This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on December 22nd, 2021
In a perfect world, we could stay snuggled in bed with our little ones all day, every day.
In the real world, however, we rarely stay in one place.
Traveling with toddlers can be tricky. While they’re more independent than a newborn, this new stage of life can be both a blessing and a curse—especially when traveling. It’s important for moms to find the right balance between letting little ones explore, without having to chase after them every second of the trip.
Fortunately, there are ways to make this process easier whether you're a new parent or an experienced one. One way to make family travel easier on yourself is finding the right baby gear. Here are the 6 best tips for traveling with a toddler:
#1 Have Your Documents in Order
If you’re flying with kids, it’s important to gather the appropriate documents well in advance.
Babies under two years of age can technically sit in your lap free of charge when flying. Any child older than two, however, will need their own seat on the plane. In order to prove your baby is young enough to sit in your lap, you’ll need some form of identification that states their age. Examples may include:
- Birth certificate
- Immunization record
When flying out of the country, babies of all ages will need a passport (or travel visa, if required). You’ll need to submit these documents at least 6 weeks in advance, in order to receive your baby’s passport.1
The bottom line: Babies need some form of ID when flying on a plane, but the options are much more flexible than adult travelers. A birth certificate or immunization record will work for domestic travel, while a passport is required for international flights.
#2 Keep Them Comfy
Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking the train—comfort is going to be key when traveling with your kid. This is particularly important for long trips; if your toddler isn’t able to fall asleep, there’s bound to be an unplanned tantrum or two on your family travel itinerary.
Extra Tip: To keep your toddler comfortable while traveling, consider bringing along these cozy diaper bag essentials:
Extra Tip: Some parents even focus on booking flights during scheduled to not interfere with their 's routine.
The bottom line: The more comfortable you can make your toddler, the easier your trip will be. While it may require a little more luggage, you’ll be thankful you brought a blanket, pair of headphones, or a toddler car seat.
#3 Use the Bathroom Every Chance You Can
It probably comes as no surprise that toddlers go to the bathroom a lot. I mean, who can blame them? Their bladders are small, just like their little hands and feet! In fact, they go so much that you might want to consider getting a travel changing pad.
With that in mind, you’ll want to double up on bathroom breaks when traveling with a toddler. This means hitting up the restroom every chance you get, including:
- When you first get to the airport or train station
- Before you start driving
- Every time you stop for gas
- At the beginning and end of any layovers
- Before the pilot turns the seatbelt sign on (because once it’s on, it’s on for a while3)
The same logic can be applied to toddlers in diapers, as well. While a younger baby may not be able to say they need to go, they can certainly communicate it in other ways (such as kicking and screaming).
The bottom line: A full bladder or a wet diaper isn’t fun for anyone, especially on a long trip. Make sure to utilize the bathroom whenever you get the chance. Even if it may seem excessive, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
#4 Have Entertainment On Hand
Anyone can get bored on a long flight or a road trip. Traveling simply isn’t the exciting part, arriving at your destination is. That’s why we can’t blame toddlers for becoming a little fussy during long bouts of flying or driving on family vacation—because they’re totally right.
To that end, it’s a good idea to have a few entertainment options on hand. This may mean:
- Packing a tablet in your carry on or backpack
- Bringing along a few different travel toys
- Downloading their favorite movies and shows beforehand (to avoid WiFi trouble)
- Packing some of their favorite books4
If you’re worried about having space for these extra items, BÉIS has you covered. Our Carry On Roller Luggage can be expanded by two extra inches, giving you the space needed to pack just one more stuffed animal than you normally could.
The bottom line: Long flights and car rides can get boring. Having a couple different entertainment options is never a bad idea for a traveling toddler. Download some shows and movies onto a tablet, grab a stuffed animal or two, and do everything you can to keep them busy.
#5 Have Extra Snacks Ready
Adults aren’t the only ones who get hangry. And adding a crying, hungry baby to the stress of traveling will quickly have you turning the car around.
If you’re flying with an infant, every airline lets you take a certain amount of formula or breast milk in your carry on. Unfortunately, snack time gets a bit more challenging when you’re flying with a toddler. Since you can’t bring baby food through security, you’ll need to grab some treats once you’re at the airport.
Some easy snack ideas that will last during a long flight or road trip include:
- Granola bars
- String cheese
- Dry cereal
- Graham crackers
- Fruit snacks5
These tasty treats don’t need to be refrigerated, making them the perfect choice for any form of traveling. If you’re heading out in a car, make sure to stock up a few days beforehand. At the airport, look for a drug store or newsstand that might sell these toddler-friendly foods.
The bottom line: Pack some snack options that don’t require refrigeration. This will prevent a case of hangry crying, which is the last thing you want while you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road.
#6 Have a Separate Baby Bag
Even before you became a mom, you likely dreaded the packing process. Now you’re in charge of a whole other human with their own needs, on top of your luggage. Needless to say, the whole thing can be pretty exhausting.
The best solution for this packing problem? Separate bags.
Your toddler probably doesn’t need an entire suitcase to themselves, but having a separate bag—like the BÉIS Backpack Diaper Bag—is a great way to keep your baby’s belongings in one, easy-to-access place. The best part about the BÉIS Diaper Bag Backpack? You can throw it on your back and forget about it. No rolling around an additional suitcase through the airport, or stuffing the trunk with unnecessary luggage.
The bottom line: Everyone hates packing, but having an extra bag just for baby can save you a lot of time and frustration. Find a simple bag that has enough pockets for all your toddler’s needs so that nothing gets mixed up or disorganized.
BÉIS: Toddler Travel Made Easy
Maybe traveling with your toddler will never be that easy, but it certainly doesn’t have to feel impossible! With the right supplies, snacks, and a few entertainment options, you’ll find that even a two year old can make a great passenger when given the chance.
In addition to these helpful travel tips, the real secret to being a mom-on-the-move is BÉIS. Here at BÉIS, we design luggage, totes, and even baby bags that make traveling easier. With ample pockets, comfortable straps and handles, and stylish designs, BÉIS customers can’t get enough of our mom-friendly products.
Now that you know how to travel with a toddler, what are you waiting for? Shop our stylish, toddler travel essentials today!
- “Flying with Baby - What ID Does My Baby Need to Fly: VitalChek.” VitalChek Blog, 26 Oct. 2017, URL
- Dubinsky, Dana. “Car Seat Safety: Using a Car Seat on a Plane.” BabyCenter, URL
- “15 Expert Tips for Flying with a Baby or Toddler.” TravelMamas.com, 24 Nov. 2020, URL
- Krause, Emily. “50 Road Trip Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers.” A Mom Explores, A Mom Explores, 10 June 2020, URL
- Little feet big adventures blog. “Toddler Snacks For On The Go Families: TravelingMom.” Traveling Mom, 26 Sept. 2020, URL