How To Vacation With a 1-Year-Old (Parent’s Guide)

Having a baby is undeniably a rewarding experience for any couple who has been longing to start a family. However, this new milestone may bring some unfamiliar, and sometimes even stressful, experiences. A vacation is an excellent way to freshen up, and having a one-year-old baby shouldn’t keep you from doing so. 

Here’s how to vacation with a 1-year-old: 

  1. Choose a baby-friendly destination. 
  2. Check your baby’s health and appetite before the trip. 
  3. Pack baby essentials. 
  4. Set a schedule for baby care with other adult companions. 
  5. Wear comfortable and practical clothes and shoes. 

First-time parents often feel burdened by societal standards, thinking they have to forego all the fun they used to enjoy and spend all their time caring for their baby, while feeling guilty indulging in a little bit of me-time. This article can help you plan a fantastic vacation without compromising your parental duties. 

1. Choose a Baby-friendly Destination

Ideally, it is best to avoid trips that require flying. However, if your area doesn’t have much to offer with regard to your idea of a fun vacation, you might want to select a destination that does not take longer than a two-hour flight, which is necessary to reduce the stress for you and your baby. 

More often than not, the exhaustion from a long flight or drive discourages parents of young toddlers from going on a much-needed vacation. Kids are unpredictable and have a difficult time sitting idly during a long trip. 

However, if you plan to go on one, make sure to keep them asleep or entertained. 

One-year-old kids are too young to remember anything from a trip, but they can benefit from a fun trip to the beach or an amusement park. 

Any place you like is also okay so long as they have baby-friendly facilities, such as: 

  • Family restrooms with a diaper-changing station 
  • Benches or resting areas 
  • Stroller-accessible paths 
  • Breastfeeding station 
  • High-chairs in restaurants 

If you plan to stay overnight, check if the hotel or accommodation can provide a baby cot or if the room has enough space to set up one. You’ll want to consider the cleanliness of the room or the establishment as young toddlers tend to be vulnerable to infections. 

Babygirl and babyboy sitting on the beach in straw hats

2. Check Your Baby’s Health and Appetite Before the Trip

The overall satisfaction from a trip with a one-year-old depends greatly on how healthy and happy your baby is before, during, and after the vacation. It gives parents less to worry about and the peace of mind to relax and enjoy. 

Check your children for any signs of a cold or a fever, and monitor their appetite at least two days before the vacation date. Maintaining a feeding routine can help you plan your trip schedule more efficiently. 

You must also bring light snacks, such as crackers, in case they get hungry shortly before the trip. 

If you are traveling by car, feed your toddler at least two hours before the trip to reduce the risk of carsickness. If the kid shows symptoms of carsickness, such as sweating, frequent yawning, restlessness, or becoming bad-tempered, pull over as soon as possible and let your little one get some fresh air. 

3. Pack Baby Essentials

Traveling by private car is almost always the best way to go for vacations with one-year-olds that take longer than one night. It can provide the convenience of packing all the bulky stuff that goes with traveling with young toddlers, such as a stroller or a child travel cot. 

Here is a list of things you may need to take with you on your trip with a one-year-old: 

  • Pre-packed baby formula, bottles, and cleaners 
  • At least two liters (70 fl oz) of drinking water 
  • Light snacks like biscuits or crackers 
  • Your baby’s favorite toy 
  • Vitamins and first aid kit 
  • Fresh diapers 
  • Clean clothes and towels 
  • Stroller or walker 
  • Child travel cot 
  • Child car seat 

For consumable or disposable items like baby formula, diapers, and clothes, always bring three extra sets in case of delays or extensions in the travel period. 

4. Set a Schedule for Baby Care With Other Adult Companions

Going on a vacation with a young toddler is, without a doubt, going to be physically exhausting for any adult. 

That’s why it is necessary to split the chores with other adult companions by setting a reasonable schedule. It can help ensure that everyone can get a well-deserved breather and avoid conflicts. 

portrait of a mother is teaching her daughter walks on the beach

5. Wear Comfortable and Practical Clothes and Shoes

Let’s face it. Traveling with a one-year-old is not going to be a glamorous vacation. However, it can feel and look less exhausting by wearing the right kind of clothes and shoes. Many apparel companies have developed clothing technologies that effectively blend comfort and style. 

Let’s take a look at some basics that you need to consider when planning your travel wardrobe.


Parents with long hair had better tie them up for convenience. It will be easier to manage young kids if you don’t have to worry about your hair all over your face. Keeping it off your neck could also reduce the discomfort from sweat. 

Your kids will also have nothing to tug onto during fits or tantrums. 


Breastfeeding moms should wear tops that would make it easier to feed their young toddlers discreetly when necessary in public. Meanwhile, in general, parents should wear comfortable clothes that would allow their arms a wide range of motion. If you aren’t wearing a comfortable top, you won’t be able to care for your baby as easily.


Parents should wear breathable practical pants that allow comfort and ease of movement. For example, if you need to bend down suddenly, you don’t want the embarrassment of your pants splitting open. 

The material should be appropriate for the weather, as well. 


Consider the number of hours you will spend walking or running while sometimes carrying your one-year-old in your arms. It can be pretty exhausting for your feet. Be sure to wear durable and comfortable shoes that can sustain your weight and your baby’s added weight. 


While traveling with a one-year-old can be challenging, it can also be fun if you plan ahead. Organize your schedule and the list of things you need to bring. If done right, it can become a wonderful experience for you and your baby.

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