10 Essential Toddler Travel Tips For a Stress-Free Vacation
The summer is here and if you are like us we are planning some trips to take. Its so lovely to be able to travel again after a year of staying home but the kids have seriously got out of the practice and just driving 30mins to Grandmas feels like an eternity for them.
Taking a plane or traveling anywhere when my son was a toddler used to fill me with dread. Trying to keep him still in a tiny plane seat when he's used to running and jumping the entire day (pausing only to sleep!)
This was one of the main reasons I began So Handmade. Coming from the UK we would take long trips every summer to visit my family and this travel time took more planning and prepping then the entire rest of the trip!
I came up with some toddler travel tips based off my experiences and thought these might be helpful to others with similarly active toddlers! Whether you are going in the car just a couple of hours or taking a plane ride these should help!
Essential toddler travel tips
Let's dive into the essential toddler travel tips that will help you have a stress-free family vacation. These tips cover everything from planning and preparation to dealing with unexpected challenges. Let's get started!
- Lots of snacks. Preferably healthy like small packets of nuts, meat and cheese sticks, raisins and other finger food that doesn't require cutlery and is mess-ish free. Even if you pay extra for the inflight meals the kids might be asleep or not ready to eat depending on the time zone so pack extra in case. Also remember empty reusable water bottles you can fill up once though security.
- Change of clothes for the kids and also YOU! Yes we learnt this the hard way after a particularly bumpy flight which my husband took the brunt of!
- Empty plastic bags (for said dirty clothes and trash)
- If your kids are old enough bring their own headphones to enable them to watch the inflight entertainment.
- Sticker books are my personal favorite for flights, easy to pack and can keep them happy for hours. My daughter loved this one from amazon.
- My kids also loves these water books from Melissa and Doug. Just fill the pen with water and the paint
- For toddlers who love cars my own fabric playmats are perfect to stow away in a carry on and bring with you. My toy car storage (above) is perfect to carry cars and also to use as a race track. I also have a train play mat, a construction play mat and even a dinosaur one!
- Remember those games we all used to play as kids on road trips- eye spy, i have an animal in my head etc. Introduce them to your kids
- Download some audiobooks and listen to them together in the car. We loved Raoul Dahls Matilda and Harry Potter
- If you have a long lay over google the airport before you travel and suss out any playgrounds or other children's areas within the airport first. We once found one by accident on one trip and it was a godsend to have somewhere to run around and not trip up other passengers.
- It goes without saying but pack a little self care kit for yourself, wipes, toothbrush, change of top, your favorite snack. Anything that will lift your spirits and make you feel a little more human after a long flight. Travel pillows and eye masks are a must for me. Having sleeping children draped over you can be very uncomfortable. Try and make yourself as comfy as possible for a long probably sleepless night.
Maintaining routines and schedules while traveling
Toddlers thrive on routine, so try to maintain some semblance of their regular schedule even while traveling. Here are some tips:
- Stick to mealtimes: Try to stick to your toddler's regular meal and snack times as much as possible. This will help them feel more secure and prevent hunger-induced meltdowns.
- Maintain sleep routines: If your toddler has a bedtime routine at home, try to replicate it while traveling. Bring familiar items like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal to create a sense of familiarity and comfort.
- Allow for downtime: Toddlers can easily become overwhelmed by new environments and stimuli. Allow for breaks and downtime to recharge and prevent overstimulation.
Tips for traveling with toddlers on planes, trains, and automobiles
Traveling with a toddler may require some extra planning and preparation, but it's well worth the effort. By following these essential toddler travel tips, you can ensure a stress-free family vacation and create unforgettable memories with your little one.
Remember to research toddler-friendly destinations, pack efficiently, and provide engaging entertainment during the journey. Maintain routines and schedules while allowing for flexibility, and be prepared to handle unexpected challenges with calmness and resourcefulness.
So, pack your bags and embark on your next family adventure with confidence. With these tips, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the joys and challenges of traveling with a toddler. Bon voyage!
I hope that's been helpful and wishing you all the luck in the world for a smooth and stress free trip.