Life would be so much easier if we never left the house — but where’s the joy in that?
As a parent, you want to give your kids the world. And, doing that requires that you get them out of the house from time to time.
That said, it doesn’t matter how far you plan on roaming, traveling with toddlers can be a bit of a nightmare.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house or somewhere a little more adventurous, we’ve got you covered.
Here are a few helpful, must-have tips to make traveling with your little ones a breeze.
Traveling with Toddlers
Whether you’re traveling via plane, train, or automobile, there are a few general rules everyone should know.
Here are a few basic tricks that will help you smooth out any adventure, whether you’re going across the country or just to the other side of town.
Pack Extra Everything
Kids are messy — it’s a universal truth.
If you plan on taking your kids somewhere, you’re going to need to make sure you have plenty of supplies to survive the trip.
A good rule of thumb is to pack double what you think you’re going to need.
Start by figuring out what your bare minimum is. How many outfits do you think you’ll need? Will you be attending a formal event while you’re gone? Is your toddler going to get to go swimming at any point during your vacation?
Once you know the basic things you’re going to need, double it. There’s no telling what messes your toddler could get into while you’re away, and you may not get the chance to hunt down a washing machine.
Who doesn’t love gadgets?
Our tablets, smartphones, and other devices have quickly become our favorite toys. And, odds are, they’re probably a favorite of your kids too!
That said, once the batteries in our favorite toys run out, the party’s over. Which, can be catastrophic if you still have a few hours left in your journey.
If you’re planning a trip with toddlers, you should take the time to invest in a few batteryless toys and games your kids can use to entertain themselves.
Beware Sloppy Snacks
A hungry toddler is a grumpy toddler. Which, is why most parents elect to carry around a few snacks with them should the miniature-munchies strike.
That said if you’re planning on spending several hours trapped in a car, plan, train, etc., you may want to be careful about what snacks you pick.
Try to avoid anything sticky, covered in powder, or prone to crumbling.
Hand Wipes Are Your Friend
As we said before, kids are messy.
No matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be traveling to get there, you should never leave home without packing a healthy amount of wet wipes.
Whether your kid enjoyed their snack a little too much, or the bathroom at the rest stop seemed a little dodgy, a packet of wet wipes can save the day.
Bring Your Stroller
Toddlers are tiny and can’t walk around at the same pace as their adult counterparts for very long. That’s where strollers come in.
While rental strollers can be convenient, there’s no way to ensure the ones you come across will be safe, clean, and comfortable for your child.
Investing in a sturdy travel stroller can help make hauling your little ones around a walk in the park.
Need a little help finding the perfect travel stroller for you? Try starting your search here.
Traveling by Air
While traveling on land is one thing, taking your adventures to the air changes everything.
Flying with a toddler may seem like something out of a nightmare (for you and the passengers around you), but with a few tips and tricks, it can be a breeze.
Here are a few special tips about flying with toddlers.
Book an Extra Seat
Even if your child is still small enough to fly in your lap, there’s nothing quite like having a little extra room.
And yes, airfare can be expensive. But, if you’re planning on traveling with a toddler, you should try to book an extra seat if you can.
Booking an extra seat will give you the option to set your child down and give you both a break for a few hours.
Start with a Snack
Anyone who has ever been on a plane with a crying baby knows how rough high altitude travel can be on little ears.
If you’re traveling with toddlers, try giving them a snack or something to suck on just before take off. Chewing or sucking can alleviate some of the pressure on their ears and help them equalize to the altitude.
When it comes to traveling with little ones, your goal should always be to keep your actual travel time as short as possible.
And, when it comes to flying, that means choosing direct flights over layovers.
With a direct flight, you’ll not only reach your destination sooner, but you also won’t have to unload your stroller and carry-ons at every stop.
That said if you have no choice but to have a layover, pick the longest one available. Preferably, one that is overnight.
A long layover will give you and your kids plenty of time to rest and recuperate before getting back in the air.
Dealing with Your Fellow Passengers
Toddlers are notorious for being a little unruly, especially when you coup them up for a few hours.
While you may do everything in your power to keep your toddler calm, and quiet — meltdowns happen.
Kids can get excited and talk too loudly or wiggle in their seat, or break down in tears because they’re tired of being on a plane. And, this behavior will inevitably attract some unwanted attention from cranky passengers.
Traveling with toddlers is no easy feat. Know that you will never be able to please all the passengers around you, and learn to brush-off any negative comments. Odds are, you’re doing an excellent job.
Remember to Enjoy the Ride
Sure, traveling with toddlers can present a lot of challenges. But, bringing your kids to new places can be a highly memorable experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Unfortunately, your little ones won’t be little forever, so remember to take time to enjoy every trip — bumps in the road and all.
Are you looking for a few more parenting tips and tricks? We’ve got you covered!
We have dozens of articles on everything from budgeting for your growing family, to planning your next big summer adventure. Check them out today!