Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

A couple of weekends ago this brave (slightly crazy) momma took both of my toddlers on a weekend getaway alone.  This was not my first solo trip with my children but it was my first since my son became a very active walker, runner, and climber.  

I did my best to prepare for this little adventure and specifically for our time in the hotel room.  I wanted to share with you what worked for my children in case you have an end-of-summer trip and small hotel room in your future. 

Let me start off by saying this is not a sponsored post and these are the products that genuinely worked for my children. 

My children and I spent mornings exploring the local area and lazy afternoons by the pool.  Our nights were in a small hotel room with children that love to play and play hard.   We were also joined by three little cousins during this time.  At one point, there were 5 children playing in the hotel room, 3 boys and a girl ranging from 15 months to 4 years old.  There was also a 2 month old quietly observing the toddler tornado around her. 

You know the type of children that don’t wind down or nap when there are adventures to be had. I did my best to plan and prepare for this time.  I really wanted to pack light and bring items that would prevent tantrums and fighting over toys.  

Here is my list of 5 must-haves when vacationing with toddlers:

  1. Coloring Book and Markers / Crayons

    My daughter loves to craft (She is 2 1/2 years old).  We have craft time nearly everyday so I did not want to run the risk of her requesting craft time without any activities to do while on the road.  We brought markers and a notepad because she prefers that I draw something for her to color but the concept is the same.  Coloring is always a hit.

  2. Magic Painting Book

    This is a fantastic book for parents and my daughter loved it. She loves to paint so this was the perfect way for her to get her painting time without requiring me to bring paints, paint brushes and her smock.  This is a clean painting book that only requires a small amount of water.  My daughter liked her painting so much that she requested we hang them when we got home.  Link to book is here.

    Magic coloring book usborne

  3. Felt Activities

    We purchased some felt story books at Target in the bargain section.  (My favorite section).  This allowed me to read stories to the children and then allowed them to play with the characters from the books.  They loved this.   We also purchase the felt scenes and they were a hit too.  Felt is so light weight, easy to pack, quick clean up and hours (or 20 minutes which seems like hours) of imagination play. These pictures are just a sample of what came in the pack.

    3 little pigs felt storyFelt stories

  4. Shine-a-light Book and Flash Light

    I asked my daughter to pick a book to bring and she selected this book.  It was a new book in our home and we had not read it together yet.  When all the children were settled and had played for a couple of hours I brought out the book and the flashlight.  These books are so creatively written and interactive.  As you read the story to the children, there is something “hiding” on the page and when the reader flashes the light the children are able to spot the hiding item.  The children loved this book so much that I HAD to read it to them 4 times before they finally gave me a break.  This was such a fun and interactive book for them and then they had fun with the flashlight after.  A double win.   Link to view books here.

    Usborne Shine a light book

    Shine a light book usborne

  5. Tablet

    We take our iPad everywhere. I’ve downloaded several “mother approved” programs for my children to view.   This includes many of their favorite cartoons and sing along programs.  This was very helpful since hotels do not usually have very many children friendly programs available with their channel options.


Whatever you have planned for your children and the rest of this summer.  I hope these activities will help you enjoy a few moments of quiet time while you children play.






11 thoughts on “Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

  1. YES! i’ve had to travel a couple of times solo with my three kids. I think bringing along action figures, toys, and snacks really really reallllllllly helped.
    Also.. getting a bag small enough for them to carry their own crap. lol and getting a cute backpack so mama can be hands free.


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