^^plane and water obsessed
^^magnadoodle saved out life
^^once we got in the rental car she was back in action lol
Traveling with a toddler can be a bit tricky and just plain exhausting. Not only are they all totally different, their behavior is erratic at times, they get frustrated easily, have short attention spans, most are potty-trained or in the process of and their moods and energy levels can change at the drop of a hat. For all of these lovely situations, you need an arsenal to be prepared!
With our recent trip to Hawaii in the Spring, I have been getting quite a few questions lately as to what I took on our flight with my two year old. And to be honest, before we left there really wasn't much advice that I could find. However, I am lucky to have traveled with my sis and her kids prior and had some great friends that were more than helpful and saved our trip! Funny thing is I was really over prepared on the way there and then I'll tell you at the end how I had an epic fail for our flight home🙈
Before the trip: I knew from past experience from traveling with my sister and her kids that I was going to get Danica a prize for every 20-30 mins of the flight. I figured if she was restless, needed a distraction or just plain wanted to make a mess then I would let her unwrap the little trinkets.
I purchased things like small playdohs, stickers, bandaids, window stickems, matchbox cars, chapstick, bracelets and sunglasses. Basically anything else besides your "normal" packing items that will occupy a little more time. Remember: you are buying time on a long flight! And do not be afraid to over wrap each piece so it is more fun to unwrap ;) I put them all in a paper lunch sack (then you have a recycle for the trash!). And of course be mindful of your area to clean up the paper and all the little pieces of whatever came apart.
Backpacks are amazing:
This is her school backpack and I am so happy we used it. It was spacious enough for all that we needed inside, plus had 2 side pockets for water (keep empty until you pass security), quick grab items and then her lovie, wipes and blanket were in the front.
Food: I used a soft-sided lunch bag like above and packed a ton of snacks. (You never know!!) We made almond butter sandwiches, carrots & hummus, sliced fruit (apples, strawberries and oranges) cheese slices, crackers and a couple cookies for reward. I also had dumdums in my purse if she ever started to get really restless or I needed to buy some quiet time (honestly we never used them)!
Activities: The busier the better! Coloring books and crayons are awesome and stickers are never-ending fun. I bought like 3 different styles so she thought they were constantly new and exciting. The magna doodle was a huge hit too. We tried to save our electronic usage until the end, sort of lol. I started her with the headphones a few weeks prior and to be honest they were sort of a flop. She liked them for a few minutes at a time. On the iPad I had saved some of her favorite Mickey Mouse shows, Trolls and a couple other random apps she likes.
I had another bag of a small set of legos and a couple other building type toys. I swear this age is all about taking things apart and putting them back together.
Potty time: this stressed me out! We were 3 months in with potty training and mine is really good but sometimes there are lines on the plane and it seems like forever to me, an adult. And when a 2 year old says they need to go potty-they mean NOW!! We were still using pull-ups at night so I explained to her that we would keep one on during the flight in case of an emergency. I did not want her to have an accident in case we encountered a potty wait. She did great, we never had a line and she didn't even wear a pull up on the flight home. Go figure!!
I packed an extra pull-up, undies and an outfit just in case. I also had her suitcase as a carry on and had more clothes in there just in case we needed them too.
Comfort Items: For us these are lovie, a blanket and ours plays with binkies sometimes so I brought those too in case she wanted one for fun. These were all within grab in her backpack.
Get the wiggles out: Before our flight, we made sure she walked everywhere through the airport. We looked at all the other planes, went to get mama coffee and tried all we could to get wiggles out. It just helps to keep them settled during the flight.
Seating: Obviously at 2 you have to buy them their own seat. Some people use the car seats, ours however does not really enjoy it in the car let alone on a long flight. This was great because we actually had a ton of room as I put up the arm rest between her and I. This also was a plus come nap time as she could simply lay on my lap to sleep.
Mama Fail: Returning home, we had a 4pm flight arriving home at midnight (was +3 hours). I made a huge mistake thinking oh we will get on, have dinner, watch a show then lights out... Nope... She was wired. Then she looks at me and says, "where my prize at?" I about fell over as I didn't get her anything because of the above plan. Crap I messed up! Get returning prizes too, friends. Then she literally passed out right when we started our descent of a 4.5 hour flight. The last 30 mins... Better late than never.
I hope this helps some of you who may be traveling with a toddler. Feel free to ask any other questions if I skipped anything! Happy Travels Loves!!
Thanks for reading... xxB