7 Tips: How to have Fun on Vacation with Baby & Toddler

vacation with baby

Are you planning your vacation with baby and toddler?  Are you wondering if you will get any relaxation or even just get to enjoy it?  Kids are a lot of work, especially when they are out of their routine. 

Learn what you can do to truly enjoy your time with your kids on vacay!

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1. Pack Outfits for Vacation with Baby & Toddler

vacation with baby

When you are packing for your kids, put together sets of clothes as outfits.  Match up their shirts and shorts, or whatever you are planning for them to wear.

Think about it now, so you don’t need to spend time or energy playing baby stylist while you’re away.

2. Prep Sandwiches for Vacation with Baby & Toddler

vacation with baby

Make sandwiches for the kids before you even leave home!  You can make peanut butter and jelly or lunchmeat sandwiches before you are even on your trip!  Make enough for your trip.

Put them in sandwich baggies, and freeze them!  Bring them along in the cooler, and pull out about a half hour before lunch time.  Your lunches are done!

Jordan Page has a tutorial below about freezing sandwiches.

3. Prep Snacks for Vacation with Baby & Toddler

vacation with baby

Individually wrapped snacks are absolutely the way to go while you’re on vacation.  You can just grab what you need, and put it in your bag for the day.

You can either buy individually wrapped snacks, or just do it yourself.  Grab your box of sandwich baggies, and put a handful of pretzels, goldfish, etc. into the bags.  Make enough to last throughout your trip.

4. Don’t Bring Annoying Toys

vacation with baby

This might sound like common sense, but mom guilt has a way of bringing that noisy toy that our kids just love.  I say, don’t do it.  Leave any annoying toys at home.  It’s vacation.

5. Do Bring New Toys or Old Favorites

Bring along plenty of toys.  I recommend bringing a couple new toys, if you can.  

These tubes of animals have been a new addition to our family.  The thing is, though, the kids can only play with them when we’re away.  It keeps the novelty in tack!

Take some favorite toys and pull them out of the toy box a couple of weeks before you go away.  Pack them away for your trip.  The kids will be so excited to see them again, that they will actually play with them for a duration!

Because you probably want to pack at least somewhat light, try selecting open-ended toys for your trip.  Things like dolls or blocks are good options, because children will typically play with them longer than a light-up toy.

You can read more about open-ended play here, and below you will find some of our favorite toys for trips!

6. Pack Beach Bag at Home before Vacation

vacation with baby

If you’re going to the beach, or another place that requires a specifically-packed bag, pack it before you leave your home!  Don’t waste precious vacation time putting beach towels and sunblock together, while digging out the swim diapers.  Do all of that at home, so you are good to go on vacation!

7. Have a Realistic Expectations for Vacation with Baby & Toddler

This is perhaps the most important on this list.  Have realistic expectations for vacation with your little ones.  Babies and toddlers are still dependent on their sleep routine, and are still predisposed to tantrums anywhere and everywhere.

Realize that you are still mom and you are still “on” while the kids are up.  If you are expecting vacation to feel like it did ten years ago, try shifting your perspective.  

Having realistic expectations is empowering.  Know that you will still be taking care of your kids during the day, but you are free to relax once you get them tucked in!


Our kids deserve us to be upbeat and positive- even on vacation!  Going on vacation with baby and toddlers isn’t the most relaxing trip in the world.  But with a good attitude, you can have fun and really enjoy your family!


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vacation with baby

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