Toddler Staycation Essentials – Best Travel Items For Toddlers

For anyone planning a staycation with a toddler, I thought I would share my short, tried-and-tested list of best travel items for toddlers.

Many of these items are suitable for travel overseas but you’d obviously have to check your luggage allowance. The beauty of a staycation is that we threw all these things in the car and knew we didn’t need to source, borrow or loan anything when he arrived at our accommodation.

Travelling with a baby? Check out my travel essentials for under 1’s here.

(Everything on this list I’ve bought and paid for myself and am under no obligation to recommend. Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links which means I make a small commission if you make a purchase – click here for details.)

My 6 travel must-haves for staycations with a toddler

Minimeis Shoulder Carrier

Minimeis shoulder carrier

When Miles was a baby I was all about the BabyBjorn Mini Carrier and once he got too big for that I wondered if that was the end of our buggy/hands-free travel days. Luckily, Justin came across the Minimeis and its honestly the handiest thing we take on staycations.

This Scandi-designed shoulder carrier can be used from 6 months to 5 years. We’ve had ours a year & have got a lot of use out of it on days out and while doing non-buggy-friendly holiday activities. (Just look at my Instagram feed to see it in use in Dorset, Cornwall & Wales.)

Minimeis shoulder carrier

It feels very safe too. There is a strap around the child’s waist and legs so it’s pretty escape-proof once they are up there. Plus, Justin has carried Miles this way for fairly long stretches and never been uncomfortable.

Priced at £169.99 it’s a bit of an investment but it feels worth it for such a quality, clever invention. (Time Magazine literally named it the best invention of 2019.) Miles is a runner so I’d pay that price twice over for the stress-free days out it’s given us!

Microlite Travel Cot or Toddler Travel Air Bed

Microlite travel cot

The Micralite Sleep&Go Lite (which we were kindly gifted) is a travel cot and playpen that is suitable from birth to 3 years.

It’s very quick and easy to assemble (you simply shake it open) and it folds neatly into a travel bag that you can wear on your shoulder. With a padded frame and thick foam mattress, I’ve found the Sleep&Go Lite well suited to a toddler that moves about a lot.

Microlite travel cot

If your accommodation doesn’t have room for a cot, or your toddler no longer likes sleeping in one, then the JetKids™ by Stokke® CloudSleeper™ Inflatable Kids’ Bed is a great choice.

The CloudSleeper inflatable kids bed has an integrated pump, fitted mesh cover sheet, and a packing cube for easy transport and storage. I love that it has side bumpers to stop little ones rolling out and it really is compact enough to fit in a suitcase – we took ours to Puglia.

It’s also a great space saver as you can slide it under the bed or prop it against a wall during the day – no more squeezing around the travel cot to get to the bathroom!

The Gro Company Travel Blackout Blind

Gro Blackout Blind

No matter what your toddler sleeps in make sure you pack a travel blackout blind if you want any chance of them not waking up with the cockerels! The Gro blackout blind has little suction cups that you simply stick to the wall to create complete darkness. It packs up into a small bag so is easy to throw in your suitcase even if you just use it for daytime naps.

You might want to pack a nightlight if your little one uses one at home though. The black out blind is quite effective so might be disorientating if they are used to some light in the bedroom.

Chicco Pocket Snack Booster Chair

Toddler travel essentials

This bargainous little booster seat is a lifesaver for letting your little one sit safely at the dinner table when you travel. It’s a portable and adjustable high chair that attaches to most kinds of dining chairs – we’ve used it in all our holiday cottages and cabins.

You can use it with or without a tray and it folds flat so we often keep it in the car on days out in case restaurants or pubs don’t have high chairs either. It weighs about 2kg and is suitable from 6 months to 3 years. Best £20 you’ll spend really!

Skip Hop Pronto Changing Set

Pre toilet training, this travel changing mat & nappy bag is great for when you’re on the go.

It’s small enough to fit under most travel buggies (click here to read my review of the two we have – Silver Cross Jet versus Babyzen Yoyo) and comes with a wipe case, nappy storage and wipe clean changing mat.

Back Seat Car Organiser

We’ve started letting our 2-year-old watch something on an iPad on long car journeys – honestly I don’t know how else we would have made it to Cornwall in one piece!

A back seat car organiser is great for holding a tablet but also all their snacks, toys and drink can be stored in the pockets within their reach. There are loads on Amazon but this is the one I’ve ordered.

And that’s it. We don’t buy anything else in particular for staycations.

Do you have any great toddler travel gear you think should be on the list?

You may also like:

Highlights from our Cornwall family holiday

Toddler friendly holidays in the UK – 8 staycation ideas

Best days out with kids in and around Berkshire

About the author

I’m Jayne, a travel blogger, content creator and mum to a 4-year-old son. I’ve been blogging since 2010, travelled to 65 countries and share travel guides and tips to help you plan stylish, stress-free trips.

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