Packing Lists! & Other Travel Tips (Birth-Preschool)

First off, let me say how excited I am for you that you’re going on a trip with your little one(s)! So many fun memories are made on trips 🙂

We travel fairly frequently with a young child (both by plane and car) and rather than start from scratch each time with my packing list, I kept a running word document on my computer and thought I’d share it, and some other helpful hints, with you because it might help you too! I just print off the list I need, take it around as I pack, and cross off items off as I go. (The lists below can also be saved to iBooks on your phone.)

tip- what to pack
Then the day of our trip I keep the list on the kitchen table as I’m packing the last odds and ends- and do a double check just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. Having it on the kitchen table also means my husband can help pack anything that’s not crossed off.

My little helper 😉 This was 4 yrs ago!


Below you’ll find packing lists for each age group with link suggestions
for the products I reference.
FYI: purchases made with the links help support the time spent on this blog  -Thanks!


Now let’s get packing!

Click the list below that most applies to you 🙂   I tried to think of most things you might want, but don’t feel like you need to get/ pack everything on the list!

You know your family- You do you!


birth to 1 yr


1-2 yr graphic


2- preschool graphic

**Preschool aged kids can bring their
own backpack to hold some of the items/ activities.




Blackout Travel Curtain Options

1.IMG_1189     2. folded fitted sheet blackout

  1. Blackout Fabric- I just went to JoAnn Fabric and bought 2 yards of black out fabric (for curtains) that measured 2 yards by 54 inches. I fold it up in our suitcase and then hang it up around the window using chip clips or clothes pins (5 is a good amount).   ** Don’t forget to use a JoAnn’s coupon- just google to get one.
  2. Black or Navy fitted queen sheet w/clothes pins- can be wrapped around and tucked under the blinds of a window and the clothes pins along the top help keep it in place.  *but this does allow some light to get in the room
  3. Gro Anywhere Blind– has suction cups to fit any window, I personally haven’t used it, but my friend recommends it.

Organized Packing

gallon baggies

I found this tip on Pinterest years ago and I find it to be very helpful. I prearrange my little one’s outfits and can typically fit at least 2 outfits per bag.

*Put a diaper / underwear & socks with each outfit so you can just grab a bag and have the days clothes ready to go in the morning to avoid the “where are the pants that goes with this shirt” conundrum.

** You could use different color sharpies or different color tape to differentiate between each kid.

Kid’s Toiletry Bag

toiletry bag

I use the hanging toiletry bag that came with my suitcase to hold my little one’s toiletries.

I keep the “dry” items up top (like thermometers, band-aids, comb, baggie of hair ties, etc.), and the liquid medicines in the bottom.  It’s waterproof so if the medicine leaks from airplane air pressure it hasn’t ruined our digital thermometer or other items up top!

Duffel Bag for Pack n’ Play & Diapers

duffel bag

We were gifted an extra large duffel bag years ago and discovered that it fit our pack n’ play + more stuff! I didn’t trust our pack n’ play bag to make it through the checked luggage process and this bag has been great for us! Here’s a LINK to one on Amazon that is similar to our bag above.

You’ll want one with a zipper that goes down the sides of the bag as well so it’s easier to put your pack n’ play in.

Looks like there’s some on Amazon that have wheels too. Ours didn’t and we would just place it on top of our rolling suitcases and travel that way from the car to the check-in counter. But having one with wheels could be a cool option.

But you know how you like to travel.

And If You’re Flying, It’s All about your Carry-On Bag!

A bag can make or break your trip . . . only kidding a little. Those close to me know that I’m passionate about a good backpack diaper bag for daily use, but when it comes to travel I always use this guy:

front back

And here’s why:
– it’s a little larger than my backpack diaper bag
– it can be left open and still fit under the airplane seat in front of me
– activities are a lot more accessible in a bag like this vs a traditional backpack, which means less digging around to find that “one thing”
– 2 side pockets so our drinks are always handy
– front pocket is large enough to hold my cell phone, wallet, and boarding passes
– back pocket is large enough to hold our iPad (keeps it out of sight until it’s absolutely necessary to use it)
– inner pockets (pictured below) help keep everything organized and handy so I can access a particular item super quick
– it can be worn either as a messenger bag or shoulder bag (I use both modes when I’m flying)
– fabric isn’t super absorbent so it won’t get gross and grimy
– also comes with stroller straps *high-five
– won’t break the bank to get one

-the main compartment doesn’t open quite as wide as I’d like it, but we can’t be too picky

CaptureMain compartment w/lots of pockets!

DIY Travel Infant Bathtub

No need to bring an infant bathtub, in the past we’ve either bathed our little one in the sink (with a folded hand towel for cushion) or in a bathtub (with a folded full size towel acting as a bath sponge).


Did I leave anything out?

Have any tips or tricks when packing or traveling?
email them to 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s