Thursday, June 5, 2014

5 Tips for Traveling With A Toddler


And we are back with week 5 of the One Year and Beyond Link Up!  The last four weeks have been great! We have covered: Taming The TantrumsWeaning Your Baby, and Mommy Guilt, and When Others Give You Unsolicited Parenting Advice. If you missed them, make sure you back track and check them out!

This week's topic is Traveling With A Toddler and I can't wait to read all of your great ideas!

Traveling with a toddler is a topic that sends a feeling of dread to the pit of most mother's stomachs. It's a terrifying thing to take a toddler to a grocery store, much less travel across the country right? 

As stressful as traveling with a toddler can be, it is also so rewarding and full of (hopefully) great memories!
I took my daughter on her first plane ride to visit my family when she was just 5 months old. She has also taken car rides with us up to 12 hours one way since then. Although I don't claim to be an expert, traveling is definitely on our resume.

Here are my top 5 tips for traveling with a baby/toddler!


1. Plan like a parent. You know your kid's best and worst times. Do not buy evening plane tickets for if that's when your child is grumpiest! Plan the trip so that your toddler with have fun as well. If morning is their time, work around that! And don't forget naptimes. A flight scheduled for a nap time may be a disaster because there is so many new things around. A car trip, on the other hand, planned for nap time may be a success. You know how your toddler works, so plan accordingly!

2.  Leave extra time for everything. Between changing diapers, and mini meltdowns, always allocate enough time to accommodate those unplanned moments. They will happen! And it will make the whole trip less stressful if you aren't rushed. 

3. Pack snacks, activities and toys. Puffs, crackers, carrot sticks, apples, fruit snacks, granola bars, fruit pouches, etc. can be  lifesavers for those moments when nothing else will work. I'm not typically a fan of silencing children with food, but when it comes to traveling, I believe in it. Also make sure you have a no-leak sippy cup with plenty of water/juice/milk! Activities and toys can help the time go by faster for your toddler...and for you! Toddlers are such busy little people, so coloring pages, stickers, story books and movies can be taken on a car ride and in an airplane to keep those busy minds and hands occupied! For ideas on keeping your toddler busy, check out The Toddler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 1/2- to 3-Year-Old Busy


4. Make sacrifices for the greater good. I know when I'm on vacation, I want to see and do everything! No wasting time here! However, running from one activity to the next with a toddler when you are far away from home just sounds like a big bag of stress. Sometimes you may have to give up visiting your favorite museum and opt for a day at the beach instead. Everyone will have more fun if you participate in kid friendly activities with plenty of down time rather than trying to force a bunch of activities in a short amount of time.

5. Be prepared for everything. My motto is, "it's better to be over prepared than under prepared" and that is especially true when it comes to toddlers! Don't assume that your child will only poop once that day like normal. Plan for 4-5 blowouts so you won't be caught off guard! Bring plenty of wipes. They work for everything! Bring an extra pacifier, blanket, change of clothes, sun screen, extra water and anything else you can think of that may come in handy.

Even though you may plan everything out perfectly, you still have to be flexible when traveling with a toddler. Just a few weeks ago, my hubby and I were lost walking on the streets of downtown Chicago with a screaming toddler who did not want to be in her stroller. We were trying to find that mirror bean everyone goes to see, but realized that neither of us were enjoying the process. Instead of forcing it since it was what we had "planned", we decided to just take a break and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. It made all the difference in the world! Although it was a deviation from our original plan, we were a lot less stressed by doing what worked best for us in the moment. 

 Traveling is fun, yes, even with a toddler in tow! Relax, take pictures, laugh, make memories, and enjoy the little things. Even if your toddler is throwing a fit in the tiny airplane isle, don't let it get to you. It won't last forever, and when he or she is making that adorable face at the stranger behind you, you will forget the fit ever happened. 

We are getting ready to take another 12 hour drive here in a few weeks so I can't wait to read your tips and tricks for traveling with a toddler. Link them up below!

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
         

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)


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5 comments:

  1. Leave time for everything is such a great one. we always try and give ourselves plenty of time, even more time than needed, because you just never know. I haven't taken my three on a plane yet, but I have done an 11 day drive with them. Lol that was kind of enough for me ;)

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  2. Great tips! I definitely agree with the snacks, activities and toys! True story!

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  3. Looooove your tips! And I agree, being flexible is the best thing we can do to keep our sanity while traveling with our littles!

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  4. Great tips, I'm sure every parent would with every single thing you say in this post snack and entertainments are definitely a must but being flexible and planing extra time for everything is also a given.

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