We've now been abroad a handful of times with Amelia since she was born and have discovered many tips and tricks along the way for travelling with a baby or toddler whether that's by car, ferry, plane or train. Travelling child free can be stressful enough so if you're planning a trip soon and are nervous I thought I would share my top tips for travelling abroad with a toddler and what I've learned along the way.
If you are planning to fly buy a seat on the plan for long trips for your toddler. Unless of course you have a toddler who will fall asleep anywhere and in any position then don't worry. I found it rather crammed having Amelia sat on top of us the whole 9+ hour flight and could really have done with my own space and being able to get up when I pleased. On short haul flights, if they're not busy you may be lucky to get a seat towards the back of the plane as they're usually quieter. When we went to tenerife and Amelia was 6 months old we managed to get her own seat that way so she could lay down and sleep, being a baby it wasn't that much of a big deal but when she was 20 months on a 9 hour flight it would have been heaven!
Let your toddler run free - Allow your toddler to run free when you can perhaps at the departure lounge if you are flying or if you're travelling by car when you stop. Don't worry about them making a noise, you'll thank yourself later when they have tired themselves out and fall asleep!
Toddler Bag - Prepare a bag for your toddler to carry this could be a little backpack or a Trunki as they are easier to pull along and your tot can have a ride too. Fill it with lots of exciting activities such as books, colouring in books, stickers, travel games, toys, and snacks along with a few of their favourite home comforts.
Snacks - Pack as many snacks as you can possibly fit in your bag or car. You could even prepare a little goody bag full of snacks minus the sweets for take off and landing to help with sore ears. Pack foods such as breadsticks, fruit, biscuits, crackers, sandwiches, raisins, rice cakes, cheese string, grapes and other easy to eat snacks which won't leave a mess.
iPad/DVD player - These will be a life saver great for car journeys as well as on flights. They can also be used once you've reached your destination. Load them up with your toddlers favourite programmes, films and apps and they will be happy
Travel during nap time - Whether you are flying or travelling by car try and travel part of the journey during your toddlers nap or bedtime if possible. Travelling with a sleeping and refreshed toddler is a zillion times better than travelling with a fussy, tempered toddler.
Pack some plastic food storage bags - These are handy to have tucked away in your changing bag or the back of the car for dirty clothes or unexpected poo explosions. They will seal away the smell and can easily be packed away into the suitcase to be washed when you arrive at your destination.
My final tip would have to be to stay calm! If you are calm and relaxed then your toddler will more than likely be too. If they sense that you are stressed or arguing with your partner then they are more likely to get frustrated or play up. Don't worry about other passengers if you're travelling publicly and take it in turns with another adult to look after the children to give each other a break.
What tips do you have for travelling with a toddler?