Monday, May 27, 2013

Toddler Travel Tips

We made it home safe as sound!  Back in November, after Ayden's first bout of air travel at 10 months old, I wrote a post compiling our tips for air travel with an infant. A lot has changed since then so I thought I'd update with a toddler version!

If you haven't read the post linked above, go ahead and read it now.






Ok, your back?  Good!  My thoughts on less is more, carrier vs stroller, plenty of snacks and taking an empty water bottle to fill at a water fountain are all the same. 

What has changed the most between then and now is Ayden's attention span and what will hold said attention. He is no longer amused by peanut wrappers and cups with straws. He is a big boy now and needs something more.  Here is what you could find in Ayden's toy bag this go around:

His absolute FAVORITE toys. 

Substitute your child's favorite toy here...
These toy horses keep him occupied for long periods of time. He likes to make them gallop all around and has them "eat" all kinds of stuff. These came in handy for the flight and while waiting for our food at resturaunts.  

Creative materials!  

Ayden is just now getting in to drawing. I grabbed primary color markers (only we didn't have red so dark pink was close enough), a pencil, a pair of child scissors (used only with supervision), some cat stickers and a small sketch pad. This was the winner on the plane ride. I tucked all of the supplies into a zippered pencil case. Not only did he enjoy drawing, but also zipping/unzipping the pouch, capping/uncapping the markers, opening and closing the scissors, making the cat stickers move all around (including on my forehead). This also was a great activity for our long car ride to our farm field trips and during our picnic. 


Ayden loves being independent. His snack cup and squeeze pouches give him the independence he enjoys and really keep him occupied. He's busy while he's eating from the pouches, then spends another 15-20 minutes putting the cap back on then taking it off again and again.  

Bubble blower!  

He just loves making the little fan go. 

A tin of trinkets:
About the size of an Altoids tin.
He's been into cards (of any kind) lately and these particular soccer ball cards were new to him so that was an added bonus. He'd hand the cards to us, one at a time, stack them, line them up, put them in the tin, take them out, close the lid, open the lid, etc, etc. 

Of course, books. Always books!

Self explanatory.
Last, and possibly most important, NEW toys. Toys Ayden had never seen before. I picked them up in the dollar section at Kroger and saved them for emergency distraction. Worked like a charm! We pulled these bad boys out on the plane, in resturaunts, and at David's brother's house. 

These would distract him from bordum in a heartbeat and keep him quietly occupied just long enough.  It is tempting to give them all to them at once but hold out!  It's worth it.

Same as last time, we tucked them all into this little Nike bag. I wore Ayden through security and to the gate in the front carry position in the Ergo and this bag rode on my back. 

A couple of other items, not necessarily flight related, that made our trip run smoothly were a "dining kit":

This included our Tiny Diner's placemat, child sized silverware (which Ayden uses like a champ these days!), wipes and a wipable bib so that we only had to pack one.  We'd also toss in a couple of tiny toys and we were set.  Everything we needed for an enjoyable dining experience in one little pouch.

And tubed sunscreen!

California Baby and Badger are 2 of the safest brands according to EWG.
This came in handy when we'd go to the park to play, on our picnic, and while we were walking around the farmers market with his little legs hanging out of the Ergo.  It was compact, smells pretty good and was easy to apply.  I'd use the heavy duty liquid version for the beach or a full day in the sun, but for this trip, it was the perfect travel sunscreen.

Lastly, I really enjoyed my Ergo front pouch. I kept my wallet, Chapstick and a pack of gum in it and it was my perfect little carryon/purse during the trip. David carried our backpack as the diaper bag. It also held our water bottles, camera, snacks, lap top and books. 

Cloth diapring went well for us again. We have enough diapers to last us about 4 days if we use them all; so I didn't do any laundry this time and just tossed them in the wash right when we got home. Easy peasy!  I'm just glad no one at the airport wanted to search the wet bag they all travelled home in. Haha. 

Have you taken a plane trip with a toddler?  Share any tips you'd add below!!


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  1. Thanks for the tips, Sarah! We're flying from Sydney to Melbourne in ten days and I was wondering what things I might take with us to keep our little man occupied. Well, you've done all of the hard work for me! Thank you so much! Kate

  2. I just found your blog and am really enjoying it! Great tips! I have a 3 month old boy, but it's nice to read about advice I'll need in the future :)