Let’s just bring the house: Packing for travel with a toddler

In 48 hours we will be getting on a plane and heading to Europe for 6 weeks. Right now, I feel mostly terrified, but I am ignoring this pretty well by checking things off my long to-do list. And by watching Netflix with Z. It helps, right?

So, we will be packing the backpacks tomorrow for our trip. Yup, we are actual backpackers. Our Kelty backpacks (not the same model as the ones we have, ours are quite old, and from craigslist) have made it several trips, and we love using them. What do we bring to travel with a toddler for a 6 week trip? Here are some of the things we have used when we have traveled with D on past trips around the US.


We have had great success with using the Kidco Peapod travel tent bed for D to sleep in on the go. We chose it because it is lightweight, folds up small, and he should be able to use it for quite a while. We used it when we traveled to California for three weeks last summer, and we have used it countless times since. We’ve really liked it. It pops-up easily, and is easy to travel with and pack. D sleeps well in it too, and the bottom of the walls of the tent are all mesh so I can see him, or obsessively stare at him to make sure he was fine and breathing, like I did when he was little a few times. Or a lot. But anyway, he sleeps in it, so it’s a win.

It’s also good for playing with friends.


We have absolutely LOVED this Fisher price travel plate/placemat thing, that is apparently no longer for sale from Fisher Price. Boo. It suctions on to most tables, cleans easily, and folds-up.We also heavily use our silicone bibs for travel since they are so easy to clean.

We have tried a couple of travel highchairs with ehh results, and we debated about whether or not to worry about bringing a highchair in our travels. We decided to get one when I thought about how, for the most part, the only time D is not moving around is when he is sitting to eat. Those are very precious moments. And it would be nice to have somewhere to put him in the places we are staying that he can’t escape, destroy, or hurt himself in. So we opted to get the Totseat Travel High Chair. It’s cloth, so it’s washable (so needed with D, that kid wears a lot of his food), and it can fit almost any chair. We haven’t really tried it out yet, so I’ll keep you updated as to how it works out.


Target dollar aisle. Done.

Ok, not entirely, but close. Besides several small balls, toys, and board books, we also got D a Water Wow activity book. It’s a water activated coloring book that is small, and pretty affordable for a travel toy. He also gets to “color” without making a mess. Again, high hopes, we’ve got high hopes…

We also got D some kid-friendly headphones from Kidz Gear that fit his head really well. And my kid has a tiny head. They expand all the way to fit my husband’s head. They also have a way to automatically lower the overall volume. D does not normally get any screen time, but desperate times call for desperate measures- and the iPad may help us keep our sanity. So, fingers crossed that PBS will bring us some sanity when we need it most.

Other than that, we are packing D’s clothes, his blankie, some binkies, and many, many snacks. We are trying to keep the amount of stuff we are bringing to a minimum since first of all, it’s expensive, thanks to baggage fees, secondly, it’s heavy and hard to finagle, and third, we are going several places, so we need to move between places regularly and the less stuff to carry, repack, and lose, the better. Hopefully we will have what we need, otherwise we will improvise. Or, as one of my favorite motivational sayings goes, we will “make it work.” (Thanks Tim Gunn and Project Runway). Alright, back to being productive. Or at least finishing the laundry.


3 responses to “Let’s just bring the house: Packing for travel with a toddler

  1. I’m one of the “are you NUTS people’ since I can barely get MYSELF through the airports! But I know you’ll have a great time and I look forward to following you on your great adventure! Have fun.


  2. Awesome! Simply Awesome – and don’t forget there should be things on your travels that you can get to entertain Demo – all those countries have children as well, so don’t pack to much. Another trick I used was mailing things back to the states, it was actually cheaper than paying for baggage at the airlines. You can ship book rate since you’re going to be gone 6 weeks. I sent different boxes to everyone when I was in Turkey and had fun collecting them when I got home.


  3. Pingback: What we packed to travel 6 weeks with a toddler: The Verdict  | MeanderingMadcaps·

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