Traveling with Potty Training Toddlers

Summer is finally here and for us that means a lot of traveling. We have had the calendar scheduled full of camping trips since the beginning of March, when we bought our vintage camper, and we have a long week planned in The Smokey Mountains in late July. Looking forward to this is what keeps us sane through all of the cold winter months. This year the traveling means planning a little more carefully though since we have 2 toddlers at different phases of potty training and a preschooler who occasionally still has an accident.  Knowing we have the Pull-Ups® Potty Partnership makes planning our travel less intimidating and since we’ve traveled down the potty training road before, we know some of the things that work best for Traveling with Potty Training Toddlers.


Traveling with Potty Training Toddlers.

Pack Your Potty Gear

My littles have always been completely fascinated with public restrooms and seem to have to go at every store, restaurant, rest stop, or destination we visit.  Whether it’s in our camper, a stop along the way, a condo or hotel bathroom, or even a porta-potty the toilets are not made for little bottoms (and in many places aren’t clean enough). Having a portable potty seat with us has become a must for travel.  Their own collapsible potty seat or potty ring can make your toddler feel more confident using a restroom they aren’t familiar with. If you know you’re going to be staying in a hotel or condo for several days or at a relative’s home, consider packing a folding stool for your toddler too. Your potty training toddler has ditched the diapers but that doesn’t mean you should leave the wipes behind.  Consider keeping a pack of flushable wipes on hand too. You can put all your gear in a bag or backpack and make it pretty inconspicuous so you’re not awkwardly and openly toting around a toilet seat.

Pack a Change of Clothes

Obviously if you’re traveling for a vacation you’ll have several changes of clothes packed for the whole family. But with potty training toddlers, we’ve realized that having to unpack our entire SUV and dig through suitcases to grab a change of clothes due to an accident along the way to our destination isn’t exactly convenient. Keeping a change of clothes in a bag that is easily accessible makes handling the need to change clothes a lot easier. We transitioned to a backpack from a true diaper/training pants bag a year ago and it works great now that the boys are older. Instead of packing it full of diapers, baby wipes, bottles, and formula it now holds a change of clothes for each boy, a few pair of Pull-Ups® Training Pants for the two younger boys, wipes, hand sanitizer, snacks, bottled water, and plastic bags.  Plastic bags are great for containing messes that are bound to happen. This bag stays in the main part of the car with us instead of packed in with luggage and other gear so it’s easy to grab when we need it.

Schedule Potty Breaks

Don’t wait for your toddler to tell you they have to go and don’t ask if they have to go.  If you have a schedule and routine at home, try to stick to it while on the road. Schedule potty breaks at intervals that you know work for your toddler and tell them it is time to use the potty. Encourage them to try even if they don’t feel like they need to go at the time. When taking a road trip, we always watch for rest areas and scenic overlooks and try to plan potty breaks where we can stop and stretch our legs too.

If you’re going to be in the car or on an airplane for a long period of time, using Pull-Ups® Training Pants is a great way to keep your toddler feeling confident while avoiding the chance of an accident. Pull-Ups are designed specifically to help teach potty training skills. They look and fit more like underwear, giving your child the independence to slide them on and off, but provide consistency for any learning throughout the potty training journey. 

Be Forgiving

Remember that even at home or daycare, your potty training toddler is going to have accidents.  Our 4-year-old still gets so wrapped up in playing outside that he sometimes waits until the last minute to stop the fun and head to the bathroom and will occasionally not make it in time. It happens. When you’re traveling with potty training toddlers, everything is different.  They are going to be more likely to have accidents away from home because their routine, surroundings, and circumstances are different. Be forgiving of accidents and handle them quickly without making a big deal out of the situation.  Gently remind them about using the potty, and where it is if your toddler is independent enough to go alone in your hotel or at a relative’s home. Remember that your toddler’s personality plays a big role in everything they do, even potty training. The potty personality quiz can help you determine what your toddler’s personality is and can guide you through the potty training journey at home and while traveling. Regardless or your toddler’s personality or yours though, remember you are traveling and cut both of you a little slack.

Keep Consistent

Just like with your schedule and routine, consistency is important with the potty training journey.  Toddlers thrive on consistency, which helps them feel comfortable with their new skills. The parts and pieces that are making potty training successful at home can be taken on the road. Whether you use stickers, reward charts, prizes, or other forms of rewards for potty training success, be sure to pack those up and take them with you when you’re traveling. Your toddler needs to know that his success is important no matter where you are.  Extra rewards may even be called for since your toddler is going to be out of his comfort zone and likely preoccupied with a lot of new and exciting things. And though you may be tempted to revert to using diapers on the road, keeping them in Pull-Ups shows your child that you appreciate all the growth that’s gone into their transition from baby to toddler. Try to stick to as much of your normal potty training routine while on the road as possible and you’ll be rewarded too! I learned a lot about why consistency is so important to potty training from child development expert Dr. Heather Wittenberg. Check out why she says potty training in both pants and diapers can be super confusing for your little one.

Don’t let potty training your toddler (or if you’re like me, toddlers) stop you from traveling. You may experience a setback or two but traveling means you’re making memories and those setbacks may even provide a funny story to look back on.  Traveling with potty training toddlers doesn’t have to be stressful.  To help ease your stress and make you and your toddler both feel more successful, the Pull-Ups brand offers three different kinds of training pants and they are specifically designed to teach potty training skills.

What tips do you have for Traveling with Potty Training Toddlers?


Brett Martin is a mom of three living in eastern CT with the kids, husband, 8 chickens, a dog and a cat. She loves to create or recreate recipes and crafts and share tips that make family life easier on her blog, This Mama Loves.

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups® Training Pants. All opinions are my own.

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