We love traveling with Aiden. I am fortunate that my job allows me to travel all over the world and sometimes Dan and Aiden can come along! I had two business meetings this summer that Aiden and Dan tagged along on. However, packing a toddler’s suitcase for vacation is rough. They may be small but they sure do need a lot of stuff! One thing I have learned in all my travels is how to pack light. I wanted to keep this philosophy for Aiden’s things as well because I didn’t want to carry everything around. Here are my tips for packing a toddler’s suitcase for vacation.
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The last major vacation we took that required air travel was when Aiden was four months old. He had his own gigantic LL Bean duffle bag full of his stuff. Now that he is older, I wanted to see if we could get that down to a more manageable amount. For both trips we were gone for 10-days and I was able to fit all of Aiden’s and Dan’s things in one large suitcase. I had a smaller suitcase for my things.
One thing that I did (that I normally don’t) and I think helped was planning everything we needed to bring early and writing it down. I usually wait until the last minute and throw my stuff in a suitcase when I travel on my own. I came up with this checklist, which you can use too! Not only did it help with packing, but it also kept me organized in the hotel when it was time to pack up and leave!
This is what I packed:
I looked ahead to see what the weather would be for both trips. Both were during the summer (well San Diego was supposedly winter but….we are from the East Coast so I am going to go with summer 😆 )
- Two pairs of jeans (gray and blue)
- Four pairs of shorts
- One sweatshirt
- 14 T-shirts
- 1 long sleeve “nicer” shirt
- Two bathing suits with rash guards and a
- Reusable swim diaper — we put this over his swim diapers (see personal items below)
- Two pairs of sneakers and one pair of water shoes
- Comfy travel shoes (he wore these on the travel days because they are like slippers)
- Dohm Sound Machine — Let me tell you, I considered not bringing this but I am so glad I did. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego (which was AMAZING by the way), but we were there over a weekend and we had some party animals next door. Aiden did not wake up at all, I believe because the sound machine drowned out the noise.
- Pack and Play — We considered borrowing a crib from the hotel but we since it fit in our car seat bag we brought it with us.
- Travel Car Seat — We got this Zohzo adjustable padded bag for the car seat (we checked it upon arrival at the airport) and the Pack and Play fit in as well. This saved us from carrying an extra item, although it was quite heavy.
- Summer Infant 3D Lite Umbrella Stroller — We used the stroller through the airport and security and then gate checked it. I highly recommend this stroller. It is lightweight and tall enough for you to comfortably walk around with it. We used this gate check bag to protect it. We walked A LOT and this stroller really held up.
- Two sippy cups
- One silicone plate
- Wooden To Go utensils or Re-play utensils — I like the wooden ones because they come with a case to carry them in. However, you could easily find a little pouch to carry any utensils you have.
- Toothbrush/toothpaste (in my toiletries case)
- Two packages of wipes
- One sleeve of diapers (50 diapers)
- Five swim diapers
- Two in one shampoo and body wash
- Tylenol (just in case, but this also could have been purchased there)
All of this (unless otherwise noted) fit in one half of Dan’s large suitcase and it worked out great! We knew that if we truly forgot anything we could buy it once we got to our destination. The only thing I would have liked to have was our baby carrier. There were some places that we thought a carrier would have been more useful than the stroller.
Have you traveled with a toddler? Do you have any tips for packing a toddler’s suitcase for vacation? Let me know if I missed something.
To see what we packed in our carry-on bag click here.
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