Quite awhile back when H was really little (still snuggling in my arms and not moving around) I wrote a post about traveling with a baby.
We have since traveled with H quite a bit, but the biggest (and longest) trip we’ve ever gone on is coming up. We’ll be going to Hawaii, which for us is a 10 hour trip on the plane.
I still stand by everything I said in that original post, with a few additions. We’re now dealing with a toddler, who is much more active, opinionated, and then there is the whole temper tantrum thing.
My Tips for Traveling with a Toddler
1. Send anything you can ahead of time. This includes toys, books, any clothes you don’t need immediately, snacks, your stuff, whatever you can ship, do it.
2. Bring baggies of fun. Fill each bag with a different activity and snack. That way you can easily pull one out at a time to keep your little one occupied in the sky.
3. Bring on the technology. I’m not a huge proponent of screen time for little ones, but trust me, H is. He loves any electronic! So bring on the iPad, iPhone, Android, portable DVD player, whatever you have and load it up with games, apps, books, movies, etc.
4. Pack the snacks. Bring whatever you can in terms of snacks, etc. H loves the fruit and veggie or apple sauce pouches, so I pack a lot of those, but you can also bring cut up veggies, crackers, puffs, etc. Wait until you get to the airport to buy yogurt, fruit, and string cheese.
5. Let him run around (with supervision of course). Tire him out before you get on the plane, but then also on the plane. No one can sit still (nor should they) for a long flight and that especially goes for your toddler.
6. Let him run around on the plane too. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t sit still for 10 hours, so how can I expect a toddler to?
7. If you can, get him his own seat. This will allow him to have his own space and more importantly, you to have your own space. Plus, you won’t have to worry about checking a car seat.
8. Keep him on his schedule as best as you can. That means during the flight he should sleep when he normally sleeps, eat when he normally eats, etc.
9. Rent whatever you can when you get there. We will be renting a stroller, a wagon, as well as a tent for the beach for H. There is no sense packing this stuff if they have it where you’re going. Call ahead.
10. That goes for a crib or pack and play too, but bring your own sheets and blankets.
11. And if you’re traveling across time zones, plan ahead. A few days before you leave start pushing his bed time back 1/2 hour every night. It will make the transition less hectic for everyone. Do the same thing on the way back, but move his bed time up.