Traveling with children can be VERY intimidating. We’ve had plenty of successful trips and an abundance of worst nightmares to add to the books. My son has had his passport stamped a few times in just two short years, and I wanted to share some tips on how to travel with a toddler and keep your cool.
We recently arrived home from a trip to Siesta Key, Florida with family and friends. Oliver and I have done this trip before when he was six months old, nine months old and just this past week before his second birthday. I know traveling with toddlers can really be hit or miss, but I was NOT prepared for a vacation while in the midst of Terrible Twos.
Here are a few tips to hopefully make your travel days not seem like an eternity.
- Communicate with Airline: For our most recent trip, I was 30 weeks pregnant. Southwest Airlines was nice enough to add pre-board to my airline ticket. It was so helpful to get on the plane and settle in with snacks and entertainment. Our past trips, we were considered Family Boarding, which let us board between groups. Either way, traveling with children does have its perks 😉
- Pack Light: I know traveling can be very overwhelming with a toddler. You basically need to bring everything and maybe even the kitchen sink. My biggest advice for this is to get your butt on Amazon and purchase this bag. According to airline regulations, baby gear is free checking. Whatever doesn’t fit in your suitcase, shove those items into the car seat bag and you are good to go. Saved me $75 in overweight bag fees.
- Choose Flights Wisely: I always try to book the earliest flight possible. It is so much easier to get up and go. I also book non-stop flights as well, especially if I’m traveling by myself with Oliver. This last week, we had an evening flight that had us skipping nap time AND the flight ended up delayed. Needless to say, Mama and Oliver were sitting in the Tampa airport crying.
- Snacks, Snacks & More Snacks: I don’t know about you, but some days my toddler is a bottomless pit with his appetite. Snacks are an easy distraction. Not only does it fill their bellies, but you can create easy games such as counting or learning colors.
- Electronics: This was a game changer for flying solo with Oliver. He loves it. I love it. He learns with puzzles and games, Mama gets 30 minutes to herself.
- Off Routine: Babies and Toddlers love routine. It makes things easy for me because I enjoy having somewhat of a schedule with Oliver. When it comes to traveling, our routine is out the window. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it gives me a chance to understand why my toddler may be acting out etc. So when naps are earlier than planned or really non-existent, I try and take a deep breath and go with the flow.
- Keep Your Cool: See above. Go. With. The. Flow. Traveling can be a great adventure with your children, but it is also extremely chaotic. Try and give yourself a few minutes to calm down and re-center your head.
With all of this being said, I really am very lucky that Oliver is a great traveler. This last trip was challenging but I loved seeing his eyes light up watching the planes take off.
What are your tips & tricks for traveling with children?