Potty Training for Active Families: What to Pack for Travel

{Fourth post in a series on potty training for active families}

We’re active.  Even when we’re not traveling somewhere, we’re off exploring our local area whether that’s just getting exercise through walking, hiking, and biking, getting things done around town, rooting for our favorite home teams, or participating in community events.  We like to get out.  

Because of this lively lifestyle that we love, visions of serious potty training terrified us.  Yes, we wanted so badly to be rid of the diapers.  However, the thought of being homebound for a even a few days or a weekend was paralyzing.  We dreaded it.  Those 3-day potty boot camps (as much as we wanted to be over with quick) just wouldn’t work for us. 

So we took our time and figured out an approach that worked for us and allowed us to continue our adventurous lifestyle with just a few changes.

For this fourth post in the series, I’m sharing what we pack when we truly hit the road, and travel away from home overnight, plus just a few quick tips and insights to keep in mind when at the airport and on the plane. Since our potty training journey began almost 3 months ago, we’ve logged 2 road trips to destinations about 3 hours away from home, and one plane trip of about 2 1/2 hours in duration.  We are off to enjoy a weekend at the lake (6 hours on the road) in just a couple days, so I’ve got packing on the brain!

Potty Training for Active Families: What to Pack for Travel | WildTalesof.com

Honestly, our list for travel isn’t all that different than the list of necessities that we need just to leave the house, so if you are already used to getting out and about with your little trainer, I wouldn’t sweat the packing too much.

1. Travel Potty.

We thought that all travel potties were created equal, but after talking with friends and reading about other families experiences, some really are better than others.  I can’t speak for any of the other seats, but can say that Bergen’s Potette Plus has been instrumental in his success.  It’s not that small, but it does fit in our backpack easily and doesn’t add a lot of weight. The sides fold out, and it can then be placed on any toilet giving Bergen a familiar place to do his business.  Its also sturdy and durable, which is a good thing for an on-the-go family like us.  We love it so much, we actually bought two seats: one that stays at home and one that’s always ready for an adventure.

2. Underwear.

Obviously pack more pairs than you would need yourself.  I almost pack double the pairs for Bergen.  Since they are small, and don’t take up a lot of room, we have that luxury.  I also keep in mind whether or not we’ll have laundry facilities at our travel destination.  Two of our recent trips had us staying at rental houses, so I didn’t worry too much knowing we could throw in a load of laundry when necessary.

3. Extra Clothes.

Just like the underwear situation, I always want to be prepared with more outfits (even tops and socks can get in on the mess) than usual.  I also have to remember to pack extra clothes in the carry-on or on-the-go bag, not just the suitcase itself.  In addition, don’t forget to replenish the on-the-go bag after there’s an accident! In terms on quantity, go with what you’re comfortable with depending on your trainer, and again, depending on whether or not you can do laundry at your destination.

4. Diapers.

We’ve been blessed with a sound sleeper and a long sleeper, so we haven’t tackled nighttime potty training yet.  That means, we pack one diaper for each night we’ll be away, plus a few extra.  Naps are hit or miss, so when we travel, we err on the side of caution and bring along diapers for naps as well.  Better to be prepared.

I feel it would be taking a step back for Bergen to be in a diaper in the car or plane, but others have found it to be helpful for their little one to wear a pull-up or diaper for peace of mind and accident prevention.  Make your choice, and pack accordingly.

5. Clean-up Supplies: Towels, Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, and Bags.

With car travel, it’s super easy, throw in some extra towels in the back along with your other supplies like blankets and emergency gear.  We also make sure that the on-the-go bag (our backpack) has wipes and hand sanitizer for easy clean-up.

For air travel, things have to get a little more compact.  I’d suggest a super absorbent, thin towel like those used for camping.  That way, you aren’t packing a whole lot of bulk, but you can still get the job done if there’s an accident in flight.  To steer clear of the “liquids” issue on the plane, pack disinfectant wipes, as opposed to a bottle of hand sanitizer.

For both modes of travel, pack a few plastic bags (or accumulate along the way) that you can throw wet and soiled clothes into for quick storage.

6. Rewards!

Don’t forget to stay consistent with your training plan.  Bring along those same incentives that you are using at home and out and about town.

Quick Tips for the Airport and Plane:

  • Family restrooms can be found throughout most airports, and when available, they make a potty stop so much more bearable! They are more private, spacious, and sometimes even have added bonuses like a chair for the grown-up to sit down.  Be on the lookout.
  • This day and age, most of us are aware of the automatic flush in so many public restrooms.  They can be startling, so talk to your child ahead of time about the possibility.  I didn’t, however, think about the button on the actual airplane toilet.  Luckily I reacted quickly when Bergen asked to push it when he was sitting on the potty during our recent flight! Watch-out for those, and maybe wait until the very end to flush.  In such a tight space, the sound can be quite alarming, even for me!

Heading out on the road soon with your potty trainer? What are you bringing along? Seasoned traveler of older kids? Share your wisdom!

Other Posts in Our Potty Training Series:

Come join the conversation! We’d love to have you join us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter! You can also keep up to date with each and every post by subscribing to the blog via email.



2 thoughts on “Potty Training for Active Families: What to Pack for Travel

  1. Pingback: Potty Training for Active Families: Resources to Prepare, Survive and Reinforce | Wild Tales of...

  2. Pingback: Packing for Family Travel: 5 Steps for a Successful Trip | Wild Tales of...

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