your toddler is able to be comfortable. If you’re taking an early morning or late-night flight, your toddler can become cranky from lack of sleep. Bring a comfy pillow and blanket so that your toddler can comfortably take a nap. Even if you’re traveling by car, these items can help your child feel more comfortable and secure.

baby blanketPIN IT!

Create a Play Pack
Another great tip is to create a “play pack” or what we call “baby travel toy kit” for your child to enjoy while traveling. If you’re going by car, cut an over-the-door shoe rack to fit on the back of your seat. You can then put a fun toy or activity into each slot. At different times throughout the trip, open a new slot to reveal a surprise.

baby toysPIN IT!

Turn a Tackle or Craft Box into a Fun Snack Center
You can find a single-layer craft or tackle boxes that have slots. These are perfect for putting little snacks into. You can set something different in each slot. Your toddler will love this. It’s just a fun, new way to serve something yummy.

sandwich for kidsPIN IT!

Plan Around Naptime
One of the best hacks for traveling with toddlers is to plan your day around naptime. In other words, prepare some activities for the morning and then come back to your hotel room for lunch and naptime. You can then head back out. This will help prevent meltdowns.

Pack Some Goodie Bags
If you want to help keep your toddler well behaved while traveling, make up some goodie bags. Grab some brown paper lunch bags and put fun toys, candy, stickers, etc. in them. Each day your toddler is well-behaved, they get a goodie bag.

Turn a Cookie Sheet into a Puzzle Board
Last, but not least, another fun way to keep toddlers occupied while traveling is to make a puzzle board. All you need is a cookie sheet from your local Dollar Tree, craft sticks, magnets, glue sticks, and pictures from magazines. Line up some craft sticks to be large enough for the image you’re using and then glue the photo to the sticks. Once dry, cut the sticks apart, and glue magnets on the back of each stick. You can then put the pieces in a zip top bag to keep up with them. Your child will then use the board to arrange the puzzle pieces. Make as many of these as you want to keep your toddler busy.

Traveling with toddlers doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You just have to remember to keep your child comfortable and entertained. Above all, don’t skip naptime.


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  • Michelle Leslie

    Oh my I remember those days so well. I think I was one of those totally unprepared Mom’s 😀 All the fighting and bickering in the back seat seemed like it would never stop.

  • Daria

    This is a very informative post for people with small children. My friend soon is going on a road trip with a small child, i will pass this post to her.

  • Karolina

    Oh, this is so smart:) I wish your blog existed when I was a young mom – I would definitely learn a thing or two;)

  • Danielle Fox

    Love the dont skip nap thoughts – My kids love to sleep in the car so I never worry about that any more

  • Daisy

    These are absolutely fabulous tips for traveling with a toddler! My child is much older but due to special needs he is developmentally younger so I use so many of these helpful tips while we travel.

  • GiGi Eats

    TOTALLY GOING TO NEED THESE TIPS when my husband and I have kids because we plan on continuing our year travel ventures around Christmas!

  • Elizabeth O

    Travelling with little ones can be so tough! This is a great post with many ideas for those who have toddlers to distract and entertain. You provided some great ideas!

  • Jenifer Sayyed

    Really all hacks are so useful. Not yet mom bt will make sure to follow this when i become 🙂

  • Joanna

    I don’t have children but I have a friend who has a 5 months old baby, and I know she goes around quite a bit by car. I will share this post with her, I am sure she will find it very useful.

  • Ithfifi

    I don’t have any children but I still found this post really interesting, the idea of the play time rack is such a good idea, I’ve never heard anyone mention anything like it – the excitment of something to do at intervals must really help keep them amused!

  • Tara Pittman

    Movies are also a great way to keep those kids entertained. I also bring plenty of snacks.

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    My girls were small when portable DVD players were huge! Those things saved us tons of nightmares when traveling.

  • Jessica Taylor

    I love the cookie sheet idea! I would have never thought about using it to keep things contained!

  • Tanvi Rastogi

    I am sure my mommy friends will appreciate this post. I will share it with them.

    ❥ tanvii

  • rhian westbury

    I think regardless of the age of your travellers, kids or adults you need to bring distractions and things for them to do x

  • Julie

    I love these tips Angela! The play pack is so smart! I’m sure we will be doing more road trips in the future so you def have some great tips!

  • Peter Nyiri

    Bringing a pillow and blanket sounds like a great idea.
    Traveling is just too much change for a little baby and you need to counter it by making them comfortable.

  • Ashley

    I don’t have kids but these are some amazing tips that I’ll relay over to my Mommy friends lol! I can use this during the times I babysit as well.

  • Sarah Bailey

    These sound like some great tips for travelling with a toddler, I can’t imagine how different it is having a little human around you all the time.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    These are smart tips for traveling with toddlers. It’s so important to be prepared with snacks and activities for the kids.

  • Ruth I.

    We are lucky my niece is not fussy when traveling. Bringing some goodie bags and play pack surely helps.

  • Hannah Marie

    I was scared to travel with kids at first because I thought it was really hard. These hacks are a great help. Some snack helps.

  • Paula Stewart

    We used to travel by car from Michigan to South Carolina with four children under the age of 10 and agree that planning is the key to a great trip.

  • 1stopmom

    planning around naptime is very important. I also like to have special toys that I don’t bring out very often, that are perfect for meltdowns or if I need a distraction.

  • Paula

    I thought you were going to say pack plenty of Benadryl! LOL but really, my favorite tip was the cookie sheet for a puzzle… That’s awesome! I will be trying it out.

  • FAtima

    I’ll soon be going on a road trip, and have found these tips very helpful. I hope we have a great fuss-free trip.

  • Caylissa

    Great list! I like the idea of using a cookie sheet as a puzzle board!

  • Leah

    These are really good tips! We didn’t travel much when the kids were toddlers, but the times that we did, I definitely did a few of these things to make things easier for us.

  • Andrea

    while I am not traveling with a toddler I am traveling with my grandfather next week to Denver from Abq and he acts like a toddler at times, its a combo of the age and dementia and all of these are great tips. I do need to keep him entertained and also with snacks around.

  • Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place

    I posted an article on my blog recently that;s similar to this. And bring pillows and blankets was one of the tips I offered, lol. My kids are tweens, but some of your tips still apply to older kids like mine. 🙂

  • Heather

    These are all great suggestions. Traveling with a toddler is interesting but can be amazing!

  • Samantha

    I don’t have kids, but these sound like great, helpful tips. I’m sure this will make traveling with toddlers much smoother.

  • Agnes Vazhure

    This post is really perfect for my cousin who have 3 small kids. I will surely share this with her.

  • Lauren

    Yesss. A play pack is a great idea! You definitely want to keep them entertained.

  • Kara

    I have to admit that mine are really good travellers but I always have a play pack for them and snacks!!

  • Jemma

    Great tips! Travelling with toddlers can be tricky. I always make sure I have lots of snack packed.

  • Melissa Dixon

    I remember traveling with my daughter when she was little and the biggest help was the dvd player in my car. lol She loved watching her shows on there since we never really watched on tv at home, it was a fun special time for her.

  • Kathy

    I think these are all great ideas. I’m always bringing with some activities and snacks for my girls. If I don’t, they’ll get bored and hungry haha.

  • Nancy at Whispered Inspirations

    These are incredible tips! Traveling with Toddlers doesn’t have to be crazy as long as you are prepared.

  • What Corinne Did

    I remember when I was a kid. I am one of five so my parents had to deal with all five of us on long journey. Nightmare. Problem solved with movies and gameboys back then!

  • Preet

    You have mentioned some really helpful points here. The pillow and blanket have been a real help for the long travel trips. We do plan to travel around the nap time of the kids, it helps them to be less cranky during travel. I do keep extra surprise games or toys for them in case they are really bored.

  • Khushboo

    I don’t have kids yet buy someday this guide is going to be very useful for me. Love the photographs and the helpful tips for moms 🙂

  • Tiffany

    Great tips! They will come in handy when I have kids. I like turning a cookie sheet into a puzzle board. Let’s them have fun and keeps them busy.

  • Kim

    Thank you for sharing these ideas! We recently moved to Germany and have 3 small kids and we are always looking for ways to make traveling easier! I definitely like the play pack idea

  • Kate Andrews

    I like to bring a pillow and blanket with me as well – and I don’t even have kids! Great tips.

  • Athena

    This is a great list. When my kids were babies I couldn’t wait to get rid of the diaper bag. That diaper bag was simply replaced by so much more. Now that I have teenagers – I need a suburban to cart them and their stuff everywhere…

  • Heather

    We love traveling as a family. Toddlers can be tough because they have so much energy, but a little planning can keep them entertained. The dollar store is a great idea.

  • LavandaMichelle

    I remember how this used to be. These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Carissa

    These are really great tips! I traveled with my daughter (flying and driving both) quite a bit when she was a toddler. We learned quickly how to keep her happy and busy!

  • Gemille Sleweon

    I don’t have any kids, but i have a younger sibling who is a toddler and i know how frustrating it can be to even go to the grocery store with small children. This was a very helpful post.

  • Suzanne

    Such great car tips for new moms! You are so lovely.

  • Needa

    these are great tips! I just created a play bag for my toddler, it brings a good change in him while traveling

  • Kiwi

    I guess you are preparing yourself for toddlerdom! Good advice for moms who travel with tiny tots.

  • Amanda

    It must be hard to travel with little ones. These are some great hacks and I am sure that they will be exteremly helpful to parents.

  • Louise Smith

    I always try to take a travel pack out with me when going somewhere with the kids. It can entertain them for hours. And my bag is usually full of snacks as well! These are all great hacks for when you’re travelling with toddlers 🙂

    Louise x

  • Helen at casa costello

    Oh I’ve been there many times with my toddlers. It good fun getting them to stay in their car seats when they want to escape! Plenty of edible treats and lots of baby wipes got me through!

  • Nati

    These tips are great! I ave never stopped travellig with my children, I also try to keep their “routine” and games going a max. Children need some reference points to be still when everything else changes!

  • Hannah Vu

    This post is so useful!! I’ve always struggled with my kids when travelling, especially on summer vacation. I’ll follow some of these guides the next time I travel. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • kim

    It can definitely be challenging to travel with kids, especially toddlers. These tips were so helpful. I will be trying some for sure!

  • Collins Nwokolo

    I learned so much from this article. Travelling with toddlers can be so challenging. I like the idea of Turning a Cookie Sheet into a Puzzle Board. Nice one.

  • Daniel

    It is very informative post that sadly I will not be using as I don’t have any kids but will be in the future, so keep this in mind.

  • Nicole

    These are all really great tips! I thought the turning a cookie sheet into a puzzle board was really creative! Because you are so right, sometimes traveling with a toddler can be a nightmare! I’ll have to try these out on my son. Thanks for sharing!

  • WhatLauraLoves

    I ALWAYS take a pillow and blanket with me when I travel so that I can snuggle up and snooze in the car xxx