You are doing it, you are ticketed, confirmed and traveling with a toddler! You have planned an amazing overseas vacation that you have been dreaming of forever. Even better, you are sharing it with your family which includes your toddler who is so lucky to be experiencing this with you! Trust me when I say even the most well behaved toddler is likely to be out of sorts when traveling, so, be prepared! Below we have put together tips for traveling with a toddler that you need to read before you go.
1. If You Can, Purchase Seats with Extra Legroom.
Many airlines offer a Comfort Class or Economy Plus Class and these seats typically have a little extra legroom (industry word is pitch). Have you ever noticed in your car the seat in front of where your toddler sits is often streaked with mud or dirt? It’s a thing, toddlers for some reason love to kick the seat in front of them. I don’t know if it’s a reaching thing like, ‘I wonder how far my legs can go today?’, but extra legroom is always a good thing otherwise the person in front of your toddler certainly won’t be pleasant.
2. Sugar Free Lollipops!
Not only do they serve as a great bribe, they also help toddlers to suck which is helpful at take-off and landing. Adults are able to pop their ears but toddlers usually can’t quite grasp this. By using a lollipop, your toddler will have a sucking motion which will help ease the pressure we all experience with change in elevation.
3. Become Explorers and Investigate the Airport.
You need to help your toddler burn off energy before boarding the airplane; it will make for a calmer inflight experience. Traveling with a toddler can be very exciting, things like riding escalators and counting empty seats can spark imagination and lead you on quite an adventure. You may even luck out and find the airport you are in has a childrens play area (Charles De Gaulle in Paris has quite a few of these and they are amazing!).
4. Have Your Toddler help you Pack Their own Carry-on.
It sounds so simple, yet it makes the trip even more exciting. Things like their favourite blanket, teddy bear and water cup. That toddler travel bag will be the most important thing and their prize possession on the flight.
5. Make Sure you Have a Small Medicinal Travel Pack.
Things like Advil, Tylenol and Gravol are some key things to travel with. Pay close attention though, be sure you have tried all medications with your child you might use on the airplane before traveling because you never know how your child might react. For example Gravol can either make a child sleepy or hyper….and a hyper toddler in an airplane can be extremely difficult to occupy.
6. To Reduce the Amount of Carry-on Items,
ditch your novels, magazines or anything you think you might want to occupy yourself. It is likely that you will spend most of your time either entertaining your toddler or trying to sleep if your travel includes an overnight portion.
7. SNACKS! Bring Lots of Snacks!
Granola Bars, crackers, nuts, fruit, pepperettes, etc… A variety of sweet, savoury and proteins should keep your toddler happy through the airport process and while in the airplane.
8. When you Hear the Announcement About Pre Boarding for Families with Small Children…
do it! If you can avoid boarding the plane until the end, that is a much better choice. If you can limit the time you spend on the airplane, even by minutes, it’s a good thing. Once you are in that plane…that’s it.
9. A Fully Loaded Tablet is Your Friend.
While many parents may disagree with this one…it is easily the best way to entertain most children and in this case, toddler friendly apps can help make the inflight experience quite relaxing.
10. Have No Set Ideas as to How Things Will Go.
If you are a planner…this can be difficult! When you go into a situation with an expectation how things will go but it is something completely out of your control, it can be a disaster. So if you think on the overnight flight your child will sleep and they don’t…you will be upset about this. If you think your child will scream on the flight and upset other passengers and they don’t…you will be relieved but also disappointed you spent so much time worrying. You are traveling with a toddler! Toddlers moods and reactions can be unexpected so, don’t worry about what others will think – when you are traveling with a toddler, do what’s best for your child and enjoy the ride!