For a lot of people, having a baby means putting an end to airplane traveling. At least for a little while. But, as that baby starts to get older, and especially as they get into toddlerhood, you might want to start traveling again. Traveling with a toddler comes with a few challenges. But there’s a good chance that things will go smoothly if you’re well prepared.
Trips for Traveling with Toddlers
1. Where To Sit
The planning really starts when you go to book your seats. It’s a good idea to pick a seat near the front of the plane since the back tends to be much louder. The loud noise from the plane’s engine can bother some toddlers and interfere with naps. In addition, if you sit near the front, it will be easier to get on and off the plane. That’s key since toddlers tend to walk a bit more slowly.
2. Talk About What You See
Visiting the airport and getting on a plane can be a really stimulating experience for toddlers. You might associate airports with crowds and stress. But, for toddlers, they are full of new and exciting experiences. Metal detectors and luggage security systems are actually rather remarkable for someone hearing about them for the first time. Spend some time looking out the window at the different airplanes. Then, when you actually board and take off, try to make sure your little one has a view outside the window so they can watch the ground as the plane gains altitude.
3. Don’t Skimp On The Entertainment
While it’s good to travel light, the one area where you might want to go overboard is entertainment. Bring a couple of books, and a few toys as well. Sitting on a plane can get a little boring. So, having the ability to break out a few toys or do a little reading can be a big help.
4. Stick With The Necessities
Everyone has a different style when it comes to packing. Some people attempt to fit their entire closet into their suitcase, and others just bring the bare necessities. When you’re traveling with a toddler, you will want to lean more toward the minimalist mindset. You might need a car seat when you reach your destination. But, if possible, you should consider renting one instead of schlepping yours to the airport. Similarly, if your toddler often gets tired, and doesn’t always want to walk, you might bring a carrier instead of a stroller, since carriers are quite a bit lighter and more compact.
5. A Little Food Goes A Long Way
Some snacks or a good meal can also help pass the time. Just when your little one has had enough reading, and doesn’t want to play with the trucks or dolls that your brought, having something to eat can really hit the spot. I recommend bringing something that can be consumed without utensils and that won’t make a mess. For example, dry cereal is preferable to yogurt.
While there are always bumps along the road when you travel, a little planning can go a long way. With any luck, your trip will go smoothly. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination, having the time of your life.
Cristin Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.