Toddler weekend trip packing list

June 04, 2014

We stayed over at Monterey, Pacific Grove this past weekend – just a weekend trip with some friends.  The trip was a lot of fun, but here I’m just going to talk about the packing list, what went well and what didn’t.

Why packing list? I’m on a quest to learn the secrets of travelling light – carrying all essentials, but not too much. And I realized, for me, writing my list down is the most concrete way of recording for future trips – since my I don’t remember as well as I think I do. And while I was writing it down for my reference, I thought – ‘Why not blog this? This might be useful to someone else? After all I did spend some time trawling the web to see what I could find on people who travel light and simple with kids?’. So here is the blog post.

For our trip, we left from the bay area on Friday evening and reached Pacific Grove Friday night – just a 2 hr drive. We stayed there two nights and headed out on Sunday afternoon.

The weather forecast said temperature in the 50s and 60s. And knowing the coast and its fog, I planned on it being a little chilly. With that in mind, here was eMs packing list:

1 Swim Diaper – this we did not use

3 sets of 5 diapers in 3 gallon size ziploc bags

The idea here was to be able to carry one in the diaper bag, one set in the car and leave one set in the hotel room. However what did happen was that we carried two sets in the diaper bag, and left one set in the car. The gallon size ziplocs are to put any dirty clothes / dirty diapers if needed.

5 overnite pullups

Just in case we needed more than one for each night – as we did on our last trip

1 set of diaper wipes

Ideally I wanted to carry 2, but we ran out at home

1 jar of baby Aquaphor

Essential for a baby with very dry skin

3 diaper changing pads

We need two – to accommodate eMs length in dirty changing rooms. Definitely didn’t use the third. However maybe  we will keep it when we go outdoors as a cushion for her head or just keep it in the hotel room / car changing pad. Or is this my old think peeking in?

4 sets of clothes

4 pairs of leggings, 3 tops with full sleeves, one with 3/4 sleeves This was perfect . We didn’t need any more.

1 sleep sack

This is what she wears instead of a blanket

1 set of pajamas

Full sleeves. She wore another set in the car on our way in on Friday night.

2 cotton A&A blankets

2 pacifiers

Yeah…she needs these to sleep at home!

2 books in backpack

This we didn’t use, but we think we will need it in the future.

One large backpack

This was the biggest problem. The backpack we tried using was a two laptop backpack which we had at home. Big and bulky with zillions of pockets.

One Kidco Peapod tent, with air mattress, the quilt thing and an hand pump

And she slept in this on Saturday night and slept through the night! Yay! However need to change the quilt thing to a completely cotton one and attach it to the floor of the tent somehow.

Ergo Sport carrier

This is a lifesaver when she is upset / wants to be carried around / we want to walk without stroller


Since this was an urban expedition, the stroller was useful. We have the Uppa Baby Vista – a definite splurge but pretty awesome!


Food Stuffs:


1 small box of cheerios

7 small packets of  crackers! (What was I thinking? One packet in my purse, and two in the diaper bag is great)

1 sippy cup for water

3 Zoli sippy cups for milk

One for each day. Next time will take two, and actually wash one at night. Need to take some dish wash soap as well.

Stainless steel water bottle / old Kleen kanteen

With milk to keep in diaper bag

In Cooler

Whole Milk

Oatmeal in sandwich ziploc bag

Salt Shaker

Grated pepperjack cheese

(Yeah.. Both eM and her Mom like to eat oatmeal with salt and pepperjack cheese and red pepper flakes for mom..)

Two containers of frozen food (just in case)

One container of yogurt (with very little in it)

We used the milk. I made oatmeal on Saturday morning but eM decided to eat bagels and muffin crumbs and a few bites of a (ba)nana. We ended up eating out all other times and she ate happily with us. So didn’t need the frozen food this time. Next time, I need to carry food which doesn’t need to be heated up to taste good, and I  need to figure out what this can be…

And that is it This was eMs packing list. On the way in, except for the food stuffs in the cooler, I put the entire thing in eMs diaper backpack. (Yeah… it is that huge!) Once in the hotel room, I moved out most stuff.

The biggest thing I need to change from this trip is the diaper backpack. It is too big, and too many pockets. It is a problem of ‘things getting lost in too much space’ combined with ‘there’s space – so lets fill it!’ combined with ‘ummm…this backpack is a little heavy’.

So the hunt is on for a nice diaper bag / backpack. The husband did order a Diaper Dude messenger bag which converts into a backpack ($110! Wow..expensive!). My problem with it is that it still has too many pockets, is large and boxy. Also, if paying that much money, I will want to use that backpack after we are done using it as a diaper bag – and I certainly cant see myself using that bag. So the search is on. And the diaper bag I’m looking at right now is the Osprey Daylite Daypack<.

Its an ultralight daypack with both strernum straps and hip strap(yay!), super light at 16oz, small (13L), and fits other larger osprey backpacks when we need to take this bag climbing/hiking/backpacking. Which means maybe a larger Osprey pack can be in my future! This pack looks good on paper. So need to stop by REI and get one home.

My question to you readers is this: What do you use as a diaper bag? Especially at the toddler stage – which is not sold as a diaper bag? Also any more tips on toddler packing? Especially for colder / rainier weather?




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