10 Sep 2015

6 Tips for Travelling with Toddlers

This summer we travelled A LOT with our little guys. I definitely have not mastered the art of travelling with toddlers but there are definitely some things that i have learned along the way.

6 Tips for Travelling with Toddlers:

1) Backpacks - We've dreamed of the day when the kids could carry their own stuff (sort of!) and are so thankful that our 2 oldest boys LOVE their Skip Hop Backpacks. They will actually show them off to pretty much anyone who walks by! It counts as their carry on for the plane ride and in a crunch i can even throw a few heavy books in them to get by the check-in desk! They store easily under the seat in front of you so that they are accessible throughout the flight for easy entertainment. Which brings me to my second suggestion...

2) "Let Them Pack"! - I noticed pretty early on that my oldest saw me packing and wanted to pack too. He knew the Owl Backpack was his, so he'd pack it with toys and take it places. So when it comes time to pack for the flight i let them pack some of their own toys too, that way they know what's inside to play with. I do 'mix it up' so they don't end up with 20 cars and nothing else! {a book, a few cars, a ball, an action figure, and a few small snacks} Fruit snacks work wonders on take off, or when you're sitting on the runway buckled in with nowhere to go! They help hold off the screaming kid (either from boredom or earaches) Gum is also something i try to throw in their packs. The like it as a treat, and it helps with cabin pressure issues!

3) Plane Presents - the past few times we've flown i've bought the boys a small toy from the dollar store (light spinners, cars fans with candy, action figures) that i wrap in paper and stick in their bags. They usually ask what it is and i tell them it's a surprise for when we get on the plane! No shame, i use these to bribe my kids as we drag them through security, long walks though the airport to get to the appropriate gate, and endure long waits in between flights during layovers. If we have 2 flights, i pack 2 presents and i can't tell you how AMAZING it has worked with our boys. Not only is it motivation for them to move & cooperate, after they open them it provides at least 5 minutes of entertainment (usually a bit longer!)

4) Leap Pads - We bought our boys used Leap Pad's last year mostly to avoid them breaking our cell phones. They call them their 'ipads' and we reserve them primarily for travel days, so it is a treat for them to use them. We have 3 and the genius thing is that if you buy the games online you can actually load them onto all 3 devices! They are super heavy and break resistant (come on, we have 3 boys!) We bought car chargers and find them super helpful as we usually use them in mostly in cars (and planes) For the plane we use rechargeable batteries and just make sure they are fully charged with a back up set of batteries for travel day.

5) Water-to-Go - Our boys all have Nalgene kids bottles which are also super heavy duty. They fit great in their backpacks and we pretty much give them water to drink at the airports (who wants to pay $5 for a small bottle of juice!?!?) We try to make sure they are empty going through security and fill them up later, but have had various experiences of them making us drink all the water (and making our kids cry) to them being nice & allowing it through because it's for babies... 

6) Bubble Bums - This is by far the most genious invention i know for travelling with kids to date. ~ it's literally an inflatable booster seat! It's geared for kids 4-11 and over 40lbs, but our 3 year old is in a booster because he's over 40lbs so we bought two of them. I looked into them when i knew we'd be flying to Dallas and didn't want to have to rent 3 carseats! They are $29.99 on amazon and come with a travel bag. You can throw them in your carry on and take them to your next destination and our boys LOVED them! They are made for short distances (not a 10 hour cross country road trip, or continual daily use) but for our family they are perfect! They are currently approved in the US and the UK & Europe.

Bonus: I saw these Star Wars Suitcases advertised in one of the airline magazines ~ aren't they fun?! Maybe this will be our boys next carry-on, when they graduate from the toddler backpacks!

Do you have any tips for travelling with toddlers?!