In this episode, Travel Mom Ashley joins us with tons of great tips on Traveling with a Toddler, her one-year-old son. If you have a little one and are thinking about traveling, listen to this episode!
You’ll love all the tried-and-true details she shares. She was kind enough to share her FULL list of tips and resources with us. See below.
For more family vacation ideas, check out all the podcast episodes. Adventure Awaits!
Tell Us About Yourself.
My husband and I have always been huge travelers. Prior to having our son Miles in January 2020, our goal was to do some type of trip every month.
So many people said before we had Miles, “It’s so good you got all that out of the way because you can kiss your travel goodbye.” But we were determined to not let that be the case.
COVID hit right after Miles was born which was another layer of complexity, but we still wanted to travel. So we figured out how to do it and do it safely.
We bought a rooftop tent which are very common out west and that was the beginning of our travelling with a baby adventures.
Road Trip Adventures
Our first trip with our rooftop tent was in Fall 2020. We were going to go see family out east, a 30-hour drive, for the holidays. We researched how to be as self-contained as possible in the winter. And it was so fun. We bought a tea kettle and made coffee and oatmeal and warm bottles. We built-in extra time along the way to take time to get everyone out and about with everyone including the dog.
Then this summer we ventured out a lot more.
Here’s where they camped…
- Arches: Goose Island Campground in Moab, Utah-lots of camping along the river there!
- Colorado: Cow Creek Campground
- Colorado: The Hideout at Glenwood Springs
- Lake McConaughy in Nebraska with the great white sand beach in the middle of Nebraska!
Ashley’s Traveling with a Toddler Gear
Here’s the great resource list Ashley shared with us for road trips…
- Rooftop Tent – There are lots of brands out there, but this one is great for the three of us (plus our dog, Buster). One of the best features is that the ladder can be detached while sleeping, which feels like an added layer of security for us. We also purchased the down comforter from Roofnest.
- Wool pajamas – These are great for temperature regulation for babies and can be layered!
- Booster seat – This allows us to set up on the ground, the back of a tailgate, or at a family member’s house. Plus, this is great for flying too as it fits in a carry-on, and straps to almost all chairs.
- Soft-sided baby carrier – You can wear through security at airports, can wear in many different positions, and the baby can even nap on you while you enjoy hands-free moments. :)
- Hiking backpack – Easily adjustable for me (5’1) and my husband (6′)!
- Car tea kettle – This allows you to heat up water for oatmeal, coffee, tea and to warm bottles (fits in a cup holder too!).
- Water jug – We bring a big jug of water when we travel by car – as sometimes it’s a long-distance between rest areas.
- Hand sanitizer – Babyganics also makes wipes for surfaces that are alcohol-free to kids.
- Waterwipes – We love waterwipes for travel since they have very few ingredients – safe for diaper changes, hands, face, and wiping up messes.
- Tablet – We are big fans of the Kindle Kids version – it is affordable, has plenty of storage, and comes with a protective carrying case.
- Headphones – These are great because they have Bluetooth connectivity with noise control (safe for baby’s ears) and have noise-canceling qualities!
- Packing cubes – Keeps everything organized and manageable!
And additional gear for flying (we use the booster seat above and soft-sided carrier too)…
Ashley’s Travel with a Toddler Tips
- Test your tent before you go out!
- Traveling with children…they pick up on what you enjoy and how you travel and they will go with the flow if you do. Lead by example.
- The great thing about camping is you can bring as much or as little as you need. And I like to tell people you need far less than you think you do.
- Rent larger items like portable cribs, strollers, etc. at most locations. If it’s a destination you travel to frequently (like grandma’s house), purchase a good, used version to store there.
- When flying, purchase milk at an airport coffee shop/newsstand so you don’t have to be concerned with transporting extra liquids through security.
- Wear your baby. See baby carrier.
- When flying, purchase diapers and sunscreen at your destination (or order and have them shipped to your destination) and only fly with the number you need (plus a few extras).
- Purchase a few new toys from the dollar store (stickers, coloring supplies, matchbox cars, etc.). It’s fun for them to have something new to play with, and you can donate the items when the baby gets tired of them.
Why do you travel with your kids?
We think it’s great to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And when you travel you will have moments of discomfort. Which is what happens in life. So, building that skill for our kids is important. It’s okay to learn and try new things and be uncomfortable.
Whenever we travel, we gain a new perspective on people, cultures, community, cuisine, it opens our eyes and gets us out of our daily routine.
What stands out to us so much is we’re all so much more alike than we are different, and it helps us be more understanding of other people and more compassionate.
Those are important lessons we want to pass on to Miles and how he can contribute to making the world better.
Next trip you’re planning or dreaming about?
In the immediate term, we’re planning flights to family for the holidays.
We’re so looking forward to traveling internationally…we’re hoping potentially Ireland, Scotland, or Iceland as how great they are for a first international trip with small language w/ no language barrier, accommodating with kids.