There are two types of packers for those traveling with an infant: those who overpack including the entire contents of their house and the kitchen sink for a weekend away, and those who pack so lightly that you wonder if they have a ‘Mary Poppins’ style suitcase which conveniently hides all of the extras. There is no right or wrong way but there are a few baby travel essentials you will need with little ones.
Before you check out the baby packing list, here are our tips on how to pack when traveling with babies and toddlers
- Pack in advance; Last minute packing risks forgetting important items.
- Have all your clothes washed and ironed.
- Plan out outfits in advance with a couple of spare options.
- Check whether you can wash clothes at your hotel? If so pack less
- Know your baggage weight limits
- Try rolling clothes in packing cubes.
- Use clothing items to pad out empty suitcase space and to pad out breakable items
- Pack shoes in a plastic bag or shower cap to keep clothes clean
- Pack a mixture of everyones clothes in different suitcases in case one goes missing
- Also pack a change of clothes and underwear in your carry on in case all luggage is lost
- Keep essential medicine in your carry-on.
The Ultimate Baby Travel Essentials & Printable Baby Travel Packing List
Table of Contents - Click to jump to a section
The items are all listed below along with some tips on why they were useful. A free printable version of this baby holiday essentials packing list can be found underneath too – just click on the image.
Before you pack have you thought about packing cubes?
Seriously, where have packing cubes been all my life? I had heard about them and then my husband bought some for himself. Needless to say, we have since bought more. It makes organising suitcase so much easier. We always split our clothes between 2 or 3 cases, in case one goes missing, so this helps keep us all organised. You can check and compare latest prices here. I really like these ones from Hello Jolie as they have labels which makes sorting SO much easier!
Baby Holiday Essentials and Packing List
- Changing mat
- Pacifier/dummy if used
- Hand sanitiser
- Formula / pureed food/ finger snacks
- Sterilised bottles
- Any medication needed for journey and for any delays
- Credit/debit/ pre- paid money travel card
- Passports – check if a visa is required/Driving License
- Travel insurance documents
- Plastic bag eg a Ziploc bag
- Essential money and cash in correct currency.
- Breastfeeding cover if you like using
- Universal plug adaptor
- Phone/tablet/laptop/kindle etc
- Chargers for all devices
- Sat Nav & charger (or use Google maps app)
- Portable charger
Suitcase items for you and baby
- Breast pump
- Portable highchair
- Pool flotation devices & toys
- Beach towel (if hotel doesn’t provide)
- UVA pop up tent – a baby beach essential which can fold up very compactly
- Re- usable plastic bags
- Cot linen (for some self catering properties)
- Toiletries & sponge, baby shampoo, make-up
- Universal bath plug for turning a sink into a bath
- Selection of bags, changing bag, beach bag, handbag
- Suntan lotion & aftersun
- Prescription medicine
- Rehydration sachets
- Non-Alcohol wipes
- Bandaids/plasters, burn gel sachets, insect repellent
- Tweezers & nail clippers
- Plug in night light
- Baby monitor or download app on tablet and phone.
- Black out blind or aluminium foil to do the same job!
- Diapers/nappies/barrier cream, wipes
- Swim diapers/nappies
- Talcum powder (great to get sand off wet feet at the beach)
- Clothes, including swimwear and underwear (pack spares for baby)
Download your FREE PRINTABLE BABY TRAVEL PACKING LIST by clicking on the image below these extra tips!
Baby Travel Essentials Tips
Whether you’ve been counting down the days until the schools break up or are taking your little one away for the first time; travelling with a baby is a time to make precious memories as a family and allow you to leave the worries of home behind.
However, we all know that this is easier said than done so hopefully this list can help you to prepare in advance and properly relax (as much as you can as a parent with a little one in tow!)
Although travelling with children may give you the desire to pack everything, this is not always necessarily as, depending on your location, many items are available for you to buy overseas including: diapers/nappies, wipes and suntan lotion (although it may be easier to understand UVA/UVB ratings on English labels.
Swim diapers/nappies are a must to buy prior to travelling as these can be more difficult to obtain in some places.
If you are bottle feeding, it can be easier to order your formula to be picked up at your airport before departure ensuring it doesn’t take up valuable space in your packing. (In the UK, Boots offer this service.)
Many basic medicines are also available to buy at most pharmacies abroad but if you know you would like to use a specific brand then these can be easily packed in your hand luggage if under 100ml or a doctor’s note can mean you can take larger medicines on board.
Prevent leaks by packing medicines and toiletries in resealable plastic bags.
In many countries, you can hire a car seat which adheres to the safety compliances for that country but the quality and cost of this can be variable. It is important to check this prior to travelling as your countries car seat safety can differ to that abroad and you may feel more confident using your own which you know how to install safely – if you are legally allowed to use at your destination.
Even if your little one is older, a stroller or pushchair can be a lifesaver when abroad to help with naps and later nights so we suggest taking ones. Some airlines will allow strollers to be placed in the overheard compartment of planes dependant on size and amount of luggage being taken onto the plane. This pushchair doesn’t need to be fancy but useful – consider a pushchair with a large hood if you are travelling somewhere hot!
Additional items which may be of use to pop in your hand luggage would be: a baby sling or baby carrier for the long stint of wandering at the airport and a sleeping bag to keep your little one warm on the plane and keep the familiarity of home if you regularly use one.
Consider what you would usually pack in your changing bag and add surplus if you will be between accommodation for a longer period of time or to plan for any airport delays.
Travel essentials for baby and you!
Importantly, don’t forget a spare change of top for you as well as spare clothes for baby. My husband learnt this the hard way!
Download your free printable baby packing list HERE or by clicking on the image below
Is there anything else you would add to the checklist for travel with a baby?
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