Visiting & Traveling with Little Ones

Visiting & Traveling with Little Ones

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It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for vacation or just an overnight. If you have a child, you’re likely going to need to bring a whole lot of stuff with you. We have grandparents located at each end of the east coast, Maine and Florida, so we traveled often when our son was little. There were also times we traveled with my husband on business trips. We have ended up in walk-in clinics and doctor’s offices while traveling, so we learned along the way how important it is to have some essential items with us.

Of course you’ll remember to pack extra diapers, formula or your breast pump, extra clothes, and all of the other items you’ll need “extra” of for day-to-day, but there are a few things that you should bring with you whenever you go on the road.


Often sickness can come on without warning. Without warning, however, will be on a Sunday night at almost midnight, or on Christmas morning.  Or when the only store within 20 miles is the country gas station, and they’re inventory actually expired in June of 2006.  You know, to keep you on your toes …  🙂

Always have these items in your bag to be prepared. When you call your doctor’s emergency line from hundreds of miles away you want to be able to give them the information they need so they can tell you what the next steps are. You’ll need to know their current temperature, have a fever reducer on-hand and be able to clear out that little nose. Make sure you have:

Infant Tylenol
Rectal Thermometer (This is NOT THE SAME as an oral, or a temporal, or the one that goes under the arm.)
Nasal Aspirator


Your little one will most often be able to verbally tell you a little more about what’s going on, however; you will still need to give the doctor numbers for a fever and be able to give your child a fever reducer, if needed, without having to hunt down the local pharmacy in the middle of the night.

Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Unfrozen liquid electrolyte bars (in case of a stomach bug)

There are also items that we took with us each time we traveled to make wherever we were going feel more like home. Although it was a little more to pack, the following items made it easier to stick to our routine, which is best for everyone. These items include:

iPod with dock for music we play each night
Pack & Play or for older children, a blow up toddler bed they are familiar with.
Two favorite stuffed animals
One favorite blanket or special sleeping bag
A few favorite toys


For places that we visited more often, we would actually purchase some of the items in order to know that they were there when we were (and helped us to have to pack less). As you aren’t using them as frequently, you just need to be sure to look at expiration dates on medicines, etc. to make sure that they are safe to use. Other items that I always kept at the grandparents house were:

Cool Mist Humidifier
A couple extra outfits
Hat (cold & warm weather)
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Blow up infant tub

Again, try to stick to the same routine, even if it’s just for one night. Little ones find comfort in routine, and are more likely to adapt to new or unfamiliar surroundings if you stick to it. Parents find comfort in the little one(s) going to sleep and not being up all night.  Consider ‘sticking to this routine’ a gift to your whole family.  Over time you’ll develop your own routine and have exactly what you need on-hand for your child without a second thought. So much of it is trial and error.

I’d love to hear about your travel essentials! Please leave them in comments below.

Happy Travels! xoxo – Joyfully Mom

  • Hmm, well, my travel essentials are socks and underwear, lol! I am a terrible packer, and I only seem to remember important things like medicine on the trips that they never have so much as a sniffle. Last trip, I forgot pajamas for my little one, but I had two extra outfits (for a one day trip!) so she slept in her clothes. I guess I need to take pointers from you. 🙂

    • Joyfully Mom

      I bet no matter what you had or didn’t have you had a wonderful time!!! In the end – it’s all that matters 🙂

  • These are great tips for travelling with littles! We traveled quite a bit with our first but have not traveled much at all with our second. These suggestions are spot on, and we also stocked up at our frequent locations.

    • Joyfully Mom

      Thank you, Starr! Sometimes I have to re-read the list myself!