Tips for travelling with a toddler
If travelling and seeing the world is one of your passions, you probably won’t want to stop when you have kids. However toddlers thrive on the routine and the familiarity of being at home. But don’t throw out your suitcases just yet! Here are some tips to help keep your toddler happy while being flexible enough to have a wonderful and memorable holiday.
1. Pack for various seasons and add spare clothes
Make sure you have researched the climate and pack accordingly. Children will be much happier if they’re comfortable. Pack spare clothes for all of you, particularly for the flight. Eating on a plane with a toddler can be messy…
2. Help pop their ears on the plane
As adults, most of us are used to popping our ears when the plane takes off and lands to reduce the pressure on our ear drums. It’s pretty hard to explain this concept to a young child so it’s a good idea to have something for them to suck on or chew during takeoff and landing. For small babies, a dummy, breast or bottle works but for a toddler try a water bottle or a healthy, chewy snack like some sultanas.
3. Work out a roster for toys and books
You can only take a limited amount of toys and books away, particularly if you’re flying. The best way to keep things interesting is not to give them all at once. Pack a few extras in your luggage for a toy surprise after a few days. This works just as well for books - no one wants to read ‘The Cat in the Hat’ every day for three weeks!
4. Have a constant supply of snacks
For any situation where you can’t control the outcome, the healthy snack bag is a great distraction. Food such as sultanas, boiled rice, corn or wheat based crackers, fruit and veggies are all good, healthy snacks that are generally readily available or easily portable.
5. Pack a child friendly medicine kit
Even though you can prepare by making sure your kids have had the right vaccinations for where you're heading, the unexpected can happen. You don’t want to be caught out then with a feverish toddler at 2am in a foreign country and have nothing to give them. It’s always best to pack some common medications that your child is used to as well as bandaids, antiseptic and other medical essentials. Don't forget you can always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on what to take with you.
6. Be forgiving
As your toddler adjusts to the new travelling routine, you might find there are more tantrums and meltdowns. This is completely normal - it’s hard for them to understand why their world has changed. Try to explain each move that is to come and give them lots of cuddles so they feel secure, despite the changes.
7. Be more flexible than at home
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You might have a structured routine at home but that can all fly out the window on holiday. Holidays are about relaxing and trying new things and that goes for your toddler as well. You might be amazed by what your toddler is willing to eat and do.
It might take a few days for your toddler to get used to life on the road however you’ll probably be surprised by how quickly they adjust. After all that preparation, it’s time to relax and enjoy your well-earned holiday!