You’ve no doubt packed enough diapers and wipes to last weeks, but sometimes it’s the easy-to-forget items that end up being the most crucial on your travels. Here are 10 essentials you’ll want to have on hand when traveling with your infant or small toddler:
1. Items to childproof a hotel room (or wherever you’re staying): Sure, you’ve spent hours carefully baby-proofing your own home, but a hotel room is a whole new playground for your little one. You should be able to secure at least one room where you’re staying. Safety plugs for outlets and a roll of painter’s tape—which can be used to keep drawers and cabinets shut—go a long way to securing the area from prying little fingers.
2. A baby thermometer and some sort of baby pain reliever: It seems like kids always get sick at the most inopportune times, such as the middle of the night in an unfamiliar city, so it’s a good idea to have these basics on hand.
3. At least one hat and plenty of sun block: Vacations are a time to enjoy the outdoors and whether you’re hanging out at the beach, hitting the slopes or just wandering around town, you’ll likely be spending more time outdoors than usual, so be sure to take sun safety precautions. In addition to your big bottle of sun block, pack a small container that you can slip into a bag or purse, so you can reapply frequently throughout the day.
4. Something to remind your child of home: A favorite stuffed animal, familiar bedding or music box, will help her adjust to an unfamiliar environment
5. Car safety items: If you’re traveling by car, you should also pack additional supplies in case you break down or get stranded. If you’re on a road trip, you’ll obviously have plenty of clothes, but be sure to have blankets or sleeping bags as well. Non-perishable foods, such as dried fruit, energy bars and crackers are a good idea. And be sure to have plenty of water. If you have a baby, stash a large container of formula just in case. (Dehydrated milk is a good idea for the older set.)