For years I traveled back and forth from Dallas to New Jersey with little ones to visit family. I was optimistic and excited each time I booked a trip, counting down the days until it was time to go. No matter how tough the kids were the previous trip, I remember fantasizing the next one would be better. Ha! Not so. I eventually learned through trial and error how to best manage family travel. Anticipating problems and planning ahead help a lot.
Below are some tips that might help you survive toddler travel this summer.
Tips for Toddler Travel
1. Pack extra outfits.
Toddlers find new and creative ways to destroy their clothing every day, whether at home, the park or traveling. Filth seems to find them, meals end up on their clothes and potty accidents happen. Bring an extra outfit or two – you’ll be glad you did.
2. Don’t vaccinate and fly.
What do diaper blowouts, fevers, and rashes all have in common? They’re all usual side effects of routine vaccinations that you do not want to deal with during a travel day. Book vaccinations no closer than one week to upcoming travel to avoid any issues.
3. Don’t forget the snacks!
Toys keep toddlers busy for a short time, but a variety of snacks keeps them happy during travel. A happy kid makes for a happy parent. Choose easy to carry supplies that you can pull out of your carry-on at any given time. Fruit, vegetables and dry snacks can work magic. I’ll say it again – Don’t forget the snacks!
4. Book a night flight.
Hopefully your toddler will sleep during the trip. Bring a big scarf to block daylight or plane light so it is dark enough to sleep.
5. Help your toddler with ear pressure discomfort.
Bring whatever you have to get your toddler’s jaws moving during take off and landing. Water, food and pacifiers work well, as does an animated conversation or a yawning contest.
9. Get up and move
Toddlers get antsy sitting on a plane. Heck, I get antsy on a plane. Don’t hesitate to get up and walk, the other passengers will understand. Sometimes a few trips down the aisle is enough to distract and refresh your child. It might help you avoid an impending meltdown.
Do you have other tips that might help other moms? Please share!