The Traveling Toddler Bag

Packing for a toddler

         When it comes your standard diaper bag, I know I need the basics; diapers, wipes and a snack. But I got to thinking, what do I need to travel around, say, Paris, for the day, with a 2 year old? I can’t exactly bring his bedroom with us on our walk. What exactly do I need in a traveling diaper bag?

The traveling toddler bag

We have been on three day trips so far and there are a few things I forgot the first time that I now have permanently packed for the next trip.  His backpack, toddler sized, has a set of spare clothes, swim suit, swim diaper and UV bucket hat, in a plastic bag. Don’t forget to rotate the clothes so they will actually get worn and taken out if they no longer fit. Replacing them as soon as you get home after being used is key to not forgetting to load up the bag before the next trip.

I had his diapers and wipes in my purse one day and left the bag in the car… he jumped into a Splash pad and was soaked without a change of clothes. Now, his diapers and wipes are in the backpack and they go straight under the stroller when we get out of the car.

Also see: Diaper bag traveling needs

The front pocket houses the Tylenol and Benadryl; this addition is not permanent only because they recommend throwing it away after being open for 6 months, this is our only bottle and it is the only thing I need to remember to pack.

We bring a handful of snacks in case we can’t find anything while we are there, also to avoid spending money and buying food while traveling. Usually, I bring a few crackers, raisins, goldfish, a special snack like a cookie or muffin, an apple and a rice cake ( his choice, not mine). This is enough to snack on for a 12 hour day and still have room for dinner when we get home.

          Also see: Packing for a European Vacation

The snack pack itself is not horrible for him so if he doesn’t eat lunch with us, I’m not terribly upset. I have yet to buy him a meal of his own. The cruise to get to Europe offered him meals – included in his ticket – and he barely ate those. I know my kids appetite, I am not about to waste 10 euro so he can eat one nugget and a handful of french fries. He eats off of our plates, which means one of us has to order something that he will like, which isn’t a big deal really, when you look at the cost savings.

Bonus; Trip accessories

Now that the essentials are packed, the highly recommended can go in the car. I have a large purse that dangles off of the stroller so I don’t mind putting a few too many things in there. He has his tablet, full of tv shows and movies for those long car rides or endless museums. A few books to break up the mindless tv watching, they are rotated every trip so he doesn’t get bored. His favorite small toys; the lego duplo tic toc croc (from peter pan), Dusty Crophopper RC plane (without the remote, he doesn’t even realize it could potentially fly), distractivies, and pirate spy glass. It’s a weird combination but he loves it.

               Also see: Distractivities for the hotel room


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Keeping a toddler entertained while traveling and/or during a trip can be hard work. But these toddler busy bags will make it easier for you and fun for them!


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Christine Leger is the founder of Tapped Out Travellers, a Family Travel Blog About Travel with Kids. We explore travelling on a budget, splurging on bucket-list travel opportunities along the way. Although Canadian, she currently lives in Germany.

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