Travelling With A Toddler

Travelling with a toddler is different to travelling with baby. Recently we learned how very different it can be.

General Tips

  • Research thoroughly planes, airports, hotels and anywhere you will have to wait. Find out what facilities are there and if there are any things to entertain children (in flight entertainment, play areas, kids clubs etc). This can be a life saver.
  • Packing – pack minimally and utilise laundry services.
  • Try not to take the favourite toy, that if lost would spell disaster. Take easily replaceable stuff.
  • If renting a car make sure you have a baby seat allocated with your booking.

At The Airport

  • If your travelling internationally then you will be there are a good couple of hours at least, which is not factoring in possible delays. Airports are not designed for children so keeping children entertained is a struggle. We were lucky that a good window overlooking the airport runway was enough to keep our son entertained. We also had a wonderful thing called a trunki. It is a carry on luggage for kids that allows you to put everything you need (nappies, wipes, toys, food etc). Best of all though it can be used as a toy; your child can push it around (which my son did for ages), can be pulled with the strap, or rode on (and pulled with a strap by an adult). If you travel a lot I can not recommend this enough.
  • Remember it can take double the time to get through security, walk to your departure gate etc. Always allow for a heap of time to get to your gate for boarding.
  • Riding on the train/bus between terminals can entertain children (if you can access it and its free bonus).
  • Some airports do have children areas for kids to play/eat in.

On The Plane

  • Pre-allocate your seat, either pay extra and get the seats you want, or try online check in and pick your seats. Seats near toilets, or flight hostesses galleys can be helpful. But make sure the seat reclines, there is nothing worse then being stuck with a sleeping child on you and you cant get even remotely comfortable.
  • Remember with young children you can not sit in exit row seats. See if you can get a baby bassinet seat.
  • Check if you can get some sort of priority treatment. Some airlines allow parents with kids to board first. There is usually a fee but it can mean you are boarding the plane with out the hassell of other people waiting behind you as you get your self and your child/children settled.
  • Make sure everything you need for your child/children is out of the over head luggage compartment. If your flight is delayed and your left sitting on the tarmac for awhile this will be helpful.
  • Try to time your flights around or near your childs sleep times or awake times.
  • Have something the child can eat/drink to help with ear popping.
  • iphone/ipads can be great entertainment. Alternatively you can try in flight entertainment (some international flights actually have games kids can play).
  • Think outside the box for entertainment; two plastic empty cups and a plastic spoon can entertain a toddler or baby for ages.
  • Plan sightseeing around your childs nap and eating times. Especially if you dont have a pram for your child to fall asleep in.
  • Be realistic about what your child will be entertained by, or want to see. Tramping around a shopping centre for hours may not be your child’s idea of a good time, or going on the roller coaster even possible. However a trip to the zoo or aquarium may keep your child entertained for awhile. Also while at a family friendly place it may not be your baby friends as in a 3 hour performance with elephants at 9pm is not going to be realistic attraction for a toddler who is normally in bed by then.
  • Look into baby sitting services so you can do more “adult” activities like a massage or shopping.
  • If you are visiting somewhere you go to regularly have a good think about your “must see” attractions or “must do” activities. Can it wait till next time?
At The Hotel/Accomodation
  • Check out baby sitting services or kids club to give you a much needed break from each other.
  • Before you arrive ask if a pram can be rented/provided. This could save you on valuable luggage weight limit by not taking your pram with you.
  • A hotel close to the sights you want to see make sightseeing easier and more convenient.
  • Arrange prior to arrival any cots or children’s beds you may need.
  • Two separate kids meals can be expensive but one adult meal divided between two kids can save money.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rainbowg
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 22:33:11

    Great post! We are travelling overseas and interstate in December, so your tips will definitely come in handy. The Trunki looks awesome! Where did you get yours from? Looks like the retail for $70-90 in Australia? And what age do you think they are appropriate from? Thinking they may be too big for a 15 month old to really use?


    • Caspette
      Sep 29, 2011 @ 07:03:27

      We got ours on sale here. But we saw them at a luggage shop in the Brisbane DFO last year for around $70 (depends on style). I think as long as your baby is walking or pushing things/cruising they would like it. Little monkey couldn’t really touch the ground with his feet when he sat on it but he could hang on while we moved him around. But he adored just pushing it around. Maybe take J into a luggage or baby shop locally and just let her have a play with it and see how she goes?


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