Traveling with toddlers can come with it’s challenges. My hope is that these tips for traveling with toddlers will help eliminate some of those challenges so you can *somewhat* enjoy the adventure that is traveling with toddlers.
10 tips for traveling with toddlers
Buy everyone their own seat.
Solomon was 8 months on his first airplane trip. We could have easily saved a couple hundred dollars and had him sit on our laps but it is so not worth it, in my opinion. It makes such a big difference when you’re able to put your babes in their own seat and maybe even let them sleep a bit, too.
Airport food is not only expensive, it’s mostly junk. We pack all sorts of snacks for our boys when we’re traveling. Our go-to’s are Perfect Bars, homemade trail mix, crackers, and apples slices. When it comes to tips for traveling with toddlers, I think keeping them fed and hydrated rate pretty darn high on the list. Hanger is a real thing with toddlers and no body needs that happening in an airplane!
Bring your own water bottle.
Again, airport water bottles are way over priced. Not to mention you’re drinking out of plastic and most bottled water is just tap water in disguise. Bring your own water bottles and fill them up at Starbucks once you get through security. Starbucks triple filters their water so it’s going to be your best option while traveling.
Pack activities to do on the plane.
Hobby Lobby has some great sticker and coloring activity books that are wonderful for plane rides. They kept Asher occupied and entertained most of the flight which was gold. I’ve also purchased these poppers (https://amzn.to/3zDSVeD) , these paint by sticker books (https://amzn.to/2Ugho9v) , and this set of water painting books that only uses the included water pen to ‘paint’ with, allowing for mess free fun (https://amzn.to/2Ugho9v)
Download a movie.
We’re a very low tech family. Our kiddo’s have zero toys that make noise or have any kind of digital games. We have family movie night once a week and try to keep the tv turned off the rest of the week. But flying is different. We will gladly use technology while traveling to help us have a smooth flight. Technology is a tool and we use it to our full advantage during flights.
This should actually be first. No amount of prep work can prepare you for what might happen during your travels. Delayed flights. Flights at bedtime but no one sleeps. Lost luggage. There’s so many things that could go wrong. But God knows the beginning from the end. And prayer changes things. So pray for grace. Pray for joy. Pray for good attitudes for everyone. Pray that everything goes smoothly. Pray for the pilots & flight attendants. Pray that kids sleep, luggage doesn’t get lost, flights are on time, the flight time feels like it flies by. Pray. Pray. Pray. And don’t be afraid to be specific about how exactly you’d like your travels to go. And then pray for joy, peace, patience, long suffering, endurance even if it doesn’t all go well.
Clean your house before you go.
While this doesn’t always happen for us but when it does, it’s glorious. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a mess of a house after being gone for a week. (ok, there are many things that are worst than this but I’m trying to make a point here, ok?)
Create a Master Packing List.
Chris and I drove to Eugene almost monthly when we lived in Seattle and I found I was constantly recreating the same packing list. I finally realized I could just create a master list and save myself a lot of time and brain power.
Book your flight at a good time for your kiddos.
Sometimes you can’t get around an early morning or late evening flight. But those are tough for everyone. If possible, book your flight time during the time of day when your kiddos will be most excited and not too tired. While they may sleep on the plane, there’s no guarantee’s. Traveling with kiddos can be challenging enough. The last thing you want is to be traveling with tired, emotional kiddos.
Set realistic expectations.
Did you have to book an early morning flight? Did the kiddos have a hard time falling asleep the night before because of their excitement? Set realistic expectations for yourself and more importantly your kids. You have the power to set the tone. If you’re stressed and snappy with your tired toddlers chances are that will just make them more emotional. Try to control your emotions and energy so that you can be the stable, comforting parent that your toddler needs during this exciting adventure.
Do you have any tips for traveling with toddlers that I missed? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below!