Traveling with a toddler, oh the joys! Driving and flying with toddlers can turn into your worst nightmare; meltdowns while you’re miles above the ground in an airplane or high pitched screaming in the car while you’re trying to drive. The good news? There are many ways you can try to avoid these types of situations by doing a little bit of planning.
Next week, our family will be heading to Disney for a social media conference/family vacation. This will be the farthest we’ve traveled with my one year old. I’m already preparing to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible. Toddlers are very unpredictable, so you want to make sure that you prepare for every possible scenario. However, don’t get too caught up in the planning. Kids can sense when you’re feeling stressed and it affects their behavior. Try to go with the flow and enjoy your time together. Although little ones may not remember the trip, it doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy themselves.
When going anywhere with a toddler you know how important that diaper bag can be, you want everything you will need in one place, but when going long distances, the truth is that you may want more than one bag. You always want to pack extra of everything! Travel can mess with a toddler, their sleep schedule, eating schedule, etc. Travel can also make people sick, even adults come home with colds and a broken immune system for a while from being around unfamiliar germs. Keep in mind how many diapers, how much food, toys, medicine and other items your child might need, and then double it if possible. You will be thankful that you did this in the long run, it just might save your sanity.
Stop frequently if driving.
If you are heading out on the road soon, be sure to plan many stops if you are bringing a toddler with you. Toddlers need to run, they need to explore, and sitting in a car seat doesn’t give them the chance to do either of those things. If you need to stop for gas, try finding a gas station around a park or other area where your child can get out and run for a while. This will keep them going throughout the trip and gives them something to look forward to.
Bring a lot of entertainment along.
What toys does your child like the most? Can you bring them along? If it’s possible, bring their favorites. But if their favorites happen to be blocks and things that won’t work well in the car, go a different route. Bring along things like crayons, books, possibly a tablet if you or your child has one with plenty of games to play. (Don’t forget those chargers!) You want to have plenty on hand to switch up what they are doing often to avoid the fits and tantrums from boredom.
Keep things as routine as possible.
Regardless of how you are traveling, you will want to keep your child’s routine as normal as possible. Keep nap times the same when you can, and keep them on the same eating schedules so that you don’t have a cranky toddler on your hands. I also find that going to a quite place (especially at amusement parks), will give your child some much needed quiet time. Even kids get overwhelmed by noise and crowds.
What are some of your tips for traveling with a toddler? I would love hear them!