I am a high anxiety traveler and it gets worse when planning for a toddler. I notice if I plan ahead a lot then I am much less stressed when travel day comes, probably goes without saying. My husband and I have flown once with Julian when he was 18 months old and have made many short car ride trips with our son since he was born. We plan to fly multiple times in 2022 as well. My guess is that you have an upcoming trip, how exciting! Send me an email or message on instagram with where you are going and what your plans are, I love ideas for a family trip! So I want to give you essentials no matter if you are traveling via car or plane or the distance of your travel, so let’s get started! Sit back and relax and take it all in!
#1: SNACKS. There is a reason this is number one. You better pack your kiddo’s favorite snacks and lots of them. When we take a road trip we bring a cooler with food. When we fly, my son has a separate small backpack that is exclusively snacks that we brought ourselves. This does not count anything bought in the airport. For carry ons when flying I always make sure we each have our own bags with specific items. We all know how our toddlers can act when they are hungry so don’t forget those snacks. I love letting my son choose some snacks for the trip.
#2: Ipad. Oftentimes when we go on road trips or fly we let our son watch movies or play games if he gets bored. We download movies on Netflix and Disney for our trips. This keeps him entertained for a long period of time. Remember to set low expectations when traveling with a toddler. Even us adults can get antsy so we can only imagine how a toddler feels while traveling.
#3: New toys. New toys are so exciting for kids! You can find so many toys at your local target or amazon. When you’re on a road trip you don’t have to think about the noise, but when flying you want to choose toys that don’t make too much noise. Here are some toys that I recommend:
–Playdoh– we liked taking this on the plane because its not messy and they can play with it on the tray. It can be put away super quick as well.
#4: extra change of clothes. You may be thinking, duh Kristi we are talking about traveling. What I mean is an extra pair of clothes that is very handy. Pack one in an extra bag for a road trip or in a specific carry on for a plane ride. Toddlers get messy and no one wants to travel with wet or dirty clothes. Since we are on this topic, bring a plastic bag for the dirty clothes so they are separate from everything else in the bag.
#5: Pack n play. This is a must only if the place you are staying does not have an extra crib for your little one to sleep. Now, this wouldn’t be very fun to drag through the airport so choose your battles. Make sure to check your hotel or airbnb prior to your trip.
#6: stroller. When we flew with our son we did not bring a stroller which I actually regret. I wish we would have to be able to keep him contained or even for him to nap prior to boarding the plane. When you bring a stroller you have to leave it at the gate check area and then pick it up when you land. We will be bringing our stroller when we fly this year to make it easier.
#6: spill proof sippy cup. Back to the tip about no one wants wet clothes. This or this is my favorite water bottle for traveling. It fits easy in a diaper bag and is a good size so you aren’t filling it up all the time.
#7: Medicine. Anything can happen while you are traveling so bring a small travel medicine kit that includes; tylenol, thermometer, bandaids, antibiotic cream, and cold medicine. These things you can also purchase when you get to your destination, but I always say better to come prepared than to be thrown off. I always bring extra diaper rash cream and chest rub as well from Tiny Human Supply Co.
#8: hand sanitizer and wipes. Pandemic or not, these are important. Bring wipes to clean up snacks and spills and hand sanitizer because there are germs everywhere. These don’t really need an explanation.
That is it folks! My top 8 things to bring whether you are road tripping or flying. Always keep those toddlers busy with something. Happy traveling!
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