Traveling with toddlers? Keep these handy tips in mind while traveling with toddlers to make your travel hassle-free.
Traveling with toddlers can become a difficult task if you have not planned ahead or if you are not equipped properly. You can never undermine your toddler’s needs while you are traveling nor you should give up on travel because you have kids. My 2 and half year old has become a seasoned flier and he has never (thankfully) cried or thrown a tantrum in flight. He now enjoys his flight time and holidays. Here are some handy tips for traveling with toddlers that would make your travel hassle-free.
Top 20 Tips for Traveling with toddlers: Tried and Tested Mom Tips
Pack enough Outfits
While everyone will ask you to pack light and travel light, when traveling with toddlers you might want to pack those extra outfits. You never know when your toddler’s infamous tantrum can hit you spilling food on clothes or soiling the clothes just by rolling on the ground! You can’t control that, but you can always be in control of the situation with a quick change.
Pack spare t-shirt for yourself
Keep a spare t-shirt for yourself in your cabin baggage. You never know when your toddler will be in a mood to spill that juice on you or in worse case throw up on you. You don’t want to travel in a soiled shirt yourself!
Have a Plane Bag Ready
Pack a cabin baggage for the toddler with essentials like two sets of change of clothes, baby wipes, diapers, toys and your kid’s needs.
Pack according to climate
Toddlers and kids like being snug and comfortable all the time. Pack according to climate and terrain. If you are traveling to a colder climate don’t forget to pack enough winter wear including mittens, gloves, caps, mufflers, socks.
Take A Night Flight
If you are flying long distance or over 6 hours try taking the red eye fight. It’s better not to change the sleep schedules of your toddler. Let them sleep through the flight. Long flights are boring any which way and a screaming toddler on a flight will earn you many stares (and curses under breath).
Prepare Ahead Book Ahead
Your key to hassle-free travel when traveling with toddlers is to be prepared and book ahead. Book your accommodation ahead either online or over phone. You don’t want to go scouting for hotels with your toddler in tow after a long flight. Sometimes I also like booking the airport transfer ahead for a smoother exit from the airport.
Be Early Board First
Be early at the airport to get better seats. The late you reach the worse seats you get in a flight unless you have booked the seats ahead! One time when we had not booked our seats ahead and weren’t really early at the counter we were given seats in the last row! Yes, the last row in economy, where you can’t even recline your seat! Lesson learned, we now book our seats ahead!
Most airlines offer passengers traveling with toddlers or infants to board first and settle down first. Take advantage of that. Stow your baggage first and settle down first in the aircraft befre you have the world coming in!
Don’t vaccinate and Fly
Vaccinating your toddler right before your travel isn’t a great idea. Post vaccination toddlers can get fever or rashes – they are normal. Travel in that state isn’t comfortable. Try having a week’s time between the vaccination and your travel.
Don’t Forget your First Aid Kit and Medicines
Becoming a mom also means being expert in first aid and health care! Believe me, it’s true. Don’t just pack a first aid kit in your travel bag, keep essentials like an antiseptic, cottons, band aids, in your handbag in a first aid pouch. Yes that handbag is roomier than you think, when you are a mom. By now you are used to carrying giant totes. Always carry your kids medicines for cold, flu, fever, stomach ache, rashes – you never know when they might strike. If they are given any prescription drugs for flu carry the prescription along.
Baby Wipes are your best friend
Every mom swears by the baby wipes. They come in handy all the time. I can never even go to the grocery store without the baby wipe in my handbag!
Toddlers tantrums are hard to negotiate with. Pack some of their favorite toys so that you can bribe them to stop a meltdown! We carry his Peppa Pig stuffed toy, Teddy and a few little cars to manage any tantrum that might be thrown at us at the wrong times.
Snacks, Snacks, snacks
Did I mention toddlers can have more mood swings than your PMS! Travelling with toddlers can become difficult when they are not in a mood to eat during your buffet timings! Room service always add up on your expenses. Pack fruits, dry snacks, biscuits, granola to keep them busy and happy when they feel hungry at odd times. You could pack some home-made wholewheat biscuits for your trip and never worry about nutrition.
Invest in Baby Carrier
Baby carriers are a great way to pacify a baby and keep them closer to you. Invest in a toddler carrier where you can carry your toddler on your back. It comes specially handy when you are not carrying a stroller and your toddler refuses to walk. With a baby carrier on you can keep your hands free. Any soft structured carrier made for toddlers would do the job.
Don’t forget the footie pajama
Toddlers love being snug specially in a flight or train. Don’t forget the overalls or footie pajamas. I have had a problem with my toddler when he refused to keep his socks on and pulled them out inside the flight at the first chance. The footie pajama saves the day in such situations.
If you allow screen-time download some toddler-friendly apps to keep them busy. Add some toddler puzzle games or shape games or save some YouTube videos for toddlers for the flight time. My son travels with his own entertainment – videos, coloring apps, puzzles, games even a pillow – that makes our air travel peaceful.
Never forget the mosquito repellents if you are traveling to a tropical country or anywhere within India. When I say mosquito repellents, I do not mean the ones that your plug-in the wall! Because your toddler will run out at the beach, in the garden – so get mosquito repellents in the forms of cooling gel, lotions, fabric roll-ons, fabric patches. These will be with your toddler where ever he goes.
Chewing gums and lollipops for Air Pressure
Crying Babies in flights is a nightmare. Whenever you see someone traveling with toddler or babies in a flight you pray in your head – “God please, let this be a peaceful flight”. Well, the mom’s side knows how difficult it is to manage a kid who is crying in a flight. Most kids cry because of the change of air pressure that blocks their ear. Kids have thinner ear membranes and it hurts when the air pressure does its nasty jobs. Most kids howl and yelp during take-off and landing. This is the time, where you must keep their jaws moving. That will not allow the air pressure to affect the ears. Chewing gums or lollipops help during take-off and landing like magic. You can also give any snack to munch on.
Keep activities coming
Toddlers are little restless by nature, they refuse to stay quiet or sit at one place doing nothing. Keep them busy with activities. Carry their crayon and coloring book so that they can enjoy some activity during the flight. We carry some toddler books too. We also like playing the word game when he’s a little bored. Keep them occupied with activities to make your travel easier.
Brand you Toddler
Yeah right – brand them. If you’re travelling through busy, crowded airports or railway stations, write your mobile number and name on your child’s arm, or create a tag with the details and pin it to their shirt in case they get lost.
Don’t worry about Others – ENJOY
For every single thing that your toddler does, everything will be blamed on you. Why is he crying, why is he running, why is he throwing this and hundred more things. You can never escape questions from others. They are not in your shoes and are not dealing with the toddler So grow a thick skin – sometimes it helps – especially when traveling with toddlers. Don’t try to make others happy, don’t worry about what others are thinking – enjoy your trip.
These are some tried and tested tips for traveling with toddlers. Hope they will make your travel easier.
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