Photo by: iStock

Travel Hacks for Toddlers

Photo by: iStock

Whether you’re heading to Grandma’s house just 10 miles away or you’re packing for an interstate road trip, traveling with toddlers can be challenging, at best. But it doesn’t have to be a hellish experience. Keeping a travel kit will help decrease your stress when it comes time to head out the door. Odelia Morovati (LMFT, RPT) from Positive Change Counseling Center suggests, “Remember to allow your toddler to be involved in getting the kit together. Giving them choices will help them feel empowered and more likely to be motivated to use the kit.”

1. Buy your kiddo his very own adult-size travel backpack. It won’t be for him to carry until he’s a little older (and bigger) but keep it fully stocked and ready in your coat closet or SUV. Include a change of clothes, shoes, plastic zip bags, a toy, book and blanket.

2. Did you forget the sippy cup? Keep a stash of straws and sealable plastic wrap handy. Tear off a square, seal the top of your toddler’s drinking cup and stick a straw through the plastic. Et Voila!

3. Lunch-box toy box. Buy an old-school metal lunchbox and fill it with plastic building blocks, crayons and paper, pipe cleaners, or your child’s favorite toy. “You can also include a variety of sensory toys, which are designed to change how a child’s brain reacts to touch, sound, sight, and movement. So while these toys are a great distraction and can help with excess energy, they are also helping your toddler develop and refine the use of their senses!” says Morovati.

4. Pack your child’s daily outfits into separate giant ziptop bags. Not only will it create a hassle-free get-dressed time, but you’ll have extra plastic bags ready for soiled clothing or accidents.

5. Fill a three-ring binder with a pen and pencil keeper for markers, pens and pencils, then add coloring book pages or blank paper for your budding artist to go wild. Morovati explains, “Art has tremendous benefits. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to help children express themselves safely and boost confidence.”

6. Remember those holiday advent calendars where each day you’d open a little cardboard tab and reveal a surprise? Try the same thing when it comes to snack time for your kids. Buy some screwtop containers and fill them with different snacks. “Sometimes children are more apt to have a meltdown if they are thirsty or hungry. Being “hangry” is not just a saying! Neurologically, a sip of water or a snack can help a toddler feel more nourished and self-regulated,” Morovati advises.

Some children are perfectly content with watching a movie or napping; others, not so much. They’ll be fidgety, nervous and in need of attention. Keeping their hands and minds occupied will definitely help your trip be less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone. Morovati adds, “Don’t forget to take care of yourself too! Your little one is always looking up to you, so staying de-stressed yourself will help your toddler stay calm too, as you are a mirror for them. Whether it’s singing along to your favorite song, eating a feel good snack, or practicing some mindfulness, you deserve something for yourself!”

Shelley Moench-Kelly, MBA, is a New England-based writer and editor whose freelance clients include Google, L’Oreal Paris and

Like This Article

Like Mamapedia

Learn From Moms Like You

Get answers, tips, deals, and amazing advice from other Moms.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us
Want to become a contributor?
Want to become a contributor?

If you'd like to contribute to the Wisdom of Moms on Mamapedia, please sign up here to learn more: Sign Up

Recent Voices Posts

See all