Baby & Toddler Travel Tips
Baby & Toddler Travel Tips
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail" certainly rings true when travelling with toddlers! Planning and preparation are key to ensuring you’re ready for any eventuality and a less stressful trip!
I know the thought of travelling with a little one can be daunting but travelling doesn’t have to slow down once you have children! We took our first family trip when Z was about 7 months and we haven’t looked back! Although there have been a few lessons learnt, every travelling experience has been a beautiful way to bond, spend quality time together and learn a little more about ourselves and the world!
Here are my top tips to ensuring the journey is as easy as possible:
1. Think about flight times
Ideally try to coincide flight times with nap/sleep times and always try to book a direct flight to your destination!
2. Have all of your documents in order!
Check expiry dates on your passports and that all of the names on the bookings are correct! We keep all of our documents, paperwork and passports together and usually my husband keeps these in a designated bag.
3. Don’t leave packing to the last minute!
Having everything packed and ready a few days before you travel takes away last minute stress and allows you time to pick up any essentials you might be missing. Late night packing and panicking never makes for a good start for your holiday!
Also, as my husband always says to me “they have kids everywhere!” so don’t panic if you do forget something as you can always pick it up at your destination.
4. Pack your hand luggage efficiently
Having a lot to carry out the airport can end up being quite stressful in itself so really think about what you are taking as hand luggage.
Carries, strollers and car seats are the biggest considerations. Consider how much mileage you will get out of each item and if it’s better to check it in.
Ensure you have changes of clothes in your hand luggage and plenty of wipes! I have found a backpack is the easiest as it means my hands are free to chase after my son!
5. Prepare In flight Entertainment
A confined space and a long flight means you’ll want to get your in flight entertainment right! Entertainment is of paramount importance and a range of engaging, interesting and new activities will make for a much smoother flight.
Rather than use screen time as my go to method of occupation on a plane, I try to pack stimulating activities for some good old tech-free entertainment! I usually plan for an activity to last about 20-30 minutes, so pack enough! Travel time is such a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time together playing and talking.
You can also wrap up toys that are either new (from a pound or dollar store!) or existing toys they haven’t played with for a while to make it more exciting!
If bringing along a tablet (and it always makes a great back up!) make sure you’ve downloaded shows your little one likes, it’s fully charged and you’ve have headphones!
When it comes to babies, take along a couple of favourite toys and try to keep them in their routine as much as possible. Also, don’t forget teething toys!!!
6. Pack all the snacks!
Packing snacks and meals is top of my list because no one wants a hangry toddler! Always pack more than you think you will need to cater for flight delays or longer waiting times than anticipated which can throw off your schedule. While there are definitely some great pre packaged snack options available, I prefer to make my own, where possible, as I can control the ingredients and pack things I know my son likes.
Bliss balls, dried fruit, whole fruit, veggie sticks, dips and crackers all travel well.
Don’t forget water bottles! Water is your best friend, hydration is key when flying, so keep those water bottles topped up! I just too his water bottle up once we are through security.
7. Take your time!
Allow plenty of time at the airport, toddlers like to explore and everything takes little longer with kids! Allow extra time to check in and get through security. We always finding being a little early minimises queue times and makes the start of our trip a lot more relaxed.
8. Lower your standards!!
Don’t worry about missed naps, screen time or too many snacks! Anything goes!
I have a handy travel guide which includes detailed tips on how to prepare for your trip, packing checklists, suggested activities to keep your little one entertained, as well as, breaking down snack and meal ideas (including my 5 go to recipes for travel).