Traveling with Toddlers

Hi everyone! We’re in Indiana right now visiting family, and this was our first time traveling with two toddlers. Phew! There are so many items that we needed to pack and also bring just for the flight and car ride. When we were putting our bags together, I thought it would be the perfect time to snap a few photos and show you exactly what we packed! So here we go!

traveling double stroller airport

Packing Light while Traveling?

Packing light is nearly impossible when traveling with toddlers, because there are so many items that are just non-negotiable! There is so much stuff that you need!!! Pack-n-plays, toys, clothes, food, Riley’s diapers…. the list seems like it can go on forever. Since this is our first time travelling on a plane with two toddlers, I really was trying to think ahead and make it as easy as possible for all of us.

traveling with kids


We got this new Joovy double stroller recently, because it is super lightweight. Kevin was able to just throw it over his shoulder in the airport, what a lifesaver! And there are no pieces to take apart (a big reason we didn’t want to bring our other stroller), you just fold it up and carry it on your shoulder. Some of you might be thinking that you don’t need to bring a double stroller because your kiddos like to walk. DON’T THINK THAT!!!! We made that mistake when going to the farmers market once and then had to not only carry our kids, but everything we bought too! So even if you think your kiddos will want to walk, there is a good chance they will get tired. Airports are big! And if for some reason they don’t, then you can use the stroller to carry your bags around the airport.

I also love that this stroller has zip-up pouches on the back so that when we fold it up,  things don’t fall out. In general, I just REALLY recommend bring a lightweight stroller. Walmart has a bunch of options, click here if you want to see what other strollers they have. I just really liked everything about this one so we got it and the reviews are stellar.

double stroller with zippers


If you saw on my stories this week, I was running around like a mad man trying to get everything ready to go and packed. I mean, I realized on Tuesday afternoon that we were leaving for our trip in less 40 hours, and I hadn’t started packing or getting together one thing for the trip. But thankfully, the day was saved because I was able to order some of my last minute toddler items for pickup from Walmart!!!! I added all of the snacks for the kids to my online cart, and even some extra sippy cups for them, and then I just drove over to pick them up! The Walmart employees even come out to your car for curbside service! SOO thankful because without this I don’t think I would have had everything together on time! And the LAST thing I want to do when picking up items for my baby/child, is have to get them out of their car-seats to go inside for pickup. Curbside pickup is a game changer!

Walmart is the perfect place to pick up last minute items (especially baby items) because they really have such a variety of everything you could need, and it’s all so convenient! Even if you only have a handful of days before a trip, you can also order online with their quick and free delivery. Most of the time when I order from them I get the items the very next day!

Quick Snacks

I would say that one of the most important, if not the most important, item to pack are snacks for your kiddos! It’s not even just the plane ride that they will be wanting snacks, but in the car on the way there and especially when you take off to help their little ears pop.

When we travel, we always make sure to bring pouches, and one of the most important are prunes. Just like adults, childrens little bodies can get out of whack when traveling, and prunes are great to help them in a new place! We also make sure to bring veggie packs, with no fruit in them. Especially when my kiddos were really young, we tried to only give our kiddos the veggie pouches. I truly think that is why Molly is such a good eater! They are also great for the plane and so easy and compact to back in your bag.

Another great snack are these bars! They actually are for adults, they are Kevin’s favorite and he gets them for himself, but the kids have started loving them too. They are jam-packed with amazing superfoods, so that’s a huge plus! Also, they are organic and vegan! We used to just bring them for us, but overtime Molly started asking for them, and now Riley just recently started asking for them. We seriously all love them!

Fresh Food!

Especially if your travels are going to be longer, like ours, it’s great to bring fresh food for the kiddos! This takes a little bit of extra planning, but so worth it in my book! First of all, I do want to mention that I always bring an empty drink cup for my kids that I refill throughout the trip. I’ve talked about them before on a few occasions, but they love these ones. They truly are one of the main cups that we’ve used with Molly for over 2 years. And it’s so important for them to drink and eat when taking off to help their ears pop.

zoli container walmart


Whether your kiddos like strawberries, cucumbers, or are pasta lover like my kiddos, they need a good way to eat these while traveling, and you need a good way to bring them along. If you have room in your bag, I definitely recommend bringing an insulated lunch bag that can keep everything cool. We brought these snack containers and also this suction bowl kit! The bowl is great because it can stick to the tray in the airplane, and they can’t knock it off, and also if there happens to be any turbulence the bowl is still secure. We love the bowl because it can be used a few different ways. It comes with an insert with sections so that you could give your kiddo 3 types of food, or you can take that out if they need to use it as a bigger bowl. The insert doubles as a plate, so you could even use both the bowl and the insert at the same time!


Oh! Another great item to bring, especially if you don’t have room to carry an insulated lunch pail would be these stackable insulated food jars. These are what we used for bringing pasta onto the flight, ha! You could also use it to bring something like soup, or even milk. It keeps the food both hot or cold!

traveling snack container


Educational Toddler Apps

We certainly aren’t the type of parents that put our children in front of the screen when we want to keep them to be occupied. We do our absolute best to constantly taking them out of the house to the park, or even just having our family dance parties in the living room. However, we have been letting Molly explore learning on some educational toddler apps, and we really have seen an explosion in the amount of words and sounds she knows how to say and spell. So on the airplane, this is definitely something we utilized for her! Not only was she learning, but it helped to pass the time for her on the long flight.

poppy headphones


Some parents might judge me for this one but I will do absolutely anything in my power to keep them happy on a long flight. So even when Riley got a little fussy, we let him see one of Molly’s old favorites, Peekaboo Barn. Since toddlers, for the most part, have very short attention spans, I think it would be great to have a few different apps loaded onto your phone so that if they are getting fussy after a few minutes, you can try a new one. And like I said, we really don’t give our kiddos screentime, but on the plane, it is worth every minute of it!

peekaboo barn

A Bag of Surprises!

When we first started traveling with Molly, Kevin had the idea to hide some of her favorite toys a week or so before the flight so that she’ll be super excited to see them going on the plane. I personally think it was a brilliant idea! So that’s what we did again for both Molly and Riley. We put away a few of their toys that they like, not their absolute favorites, but ones they’d be missing and happy to see! Then we also picked up bunch of inexpensive new toys from Walmart that we could pull out throughout the flight! And as we know, kids can get tired of toys pretty quickly so being able to surprise them with something new definitely helps save both the kiddos sanity, and ours, throughout the long flight!! This trick really works and I would highly suggest it!

Black Trash Bags

This tip was given to me by our sleep trainer and it’s such a great piece of advice! So, thank you, Kimberly, for giving it to us! She recommended that when we travel with the kids to pack black garbage bags and tape them around the windows wherever we are staying. Not everyone has black out curtains and not every hotel has black out curtains. And both of our little ones sleep in complete darkness with white noise machines on. So when we travel we not only make sure to pack our white noise machines, but we also pack the garbage bags.

Here’s a photo of the window from the room in Indiana!!

traveling with kids

Sometimes will be in a really nice hotel room and it looks absolutely comical because we will be taping these ugly black bags all over the windows. But it works! Especially when you’re switching times zones! When we travel east we try to keep the kids on their same sleeping schedule. Meaning that they go to bed around 6:30 PM Pacific time but when we travel to the East Coast we will put them to bed at 9:30 PM Eastern time to keep them on the same schedule. But that means they’re waking up three hours later as well. So instead of waking up at 6 AM when we’re on the West Coast, they wake up at 9 AM on the East Coast. Because it’s 6 AM our time.

You guys get the point. Anyway, because of that, the sun is up for a few hours before we want them to get up. So the black garbage bags are absolutely essential and have absolutely saved us on our trips!

Happy Travels!

traveling double stroller


I hope that this helps you on your future traveling with your toddlers! Let me know what tips and tricks you try out, or if you have some to share too!

If your kiddos are still younger, I made this traveling essentials list when Molly was an infant! I’m sure some of the items on that list are sold out by now, but it might give you some inspiration!!!

Thank you Walmart for sponsoring this post!!!!! And for making my life easier 🙂

traveling with toddlerss


38 Thoughts

38 thoughts on “Traveling with Toddlers

  1. Your black trash bag tip saved us on a recent trip! I remember you mentioned it a little bit ago and I remembered to pack some to take with us for my then 9 month old. We stayed in a different place every night that trip, and my baby’s sleep wasn’t affected at all!! Such a smart idea!

    1. Such a life saver right?!?! Molly woke up soooo early this morning. But Riley stayed RIGHT on schedule!!!! Even though the sun was up hours before he got up 🙂

  2. Can you give ideas as to what dollar store toys you get? Ive heard this before but not sure what things work best.

  3. Good tips and most that I used for my own kids! However, I would not bring an expensive new stroller on an airplane. My granddaughter had her travel system stroller damaged by the airline on her trip to Japan last year. Yes, you can file a claim, but you don’t get the full amount back and that doesn’t help you in the short term. The next time she flew she bought a cheaper smaller and more compact stroller. So if it did get damaged she wasn’t out a lot more money. We have since heard of a lot of people who have had strollers damaged beyond use. Another option is a collapsible wagon. My daughter has been using this for her two little boys since the second one could sit up. Folds completely flat and the boys just love it. They are 7 and 4 1/2 and still use it for times with a lot of walking. And this way they don’t feel baby-ish, for being in a stroller. Pretty soon Molly will not want to ride in a stroller so this is a good alternative. Another thing is that you can rent cars with car seats, and it’s not that much more expensive, just for the convenience of not having to haul two car seats along. My kids have all done this. Great tips though, the food options are perfect. Just wanted to mention those couple things! And have a super fun time!

  4. As a traveler without young children, I want to thank you for keeping your little ones occupied on the flight. I am ALL FOR the screen time if I don’t have to listen to your screaming child…which I know is a nightmare for the parents as well. Also, as adults we don’t just sit and do nothing on a plane, I don’t think children should be expected to do this either.

    Great suggestions for those traveling with little ones.

  5. Last year I got on the plane with my daughter and son and when we got to our seats there’s was no window either! My daughter lost it! The flight attendant asked us what was wrong and I told him and he immediately got our seats switched to one with a window lol

  6. I always get a bad seat on the plane! I’ve had seats with no windows, no under-seat storage because of an electrical box, seats that don’t recline, seats with armrests that don’t go up. So annoying. Then I discovered You type in your flight and they tell you what plane you have, and based on the passenger community input, you can avoid these weird seats! There are even pictures from other passengers so you can see what the plane/seats look like.

  7. I wanted to share our experience with sleeping habits. I am not judging or criticizing at all. Every Mother knows what is best for her children and needs to follow their instincts.
    I wanted our kids and grandkids to be able to fall asleep on their own. We have a regular routine at bedtime so they know exactly what to expect. When we are done with the routine they get in bed and it is time to sleep. We never made sure it was dark or quiet, just consistent. They are typically asleep within 5 minutes of laying down. During the day the sun is shining bright in our granddaughter’s room and the boys are still up making noise. All of the kids have been great sleepers and can nap anywhere, even in loud places. We are setting up permanent habits.
    It is so great that you keep your kids on their regular schedule even though it is tougher for you. Time zone changes are tough. Thank you for letting us follow along with your beautiful family.

  8. We also put diapers and wipes and portable beds in with our car seats…saves so much room and weight in our checked bags!!!

  9. Traveling with little ones is rough. We did a similar length trip (3 time zones) this year with a nearly one year old and 2.5 year old. One thing I did was put snacks in Easter eggs so they had a challenge opening them first. You totally do what you gotta do to survive. Busy Toddler has an instragram story all about ideas for travel that was super helpful.

  10. I love how you embrace your post-baby body. My son is the same age as Riley, and I’m still working on it. I love the blue leopard sweater you’re wearing. What size are you in?

  11. We’ve traveled a lot with our toddler son and you gave some awesome advice! I just wanted to add a few things.

    Try your best to schedule an early flight! We made the mistake of choosing an overnight one for our first international trip. He had just turned 2 and was overtired, uncomfortable, scared because they turned the lights off and everyone was trying to sleep, so it made it incredibly stressful.

    Use the clear post it notes instead of stickers! They come off much easier and you can reuse them. It keep younger ones occupied forever. What kid doesn’t like to put sticky things everywhere, haha.

    Once we were done using a car seat in flight, which I recommend for as long as you can, we bought the Travelsnug! It’s amazing! It ships internationally. It keeps them in their seat a little better than just a seat belt and they’re much more comfy!

    A toddler carrier can be a lifesaver too! I’m so glad we had it for that first international flight. I was able to put him in it and stand in the gallery. Yes, I stood with him attached to me for 7+ hours, but it kept him from crying hysterically the whole time. You do what you have to do! 🙂

    Enjoy your trip!!

    1. @Ashley – We’ll be traveling with our 18 month old soon and I would love to know more about flying with your car seat! Did you bring your own in flight? Did you buy a travel one that is lighter weight and use that on the plane instead? How do you lug it around the airport? It all so seems so stressful! Thanks 🙂

  12. We are traveling next week with our 19 month, 5 yr, and 7 yr olds, and now I’m starting to get nervous. I forgot what it was like to fly with a 19 month old! 😱 In the past we did the cheap new toys and even gift wrapped them since unwrapping was exciting and took time. We also use black out curtains at home and travel with a black out travel curtain. It helps a lot, but the black out trash bag idea I may have to try at Christmas when we stay with family and have more windows to cover. I’ve tried blankets over the curtains but that didn’t work well.

  13. Do not feel bad about the screen time! I don’t get why some moms are so judgy about it. Do whatever keeps you sane and keeps the kids happy when traveling! I happily give my 2 year old the iPad on trips and air travel is pretty easy for us thanks to that. No regrets.

  14. Excellent tips – thank you! And I love that your suggestions are practical AND affordable 👏🏻 I have a Hawaii trip coming up with my hubby, 4-year-old and 5-month-old in February. Wish us luck! 🌴☀️

  15. The white winter jacket Ali’s and Molly’s white jacket are not the same as the link what is the name brand and cost of the coats in the picture? Please let me know thanks! I like the pictured jackets not the links it sends it to. They are not the same

  16. Hi from The Berkshires in MA! Does the stroller you linked fit through most doorways?! We’re heading to Disney in the spring with my then 3 1/2 and 18 month old and being able to take it into places is huge for me. I was going to do two umbrella stroller but would like the convenience of a double. Thanks!

  17. Great advice! I will be traveling soon with 2 kids for the first time. Just curious what you did for car seats? Did you bring your own? Seems like such a hassle.

  18. What do you guys do as far as carseats go? Do you bring your own and check them at the airport? I swear I never know what to do with the carseat when we travel

  19. Hi! Thanks for the tips. That seems like a lot of items to pack in just a diaper bag. How many carry on luggage did you have? Also, with long flights where do you change diapers? Lol my daughter HATES the changing table. It’s so small

  20. You make giving your kids screen time or not as such a big deal. I’m pretty sure your that parent that puts them in front of a tv most of the day. It’s ok if you do. Just done pretend on here. Also, the black trash bags don’t always work..wait till Molly is 4 she is not that dumb lol my 4 year old literally skips her naps and will sometimes be up till 9pm so I wouldn’t stress too much about the time zone and their schedules cuz it doesn’t always work

  21. Thanks, Ali! What do your kiddos sleep in when you travel? My 3 year old is still in her crib at home, but too big for the pack and play when traveling. Trying to figure something out for the holidays!

  22. My daughter is turning 2 in February and we want to get her a Learning iPad!
    What are the learning apps you suggest for toddlers as well as the learning iPad that Molly loves? There are so many out there and we want to pick the right one/apps!

  23. Black garbage bags on windows?? Kids need to be able to put themselves to sleep regardless of darkness/light, a little noise…..You go way out of your way to try and make things “perfect” for your kids when it is probably working against them. They know how to go with the flow. Ridiculous. And a $100 coat for something that you might wear once or twice a year?? no, no way…….Try traveling with 2 kids under 4 without anyone else.

    1. I was just coming back to see if Ali had time to answer my question above, and saw this post. Why so hostile and judgmental? If that tip helps even one exhausted family get some sleep, it’s far from ridiculous. It’s really a nice feeling to be able to share, and receive feedback in a nonjudgmental space. I hope you can give it a try, and receive the support and encouragement you need in response.

  24. Hi Ali,
    What a wonderful write up it is, just what I was looking for! I traveled a lot before but with 2 toddlers this is will be first time and your detailed blog has almost everything. I will definitely check your Sneakers though I have already bought a pair of best shoes for walking and standing all day, Skechers Go Walk Memory Foam(, while cheap Crocs are for my partner.

    And I will prefer to have a travel snug as well for my younger one. Thank you all again for rest mentioned details.


  25. First time traveling with my three kids, a four-year-old 2 1/2-year-old and a six-month-old. wondering if that double stroller reclines at all to help my six month old take a little cat nap in the stroller during the day thank you!

  26. Hey!

    Saw your post on travel and thought I’d let you know to check out BabyQuip. All the items you need to pack for kids can be delivered to your location or even the airport.
    Life changing when traveling with kids!

  27. Hi ali,
    Can you recommend any other educational apps for two / three year olds, i remember seeing a story on Instagram of you recommending some but I can’t remember the names. Thank you 😍😍

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