Posts tagged travel must haves
Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Five words. Keep calm and carry on! Seriously. Travel becomes so much easier and less stressful when you simplify all the stuff you don’t need and pack only what you will actually use. I hate checking bags. I have anxiety just thinking about all the extra time it takes to check them and then wait for them at baggage claim (if they don’t get lost-which is another thing I have anxiety about)! I’ve also done my fair share of traveling with Milly solo and the less crap, the better! I’ve never felt more like a badass than when I traveled with her by myself and didn’t need anyone to help me with my bags. It’s feels so good to do it all on your own! Watch below for my tips for traveling with a toddler and how to get away with just bringing a carry on!

Here’s what I carry on:

  • my carry on sized suitcase with spinner wheels (you can’t use a bag with regular wheels ever again!)

  • diaper bag back pack (again, you can’t travel with anything else! I mean you need your hands as free as possible.)

  • baby carrier (this is our favorite for so many reasons!)

  • And if you need a travel carseat and/or stroller or both (I know some folks borrow them from friends & family once they arrive at their destination), this is an investment but we are obsessed with it. Especially with the amount of travel we’ve done, this convertible carseat stroller combo is a must have!!! We have it in grey but there are so many beautiful colors and they are alway sold out!

A few tips but scroll down to watch the full video where I cover everything:

  • Plan outfits for your babe ahead of time and take photos of each ensemble. It might seem silly and stuff only fashionistas would do but it’s super helpful and makes getting ready each day easy peasy.

  • Pack toddler’s outfits in gallon size zip bags. It’s like the poor man’s version of vacuum seal bags but work just as well! It’s great for keeping worn or soiled laundry contained too!

  • Two shoe rule. This kind of applies to adults too. I usually only bring the shoes I wear and another pair. IF I absolutely need to bring one other option, I try to look through my closet one more time at any options that are versatile enough to work. If not, I figure it out.

  • Pack only the things you use on a daily basis (diapers, wipes, cream) with the exception of a small “Just in Case” bag. For us, it’s Milly’s toiletry bag where we keep a thermometer, toothbrush, medicine, essential oil rollers, Nose Frida, etc.

  • The diaper bag is really the most important thing you pack. You should have everything you need for at least 1 day of travel in there. You never know when you’ll face a delay, etc.

And for ideas on what to pack to entertain your toddler age 12-18 months, watch this video on how to assembly a “busy bag!”

I live for travel tips and hacks so if you have any more, spill! Leave me a comment with all the advice and then share this post with a mama friend. And if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube Channel, you can do that here. I appreciate the support from my Mama Tribe! Thanks, xo Brandi

A few other travel related posts:

My Favorite Products for Traveling with a Baby

How to Survive a Trip with a Newborn

My latest vlog where we traveled to Seattle.

My Favorite Products for Traveling With a Baby
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My husband and I love to travel so we decided early on we weren’t going to stop going on trips just because we added a little member to our family! Thank goodness Milly is a natural born adventurer who loves to be on the go. She’s four months old and already she’s been on a handful of flights, across country twice and more weekend getaways than I can count. I’ve learned plenty of tips and tricks along the way and you can read about those here.

When I began the overwhelming task of packing for Milly, it was daunting.  I already joke that babies are little hoarders so how do you choose what to bring when they need so much stuff? I decided to prioritize as many products that do double duty as possible. I thought about what things would make her comfortable and being away from home easier and finally, what things I use the most at home. Here are my 14 favorite products for traveling with a baby. Consider this your packing checklist!

Fold’n Go™ Travel Bassinet

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While many hotels provide a crib you can borrow during your stay, I prefer to bring my own. Weighing in at under 3 lbs and super compact, it’s ideal for travel. Most bassinets are so bulky and big they take up an entire piece of luggage meaning that’s one more bag you have to pay for.  I also like that the mattress is removable and the sheet is machine washable. This one folds up easily and is for approximately the first 3 months. The breathable mesh panels give such a peace of mind with an infant. We took this on several trips and it allowed us to go to bed knowing Milly was safe and comfortable.  It should be noted that this bassinet should not be used when the infant begins to push up on hands and knees or has reached 15 lbs. (6.8 kg.), whichever comes first.

Teether Babies®


“Munchkin the Monkey” as we call him is Milly’s best friend.  He’s been on every trip with us so thank goodness he can go in the wash! I understand parents want to bring their child’s lovey with them on trips plus the blanket, teethers and more toys but that leaves room for losing items! And that’s a whole lot of stuff to pack! This is a packing checklist on the essentials-what you really NEED to bring. I learned early on from my mommy friends that it’s best to have a travel lovey that only goes on trips with you….and to buy two ;) just in case.  I love how this monkey pulls triple duty.  The textured paws massage Milly’s sore gums. The crinkly paper is great for keeping her attention on road trips and it even rattles. Plus the clip at the top means you can attach it to almost anything.

Travel™ Bottle Warmer

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Having a travel bottle warmer is a must have for our family. The last two trips we took were for my work so my husband was doing about half of the feedings using my frozen breast milk. This makes it convenient for him to feed our daughter when Mommy is working or on the go. The flexible heating band conforms to the bottle so it warms evenly and quickly.  We even plugged the warmer into our Uber on the way to the hotel!

LATCH™ 4oz Bottle


This has been Milly’s favorite bottle since birth. Luckily we didn’t have to try a dozen bottles before finding the perfect one for her because a friend had suggested we try LATCH™.   For a breastfeeding mama I love the slow flow and ultra flexible nipple that flexes as she eats.  It mimics the movement of a real breast. And the anti-colic valve helps ensure bubbles don’t travel through the breast milk meaning Milly goes to sleep just as easy as when she breastfeeds. I don’t know what we would do if my husband couldn’t feed Milly with such ease. And bottles aren’t just for when Milly’s away from me. There have been so many instances where we were glad we had a bottle ready for her (waiting in line to rent a car, in the taxi on the way home, during dinner at a restaurant, and many more.) Even if you are a breastfeeding Mama, make sure you pack at least two bottles including a little cleaning brush and soap when you travel. You’ll be so glad you did.

Manual Breast Pump

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For the same reasons mentioned above, never go on a trip without a manual breast pump.  You never know when you can’t breastfeed but need to relieve yourself and/or feed your baby. This is the best $30 I’ve ever spent.  It’s small, easy to use, discreet and quiet.  On long road trips I've used it to pump in the car (while my husband drives). I actually prefer my manual breast pump over my electric.  It just feels more efficient and I don't need to be teethered to an electrical outlet to use it! 

California Baby Bubble Bath


When you’re traveling with a baby sleep is so important. We sometimes give Milly two baths a day when we are on the road. One is for playtime that we make into an activity. This is great because it’s a nice way for her to play and let out some energy! The other bath is to calm and relax her before bedtime.  Ironically, our favorite California Baby bubble bath is “Party!” and “Calming”! Organic, pure and safe it’s the only skincare I use on her. 

Shhh…™ Portable Sound Machine


When you’re on the go and your baby’s schedule is all out of wack, you want all the help you can get when it comes to getting them to sleep.  This sound machine is as small as a baby bottle and battery operated so it’s super convenient for on the go. It’s instantly calming and since we use one at home too, Milly is easily taken to dream city as soon as I turn it on. Read more about why I swear by this when I travel here.

goPad™ Diaper Changer

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This will by far be your travel must have accessory. I keep this in my diaper bag so I can just grab this clutch instead of bringing the whole bag.  It has everything you need to change your baby on the go. I love it so much I wrote a whole post about this here

aden & anais Swaddles

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

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These super soft muslin blankets are so versatile. Use them as a swaddle, tummy time blanket, burp cloth, blanket, stroller cover, breastfeeding cover and more. I make sure my diaper bag, car and stroller always have them!

Baby Bjorn Carrier

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Baby wearing is truly key when traveling. I know us Moms are used to holding our baby and doing everything with one arm but save yourself the sore biceps by investing in a baby carrier. Until Milly is bigger, I’m using a hand-me-down one my sister gave me that she used with my nephews over 10 years ago!



While I won’t consider this a must have, if you travel a lot, it is worth the investment.  This car seat and stroller in one is compact and easy for travel. It made getting in and out of cabs when we traveled to NYC a breeze. With one click it goes from stroller to car seat and vice versa.  So narrow and small, it fit in the teeniest of areas. Having this on a trip eliminated the need to pack a separate car seat and stroller.

Happ Diaper Bag


A diaper bag that doesn't look like a “diaper bag” was important to me when looking for something I could take on vacations, especially since I would also be using it as my handbag.  Obviously I needed it to be functional too. The fact that this bag is a backpack-allowing me to carry one less thing –and it’s sophisticated and modern-I decided to get two.  There are so many smart cubbies, and the zippered flap opens wide so you can easily grab all of your baby essentials.

Zip Up Sleeper Onsies


Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile you want your little one to be comfortable.  Dress them in zip up sleepers so they stay warm and cozy. Changing their diaper is also much easier when you aren’t fiddling with snaps and buttons! These are also really great to wear in cold weather climates underneath their jackets and blankets so you can transition from inside to outside a lot easier.

Brica Cover Guard™ Car Seat Travel Tote


This bag made bringing Milly’s car seat when we flew with her really easy. Rolled as a suitcase or worn as a book bag, we maneuvered through the airport with very little effort. The extra large zipper made it easy to fit our Doona in the bag even when we had limited space at the gate.  What’s nice about waiting to check the car seat at the gate is if the flight isn’t full many airlines will give a vacant seat to your baby allowing you to use the car seat on the plane.  Plus, if you do check your car seat this cover will keep it protected and safe!







How To Survive a Trip With a Newborn
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Munchkin®. The opinions and text are mine. #munchkinpartner

Traveling can be stressful, add in a baby and it can feel like too much to even bother but I’m telling you right now, this is THE TIME to travel! Milly is four months old and she’s been on a handful of flights including across country twice. We took her with us on two business trips to New York City, conquered public transportation, the TSA and plenty of not-so-baby-friendly places.  Plus, she’s been with us on weekend getaways to Temecula, Big Bear, San Diego and Palm Springs…and we’re just getting started.  

Milly loves to be out and about. In fact, she thrives from it!  Our babe is definitely not a homebody but we also started traveling with her early on and it became a part of her lifestyle. I remember friends with children telling us they didn’t go on trips until their baby was six years old and I never wanted that to be the excuse why I stopped doing things I enjoy.

Traveling with a newborn is actually amazing because they are so predictable. They eat, sleep and potty. They’re small. They aren’t mobile…yet. They don’t have opinions or tantrums and did I say they aren’t mobile?  And they fly for free, people!

I’m here to tell you, you can do it. Whether you have a road trip coming up or a flight ahead-here are my tips and top travel must haves for not only surviving but enjoying a trip with baby.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time


Prevent yourself from feeling rushed or stressed by giving yourself plenty of time to do everything you need to do.  If it took you an hour before baby, add at least another half hour with baby.  Whether that’s allowing extra time to go through security at the airport or allotting enough stops on a road trip for diaper changes-if you build that extra time into your schedule, you won’t want to pull your hair out when you need to change your baby’s soiled outfit for a second time…which leads me to my next tip.

Pack Smart

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Preplan your baby’s outfits (including bibs & blankets) and pack them in zippered bags. This makes getting your baby ready super easy and then at the end of the day you can place the dirty clothes in the bag.  I take pride in Milly’s diaper bag. Everything is organized and easy to find and that doesn’t mean I fill every pocket with something different. I find that you never remember where you put something and unless the bag is completely clear you spend more time searching for something when you need it. I love my goPad™ Diaper Changer.  Every diaper bag should have one.  This is a lifesaver! I can’t imagine traveling without it. 

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Instead of lugging the diaper bag to the lavatory on the plane or through a restaurant/store/etc. you just take this instead. It’s a diaper bag clutch. You can even hook it to the stroller. I keep it fully stocked with Milly’s diapers, wipes, cream and hand sanitizer so I can just grab it and go. The extra large cushioned pad makes sure she’s comfortable even when the sometimes make-shift-changing-table isn’t and it has an expandable bonus panel to use as she grows.  The diaper pad zips off and the vinyl surface makes it easy to clean.  There’s even a disposable bag dispenser that comes with 25 bags.


Know Before You Go


If you plan on flying with your child, know the policies before you go. If you have a child under 2, they fly free on most airlines...but some will give you a seat for your child as long as the flight is not sold out (so wait to check your stroller until you get to the gate and always check airline policies on extra bags, strollers, etc).  Also, sometimes it's worth purchasing a seat for them even if they fly free.  Consider this option for long flights.  You will be more comfortable, your baby will be too and if you book it far enough in advance, it's really worth it.  We recently flew across country and paid extra for "even more space seats." However, by the time we did that round trip, it was almost $400 for the upgrades.  We decided it would have been better just to pay for a seat for our child to have our own row!  Also, try to book direct flights so you don't have to deal with extra travel time due to layovers and stops!

Wear Your Baby

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When you’re a mama, you’re used to doing everything with one hand but sometimes you need both of your hands, especially when you travel and that’s why a baby carrier is key! I actually use a hand-me-down baby carrier from 10 years ago that my sister used with my nephews. It makes traveling so easy, especially when I’m by myself. You don’t have to worry about where you’re going to put your baby when you need to do something or if the stroller is going to fit somewhere because your baby is comfortable and safe right on your chest. Eliminating having to push a stroller gives you so much freedom!  We’ve gone through museums, spent hours exploring and site seeing and even went hiking with Milly in the carrier.  Plus, she loves being in her carrier. She really enjoys looking around and seeing everything. And most of the time she falls asleep in the there!

A Rested Baby is a Happy Baby


Traveling can be tiring, especially for babies and it can be tough (even for me) to get quality sleep when on a trip.  My secret weapon for getting Milly her much needed rest is her sleep soother. This Shhh…™ Portable Sound Machine is as small as a baby bottle and battery operated so it’s super convenient for on the go. It features three different sounds: shushing, heartbeat and white noise and has a timer.  It also acts as a night light (that can glow solid or pulse) which I love since it does double duty when we’re away from home.  We used this when we stayed with family and friends. I’ll use it to help drown out noise when she’s napping in her stroller.  It was really useful when we traveled to the Big Apple because the portable sound soother helped to drown out any noise from the bustling big city below.


I hope this gives you the confidence you need to travel with baby! And remember that no matter what, everything you are is enough for baby! You got this!!! Stay tuned for a full round up of all my favorite products for traveling with baby!  What are your travel must haves? Let me know in the comment box below and be sure to subscribe on here and YouTube and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you never miss a thing.