Whether you are traveling overseas or just driving a few miles to visit the grandparents, traveling with a toddler can be pretty stressful if you do not plan properly. Traveling with a toddler can sometimes be no different than traveling with a feisty, diva-singer. You have to plan for each of their whimsical needs in advance otherwise, the whole trip is ruined for everyone.
Here are a few tips you should definitely use:
1. Extra outfits: Do we really need them? Honey, you definitely do. Extra outfits are not only for infants. Toddlers find new creative ways to mess, completely destroy or worse still, lose some of their clothes. One minute, the little one is in trousers, the next, he's walking around in only his briefs, because he was feeling hot.
2. Don't vaccinate just before a trip. You don't want to be dealing with fevers and rashes on a six-hour flight anywhere! Vaccines have side effects that you'd rather deal with at home.
3. You aim to please. The day of a trip is not the best day to tell your toddler that they have outgrown their favorite toy Milo and you are leaving it at home. Do they still want to carry a blanky with them on the plane? Let them. Your fellow passengers will thank you for not making them go through screams and tantrums about old Milo.
4. All mummies are doctors, among other things. Carry with you a medical kit for any emergencies. From fever medication to band-aids for little cuts and bruises. These will make your trip even more bearable.
5. What's even more important than toys? Snacks! Snacks! Snacks! A hungry child is an angry child. Snacks are how you keep your child busy and happy on a trip. Be creative with your snack choices. Dried fruit, biscuits, grapes, whatever keeps them happy really.
6. Don't restrain your child to their plane seat for the whole ride. Imagine if you were asked to sit bucked to a chair for a whole week, would you hack it? Well, that's how a 6-hour plane ride can feel to a child. When you are safe in the air, walk with them up and down the plane galley.
7. Wipes are your friend! Toddlers always seem to have icky...well, everything! You don't want to have to deal with gooey, sticky fingers when you have a pack of wet wipes around. Maybe even two! These can wipe the grime off almost anything!
8. Prepare for their nap. Chances are, your toddler won't stay awake for the whole trip. Plan ahead such that when they do nap, they are as comfortable as possible such that they won't have sore necks when they wake up.
9. If you are flying, be nice to the attendants. They can easily offer your toddler a toy to play with if they are cranky or better yet if your toddler is under 2 years, they can move people around such that you're not carrying them on your lap the whole time.