Packing essentials for a non-vacation getaway with a toddler

My husband has been traveling a lot, and with our home for sale and constant showings my sanity is wearing thin. So when my parents invited me and BabyCoolJ to Dallas for the week for a business trip, I was more than happy to say YES!

So what does one pack when they are staying at a hotel suite for a week with their toddler?

It’s like packing for a vacation….without an actual vacation. Not to mention we were stranded because of the rain (although I was hopeful we’d get away, it only happened one morning) So, I needed to get a little creative to keep my toddler (and myself) happy for a whole week.

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Toddler suitcase.

What kind of fashionista would I be if I didn’t have a super cute bag for my kiddo? I’m all about rollin’ in style. I got the one pictured above is from Target (love Target) but bought it a couple of years ago. I won’t leave you empty handed on the cute accessories, though! Here’s some of my favorite Prime picks:


I always pack a box of toys for the road, as well as a few things he can play with at the hotel. The key here folks – do not pack toys with lots of pieces! I packed his cars, a musical toy and a toddler telephone. Oh, and 10 hand-picked books by BabyCoolJ himself.

Related: How to survive a road trip with a 2-year-old (no screen time involved)


Diapers/pull ups, wipes, his favorite cup for water (and his fav for milk, of course!), water. You know, all the stuff you need at home – toothpaste, toothbrush, baby wash, ointment. Oh and don’t forget band aids and Tylenol just in case! The two things I love to travel with most in this category: disposable changing pads and Babyganics hand sanitzer wipes.

Sleep gear.

I had booked the hotel’s pack-n-play so we were covered. I packed two sheets, his sleeping buddies, Shusher (best invention and gift to give ever), and pacifiers. Plus the books for his car ride – super important not to forget bedtime books!


If you know me at all, you know dressing BabyCoolJ is super important to me. My kiddo must be dapper at all times (and luckily Dad is the same)! So I won’t get into all that, but I will give you the best tip I’ve picked up along the way: put everything you need for a day’s outfits into a gallon Ziploc bag. This ensures you have the shirt, pants, socks, and any other accessories needed to complete the outfit. I also throw in an extra bag with extra pants, socks and shirts. Toddlers can be so messy!

Hope this quick guide can help another mama out. It has been extra challenging for me to pack for my toddler because I take pride in packing light and minimal! My husband and I used to travel with 1 suitcase and a couple of backpacks…that is no longer our life!

Do you have any toddler packing hacks? I’d love to hear them in the comments!




Toddler packing essentials for a non-vacation getaway | #toddlerlife #momlife #travel
How to pack for a non-vacation getaway with a toddler | #toddlerlife #momlife #howto
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Lisa Alfaro

About Lisa Alfaro

As a seasoned Marketing Communications Consultant, I help women in business engage their target audience through local marketing and social media strategies.

14 thoughts on “Packing essentials for a non-vacation getaway with a toddler

  1. I remember when my kids were toddlers, I always overpacked or forgot something. Your post definitely helps forgetful mommas like me.

  2. I love the toddler suitcases, they are all so adorable, I think it’s hard to choose just one! lol, These are some great tips. Especially when you’re in a hurry to pack everything up, having a go-to guide to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything is always nice 🙂

  3. I just pick/pack the most important things they need, except for some extra entertaining things you know.. toddlers got bored so easily! And you have some great tips there thanks!

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