Are you ready for an adventure with your little one? Traveling with a toddler can be both exciting and challenging. But fear not, my fellow parents! This compiled list of the 10 best travel tips is sure to make your journey as smooth as possible.
1. Reduce your expectations
Traveling with a toddler can be both unpredictable and exciting. Keep in mind that your child's behavior may not be the best when you arrive at a new destination. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including the climate being different, having to sleep in a different bed, differences in food, smells, changes in modes of transport, etc. In addition, they may be jet-lagged. They may also not be used to having both parents with them all day, every day. Try to be understanding of their feelings and not get too frustrated with them if they feel overwhelmed or get upset. This is normal behavior for a toddler, especially in a new environment. If possible, make adjustments if they are not enjoying themselves at a particular time or place. For example, if they seem overwhelmed, stop for a snack or drink, or even go back to your accommodation for a rest if they need it. Adjusting your own expectations and accommodating their needs, when possible, is an essential tip for traveling with a toddler!
2. Bring travel activities
Keeping your toddler entertained during your travels can be a challenge. One of the best tips for traveling with a toddler is to have new activities or toys for them. We recommend buying a travel activity pack, such as the Jumbo Activity Pack, which has a lot of hands-on crafts, games, and activities to keep your kids entertained. It's portable, so you can use it while waiting for food or on a train or plane. It even comes with a travel journal so you and your child can record each day together, including the weather, their favorite part of the day, and how you traveled.
3. Plan for nap time
Toddlers need their naps, and not having them can result in a cranky and fussy child. Planning your travel itinerary around your child's nap time can be one of the best tips for traveling with a toddler. If possible, book your travel during your child's naptime, or bring a comfortable travel pillow so they can rest comfortably while on the go.
4. Pack a lot of snacks
Bringing multiple snacks with you is one of the best tips for traveling with a toddler. You never know when they'll get hungry, and it's always better to be prepared. We recommend having snacks such as bananas, apples, raisins, corn thins, rice crackers, etc. readily available at all times. Having snacks that are familiar to them can be really helpful in adjusting to a new place, as it gives them a sense of home. Plus, having multiple options gives them some sense of control in a new environment.
5. Pack more than enough diapers
Speaking from experience, pack more diapers than you think you will need! In case your child gets an upset tummy and you go through a lot of diapers, you do NOT want to find yourself without any available during the day or on your trip. It's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared in this regard.
6. Maintain bedtime routines
When traveling with a toddler, maintaining a consistent bedtime routine can help them feel secure and comfortable in a new environment. Bring along familiar items, such as their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, to create a sense of familiarity. Stick to their usual bedtime routine as closely as possible, including bath time, storytime, and cuddles.
If traveling across time zones, adjust your schedule gradually to avoid jet lag. Plan ahead and research sleeping arrangements at your destination, and consider bringing your own portable crib or travel bed if necessary. Keep the room calm and create a soothing atmosphere with dim lighting and white noise. Remember to be patient and consistent, as it may take a few nights for your toddler to adjust to the new sleeping environment.
7. Take their regular bottle or cup
Anything that is similar to home will help your child feel more comfortable. One of the best tips for traveling with a toddler is to bring their normal drinking bottle or cup with you. Having their regular bottle or cup from home will help give them a sense of their regular routine. It will also give them something familiar when they want a drink. Plus, finicky drinkers are sure to take in more liquids if they have their regular supplies. This will help ensure your child is eating well and hydrated while traveling – an important aspect that will also help you enjoy your time traveling together!
8. Gate check stroller
When traveling with a toddler, one essential item to bring along is a stroller. But what do you do with it when you're at the airport? Gate-checking your stroller is a convenient option that allows you to use it until you board the plane.
9. Plan your day carefully
Traveling with a toddler can be challenging, especially when it comes to planning your day. To avoid meltdowns and tantrums, it's important to plan your day carefully. Start by scheduling activities around your toddler's naptime and mealtime. This will help ensure that your little one is well-rested and well-fed throughout the day.
10. Avoid too many late nights
One important thing to keep in mind is to avoid too many late nights. While it may be tempting to stay out and explore all the sights and sounds of your destination, your little one needs rest. Late nights can disrupt their sleep patterns and leave them feeling cranky and tired the next day. Instead, try to plan your activities and outings during the day when your toddler is well-rested and more alert.
Traveling with a toddler can be a daunting experience, but with some preparation and the right mindset, it can also be a wonderful adventure for both parents and children. From packing smart to planning ahead and keeping your toddler entertained, there are several strategies that can help make your trip a success.