Save your Sanity – Traveling with a Toddler
The idea of traveling with a toddler can strike fear in some of the strongest parents ever. I can understand it. We have done some traveling with Inga before she has recently turned 3 and it was certainly interesting. I think the only way to make traveling with your toddler bearable is to have a good Offense AND Defense. Bring some stuff to keep their minds busy but also bring the shit that will shut them up if it goes South.
Our families live all over the place so we end up needing to travel a lot if we ever want to see them. Half of my family lives in Denmark, my MIL and SIL live in Florida, and my brother lives in Portugal so we are definitely all over the place.
Here are some of my tips for making travel more “enjoyable”
-One of the first things that I always do is go up to the counter and ask if you have any open rows of 3. If you are traveling with a child younger than 2, they don’t need to have a seat purchased but who the eff wants to keep a rowdy 2 year old on their lap the entire flight? They may have an open row they can move all of you so that your monster can sit in the middle. It can also make them feel like a big deal since they have their own seat.
-If it is a shorter flight like 3 hours or so, try your best to keep them in their seat the entire flight. Once they discover that there is an aisle they can run up and down, prepare for a workout. If you don’t mind doing this, then by all means. It should tucker them out so they might take a nap.
-Try to bring some that they can suck on or chew on while the plane is taking off and landing. Pacifiers work great if you use them. It will help with distracting them while their ears are popping. Their water bottle will work as well.
-If you have a lot of walking to do before or after the plane or if you are traveling on the road, I highly suggest getting a backpack that they can sit in. You could easily gate check this item like a stroller and it will give them a break, or you, from them running around the terminal. My husband has this one and it is bomb.
-Don’t pack any toys or activities with a lot of little pieces that are special. Don’t pack Shopkins or Littlest Pet Shop because they will fall on the floor and I don’t know about you, but I am over 6ft tall and I can barely fit in the seat to begin with let alone digging under the seats.
-Make sure you pack them a backpack full of goodies! The key with a lot of these things is to make them new so that your kid has never seen these before to make them more interesting.
Pill case – This seems like a bizarre choice but you can put different snacks in each of the sections. If they are really young, you will probably have to help them open the lids but it is a slower way of eating snacks and they can shove other shit in there when they get older. Seems perfect Shopkins size to me.
Gel clings – Those gel window clings are an awesome, and I mean awesome, activity to have on a plane. If they are sitting by the window, they can go on the window or on the tray. They don’t make a mess and easy to clean up. Bring lots of different ones with different shapes. I wish I would have brought like 5 different ones.
Extra Phone – You know you have an old smart phone that still works perfectly but you needed a brand new pretty one. Well add some apps that are kid friendly and don’t need Wi-fi. Kids Mode works well for this so they can’t dick around anywhere else in the phone. Since the Wi-fi might not work on the place, you need to download movies so they are actually on the phone itself and not streaming. This is great activity for getting them to chill and possibly take a nap.
Books – Make sure they are brand new. Make sure if you are ordering them off Amazon that they aren’t board books. They take up a lot of space and don’t add up to that much time.
Water bottle – LEAK PROOF! That is all…
Snacks – Put the snacks in the pill case, but also have extras in the backpack that are more substantial.
Beads and pipe cleaners – This is one that can be for older toddlers. They can string the beads on the pipe cleaners. Don’t get any special kind of beads because you know damn well those beads are going on the floor and are lost forever.
Play Pack/Grab & Go coloring book – I am torn on these because Inga just opens them, puts all the stickers on the pages and then is done within about 15 minutes. But I thought I would mention because I know other kids really get a kick out of these.
These are a few of my tips for making traveling with a toddler a bit more tolerable or dare I say, enjoyable? If you have any other obscure ideas of what makes traveling work for you, make sure to comment below and let us know!