A Minimalist Guide to Stress-Free Traveling with Toddlers & Babies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It also means the days are getting shorter, and we’re all rushing around getting ready for the holidays. If that includes traveling, a little planning in advanced could mean the difference between a jolly holiday, and a stressed out mama. Follow these 5 simple tips for a stress free trip.

Want an easy Download of our Packing list? Download it Here: Delightful Southern Moment’s MINIMALIST Toddler Packing List

Delightful Southern Moments (1)

1 // Paperwork

Make sure you have all paperwork for the airport / road trip. This includes drivers’ license for mom and dad, and a copy of your little one(s) birth certificate for the airport.

2 // Pack light

You’ll no doubt need to bring snacks, a change of clothes and a few favorite toys, but try to keep the “extras” to a minimum. What can do double duty? That baby blanket, could it also be a nursing cover? Do you really need a stroller and a baby carrier? Select those items which will make your life easiest going through security.

3 // At the airport

Arrive early. I can’t say that enough. It took us an hour to go through security on our last trip! Taking a stroller? Consider if the stroller / wheel chair lines are moving more quickly through security. These are often shorter but do come with their own risk of getting stuck behind a grandma who brought too many bottles of perfume or liqueur filled chocolates.

4 // On the Plane

Once on the plane, try to snag an isle seat so you can get up and walk around if the little one(s) get fussy, but if the plane is already looking half full, grab a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible. You might be exhausted after your flight and won’t want to hang out on the plane any longer than you have to waiting for all the other passengers to get off. Speaking of getting on the plane, ask the flight attendants as soon as you enter the plane if you can have a water. Often they can easily grab a can and hand it to you as you walk by. Unless you remembered to fill your water bottle in the terminal, this refreshing water will be awesome, I promise.

5 // At your Destination

Make plans a head of time to discuss a meal once you’ve arrived. Is there a place by the airport you’ll want to stop by? Or will you be heading straight to relatives house? Call ahead of your trip to discuss having a meal that is quick and easy to make – something that your little one(s) will eat. Believe me, you’ll be thankful for this opportunity to get some real food in their bellies. This will be a great time to get an inventory of what toiletries, diapers, etc., are available, and what you’ll need to shop for during your visit.

TRAVEL TIPS (1)

If you’re driving to your destination, you may be temped to pack everything you “might need” because, well, you have the space right?! Avoid this temptation, as it will mean you have MORE to keep up with. Also, can you plan out stops on your trip? Perhaps there are fantastic parks or sights you’d like to see on the way to your destination? A trick from my in-laws is to have each parent only drive 90 minutes. It may seem like too many stops, but if you have a newly potty trained toddler in the back seat, they’ll appreciate the stops (so yes, bring that little potty!). And it will keep mom and dad fresh and attentive to the road.

Airport Tips

Below is our MINIMALIST Packing List.

For Baby

IN YOUR CARRY-ON, TO STAY WITH YOU ON PLANE:

  • Diapers (enough for your travel time, plus a couple extra)
  • Wipes (lots! And these can double-duty for cleaning the plane seat area)
  • Pack a change of clothes (things happen)
  • Favorite toy(s)
  • Nursing Cover/ Blanket (if you’re still nursing)
  • Snacks
  • Sippy cup / bottle(s) (Avoid temptation to fill sippy cups ahead of time if possible, TSA will slow you down to check these. But formula and breast milk bottles, and baby food CAN BE brought on board. Be sure to tell the TSA agent ahead of screening to save headaches.)

IN PLASTIC BAG, EASILY ACCESSIBLE (ON TOP OF CARRY-ON) FOR TSA:

  • Infant Tylenol or Motrin
  • Small Hand Sanitizer
  • Diaper Cream

IN YOUR SUITCASE OR TO BE CHECKED IF DESIRED:

  • 2 outfits per day of trip (extra in case of accidents, over 5 days plan to do laundry or purchase on trip, you’ll have a fun memory and a new shirt!)
  • Socks
  • Swim Diaper / Bathing suit (these will not take much space & are hard to buy)
  • Hat (warm or cool weather depending on your destination)
  • Pajamas
  • Brush/ Comb
  • Sweater / Dressy outfit depending on events
  • Shoes

For Parents

IN YOUR CARRY-ON, TO STAY WITH YOU ON PLANE:

  • Driver’s License & Wallet
  • Empty water bottle
  • Sunglasses or glasses for vision correction
  • Phone & phone charger(s)
  • Sweater or Jacket
  • Extra shirt

IN YOUR SUITCASE OR TO BE CHECKED IF DESIRED:

  • Pants (shorts, jeans, leggings for mamas, etc. We recommend 1 pair of each depending on your events schedule for every 4 days of your trip)
  • Shirt (1 per day of your trip, over 5 days plan to do laundry or purchase on trip, you’ll have a fun memory and a new shirt!)
  • Dress / Dress Shirt & Slacks (Based on your personal style, bring more dresses and less pants/ shirts if you like to wear dresses- 1 per every 4 days of your trip).
  • Undergarments & Socks
  • Bathing suit (take one, it takes very little space and is difficult to buy)
  • Pajamas
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair brush/ comb
  • Curing iron / straightener
  • Small bag of makeup essentials, hair ties, bobby pins
  • Medications
  • Shoes / Sandals
  • Sweater

Leave home your toothpaste, face wash, make up remover, dry shampoo and hair spray and other small toiletry items as these can be borrowed from relatives or purchased cheaply at your destination.

Want an easy Download of our Packing list? Download it Here: Delightful Southern Moment’s MINIMALIST Toddler Packing List

Minimalist Travel Guide

If you’re traveling with gifts, be sure to leave them unwrapped. Airport security may need to check your bags and frowns upon gift wrapped items. We hope our tips and packing list helpful. We love a certain airline where bags fly free and highly suggest weighing all your options/ costs when booking airfare.

Thanks for checking out our tips and packing list and happy travels!

xo,

Christine

 

We want to hear from you! What would you add?

  • For those who have traveled with a baby or a toddler, what tips would you add?
  • Are there other things you did to make the trip easier?
  • Was there something else you did to reduce stress?
  • Would you ever have one parent fly with the kid(s), while the second drives your car to your destination?