Traveling With A Tot: Packing 101

by VGP Blogger, Kate

Traveling with a toddler in tow is not the easiest thing, so you have to be prepared for the trip and if you’re organized you may even get to relax once you get to your destination.  After taking close to twenty trips with our 18 month old, I’ve gathered a few pieces of advice when it comes to packing.

Make and maintain a packing list: Maybe it’s just me, but when I took my first trips with my daughter the idea of packing up all the necessities was overwhelming since babies seem to need SO MUCH and no one wants to make a midnight shopping run for pacis. When I get overwhelmed…I make lists.  I made a Google document with three columns: category, item, and number. I liked the idea of the Google document, because my husband could also access it and edit it as needed. I also made a to-do list for the days leading up to the trip so I wouldn’t be running around like a nut the day we leave.

Get your ducks in a row early: A few days before we leave on our trip I print off my packing list and to do list. I make one day a big laundry day and I set aside all of the outfits, pajamas, and other laundered items that we want to pack. Once the clothes are in the “to be packed” pile we try not to pull from it, because I know that last minute load of laundry may not get done between naps, snack time, and diaper changes. I also have found it helpful a few days before hand to sit with my husband and divide out any household chores that need to be completed so we are all on the same page and not chaotic the night before our trip.

Pack by the outfit: I think this tip is my husband’s favorite one! When I pack my daughters clothes, I put one complete outfit in a sealable storage bag. Each bag has the outfit, socks, and any accessories such as a headband or hair bow. My husband loves these bags, because he doesn’t have to try to make sense of the pile of pink in the suitcase and I love them because they make packing a lot more efficient. No more forgotten or mismatched socks!

Make an emergency grab-bag: Whether you are traveling by air or by car, inevitably there will be that moment where you have a ticking time bomb on your hands.  Before a big trip I usually head to the dollar store and will pick up a few new books, animal figurines, bubbles, etc. When I sense a meltdown is on the horizon I let my daughter pick a new toy from her special bag. You can even wrap these items for an extra surprise factor!

What are your favorite tips when packing for a family trip?





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