Firstly, a big congratulations that you and your family have finally decided to go on a trip along with your little toddler. Now that you have taken the first step don’t worry about traveling with a toddler. Yes, it is natural for you to have second thoughts about whether it will be safe or viable to take your little one on exertion via plane.
However, let me relieve you of some stress and assure you that with proper planning and organization, traveling with a toddler will not be a daunting task for you, your husband, or even your kiddo.
Instead of barely surviving the long travel, adopt these 15 tips I have shared with you, which will help you reach the destination easily and also enjoy it to the fullest there. Having said that, I will still say that toddlers have a mind and moods of their own, so you can never be sure of exactly how things are going to turn. The best is that be prepared for anything and have a flexible approach while traveling with a toddler especially.
Without further ado, keep a notepad around and note down everything you think will help you.
Table of Contents
Spend if Needbe
If it is your first time traveling with a toddler, you definitely cannot compromise on essential things. On planes, you might have to pay extra bucks to get the comforts, but let me tell you, all of them are worth every penny.
Let us suppose you have the option of selecting a flight that is cheaper but has a long stopover and a flight that is expensive but has better connections. DO NOT think about saving a few bucks, as it will be a big mistake if you go in that direction.
Your moody, hungry, impatient, tired, and super-active toddler will make it a living hell for you. And let me tell you, don’t let the beginning of the trip sap all your enthusiasm and make you irritated.
Choose Kid-friendly Airline
Solve the problem at once and choose an airline that has all the kid-friendly perks. Especially for parents who want their toddlers to get occupied with something or the other so that they do not steer chaos, there is nothing like a family-friendly airline.
Thanks to various kid-friendly airlines like United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, and many more have so many amenities that are going to help your irritable toddler settle down.
Like children’s food, toys, activity bags with travel journals, origami paper airline kit, crayons, etc. In case of layovers, comfortable family lounges at the airport will not tire you and give the much-needed pause to your hyperactive kiddo.
Book a Seat Away from Aisle
As I mentioned earlier, you can never be sure of the toddler on wheels. It might be funny, but they are actually always ready to jump, run, or move their hands. Ideally, if you want to handle your toddler with uncontrollable movement should make him/her sit away from the aisle.
The simple reason is that the aisles in planes have food and beverage carts coming and passing by. And the mischievous and trying to get hold of everything around them can create a mess. So, the best is to not let them on the side. Moreover, there is a possibility they run off after every other second.
Furthermore, kids at this are curious to see new things, so sitting next to the window will give them a little dose of entertainment.
Prioritize your Kid’s Needs
If you are traveling with a toddler via plane, and it is a long flight, you cannot not prioritize the needs of your little one. The child is yours, and you know what is best for him/her to keep occupied. Similarly, make sure to carry the things that not only make them happy but also keep them calm during a long flight.
Be it carrying their favorite blanket or preferred storybook, you must have it all with you in the luggage bag. Second that you, as a parent, should definitely have patience and keep cool in any situation.
Moreover, if you make sure you understand the needs of your child, you will be able to plan a comfortable traveling for them. This will not let your child feel out of place or make him/her want to get off the plane as soon as possible.
Pack Extra Clothes
Traveling with a toddler means a higher possibility of mess. In your carry-on bag, it is important for you to keep extra changeable clothes in case of the already-worn clothes get dirty.
Do not forget, they jump, run, can puke, roll on the floors, eat, clean their hands with their clothes, and whatnot. God forbid, they might forget to mention their desire to go to the washroom, in such cases you should be ready with some extra pair of clothes.
Besides clothes, keep some diapers, a hand towel, a handkerchief, and a small pullover to keep your child warm in AC chilliness on the plane.
Carry All the Required Medicines
Mama…., My tummy hurts, My head hurts, I have a runny nose, I can’t breathe, I feel pukish, and so on and so forth. While you are flying and traveling with your toddler, be prepared to hear this a lot.
It’s always a good idea to bring any necessary medicines or remedies for your child’s common ailments. This might include things like pain relievers, fever reducers, allergy medication, cough syrup, or any other medicines that your child might need on a regular basis.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring a basic first aid kit with you in case of any minor injuries or accidents. This might include things like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and gauze.
Make sure to check with your child’s pediatrician before you travel to make sure that you have all of the necessary medications and remedies on hand. They may also be able to provide you with some helpful tips for traveling with a toddler who has specific medical needs.
Finally, if your child has any serious medical conditions or allergies, make sure to alert the airline staff and any hotel or accommodation staff to ensure that you have the necessary accommodations and support during your trip.
Carry Snacks for Frequent Snack Breaks
Traveling can be a tiring experience, especially for young children who might not be used to the long hours of sitting and waiting. As a parent, it’s important to make sure your child is well-fed and hydrated throughout the journey, which is why packing snacks is a great idea.
Snacks not only help to keep your child’s energy levels up but can also act as a distraction during moments of restlessness or boredom. It’s a good idea to pack a variety of snacks, such as fruit, crackers, and sandwiches, to cater to your child’s different taste preferences.
I remember traveling with my young niece a few years ago, and we had a long flight ahead of us. Before we boarded the plane, I made sure to pack a variety of snacks in my carry-on bag. I included things like granola bars, fruit snacks, and crackers.
As we settled into our seats on the plane, my niece started to get a little anxious. She was hungry and wanted a snack, but I didn’t want to rely on the airline’s food options, which can sometimes be limited and expensive. Instead, I pulled out our stash of snacks, and my niece was thrilled to have something to munch on.
Don’t Forget the Favorites
When traveling with a toddler, it’s important not to forget their favorite items. Whether it’s a favorite toy, blanket, or book, having something familiar can help them feel more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
I remember when I was traveling with my niece, who was around 2 years old at that time. She was very attached to her stuffed elephant and refused to go anywhere without it. We accidentally left it at home during a weekend trip, and it was a complete disaster.
Moreover, the restless crying for hours until we found a store that sold a similar stuffed animal literally gave everyone on the plane a headache. From that day on, we always made sure to pack her favorite toy, even if it meant sacrificing some space in our luggage.
So, my advice to you is to always pack your toddler’s favorite items, no matter how bulky or inconvenient they may seem. It can make a huge difference in their comfort and happiness during the trip.
Divide the Responsibility
If you are traveling with a toddler with your partner, you need to divide the responsibilities, which will help you take care of the child better. Also, it’s essential to have a plan in place to divide responsibilities. This ensures that everyone involved knows what they need to do and no one feels overwhelmed.
One way to divide responsibilities is by assigning tasks to each parent. For example, one person can be in charge of packing and carrying the diaper bag, while the other is responsible for carrying the stroller and car seat.
Another way is to divide responsibilities based on the child’s needs. For instance, one person can be responsible for feeding and changing the toddler while the other handles entertainment and keeping the child occupied.
Personally, when I traveled with my toddler, my husband and I divided responsibilities based on our strengths. I was better at packing and organizing, so I was in charge of preparing the diaper bag and packing all the necessary items. Meanwhile, my husband was more hands-on with our toddler and was responsible for keeping him entertained during the flight.
By dividing responsibilities, we were able to work together as a team and enjoy our trip without feeling overwhelmed. It also allowed us to focus on what we were good at, which made the experience more enjoyable for both us and our kiddo.
Carry Everything Necessary to Maintain Hygiene
Maintaining hygiene with a toddler who is on the go is crucial to avoid any health-related issues. Some of the things that you should include in your hygiene kit are hand sanitizers, wet wipes, diaper changing supplies, tissues, and disinfectant sprays to make sure your child doesn’t fall sick.
Moreso, if your toddler is still in diapers, it is a must for you to carry enough diapers, cleaning tissues, and creams. Also, the uncontrollable hands of your kiddo are going to touch various unclean or unhygienic surfaces, so keep cleaning their hands with wet wipes occasionally. You never know that they might touch an unclean surface and put their hands in their mouth.
Dress them Appropriately
When traveling with toddlers, it’s important to dress them appropriately, especially when going on long flights. One useful tip is to dress them in layers. This way, you can easily adjust their clothing according to the temperature and keep them comfortable throughout the journey.
Make sure to carry clothes that are comfortable and easy to move around in. Avoid tight-fitting clothes that might restrict their movement or cause discomfort. It’s also a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in case of spills or accidents.
When my sister and I took a long-haul flight with my niece, we dressed her in comfortable pants, a top, and a light jacket. As the flight progressed and the temperature changed, we were able to easily remove or add layers to keep her comfortable at all times. It made the journey much easier for all of us.
Prior Packing Planning
Prior packing planning is essential when traveling with a toddler. To make sure you don’t forget anything, it’s best to make a list of all the things you need to pack before you start packing.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack some items for yourself too, like extra clothes, snacks, and toiletries. This way, you won’t have to worry about running out of essentials while traveling with your toddler.
To make packing easier, you can also use packing cubes or organizers to keep things organized and easily accessible. This will help you find what you need quickly without having to rummage through your entire bag.
By taking the time to plan and make a list of all the things you need to pack, you can make sure that you have everything you need for a stress-free trip with your toddler.
Don’t Forget the Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an essential aspect of traveling, especially when you have a little and enthusiastic little one. It not only provides financial coverage but also gives you peace of mind while traveling.
Before you start the journey, make sure you have the right travel insurance that covers you and your toddler for any unforeseen events such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies, or any other unexpected situations. So, leave all the tensions behind and have the best time of your life with your sweet kiddo.
Carry Things to Distract Them
One of the best things you can do to make the journey smoother is to carry things that will distract your child. From their favorite toys and books to games and puzzles, these can keep your toddler occupied for hours.
So, my advice to parents traveling with toddlers is to carry things that will distract them. It could be anything from a new toy to a movie on your phone. The key is to keep them entertained and engaged so the journey becomes more enjoyable for both you and your child.
The ones who wish to keep their child away from screens should carry story or coloring books to distract them yet productively. Finally, with the combination of toys, books, immersive activities, watching their favorite cartoon show, and eating snacks, the time will fly.