Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Top Tips for Travelling with a Toddler!


I am by no means a parenting expert but surprisingly I've managed to survive two annual family holidays now with Little Man. It is easy to get bogged down by all the to-do lists and packing lists in the run up to your holiday, so I thought I would compile a quick post of a few tips that I've found have helped to make the preparation, the travelling and the holiday itself a little less stressful!

1)  Beware of the hangry toddler and pack plenty of snacks in your carry on luggage. 


Depending on what airline you are travelling with there may be little or no options on their menu to suit the picky eaters. And toddlers are seriously picky eaters. I packed a ton of mini rice cakes, raisins and some of the savoury Organix snacks that Little Man likes. Sandwiches and crackers are also great portable foods too. These are handy to have on hand when you reach your destination as well. 

Don’t forget milk and water also as they really need to keep hydrated on the plane. You are allowed to carry a baby bottle with milk in it or bottles of formula for babies through security once they can do a quick check of it and you can buy water once you pass through security. 

2) Let them pack their own “carry on” bag. 


Little Man has a mini rucksack that came with a Play Doh set and he felt really important choosing the toys that he wanted to put in it for the trip. Any small kiddies' bag will do as long as they can either put it on their back or wheel it along.

3) Have a few extra toys in your own bag that are “new” to them or that they haven’t seen in a while. 

I picked up a few inexpensive toys like cars and a wooden puzzle in the local discount store in the weeks before our holiday.The novelty of their new toys will help to keep them occupied when they get bored with the toys they packed themselves. And help stop them trying to climb over the seats to entertain aka torment other passengers..

4) Have their favourite soft toy or comforter and blanket to hand in case they look like they might sleep on the flight. 


On the way out of Dublin, Little Man was way too excited to sleep and was wide awake for the entire three and a half hour flight despite the fact that we had gotten him out of bed at 4.30am! On the way back however, he did actually have a short nap and I had his sleeping bag to keep him cosy with and he had his favourite Nelly the elephant with him as well. It also helps when you are away if they have some of their home comforts so that even though they might be in a different cot or bed, they have some familiar things with them.

5) If you are going to a beach resort or a resort town, bring plenty of your own nappies. 

Where you are going will not always sell the brand that you are used to at home and if they do they will probably charge you double the price. The same applies for swim nappies too!

6) Toddlers are also very messy eaters so pack plenty of changes of clothes. 

A handy tip is to multiply the amount of days of your holiday by 2.5 and bring that amount of outfits. Add in some messy ice cream and a day on the beach and you will quickly go through the t-shirts and shorts! It seems like a lot but they aren’t big or bulky to pack so you will fit a lot in.

7) Buy one of the all in one swimming suits for sun protection while in the water. 

We picked one up from Mothercare last year in a big enough size to do us for this year as well and it was great to know that he was covered up while splashing about. Of course they still need suncream but I like to be doubly sure! Most of these suits come with a hat as well which is essential for children to have in the sun.

8) Don’t expect them to always stick to the same routine as at home. 

Keep meal times as close to your home routine as possible to avoid said hangriness but bear in mind that their nap schedule is quite likely to be disturbed due to the heat or different surroundings. Little Man didn’t have an afternoon nap every day and was quite adamant that he didn’t want to some days! He did go to bed a bit later than at home and I wouldn’t be too strict about that. But just bear in mind that they are very very likely to wake up at the same time as they normally do at home no matter how much later they go to bed! The little tricksters..

9) Bring your own mini first aid/medicine kit. 

I brought a little washbag with some Calpol, a thermometer, some kids vapour rub, some aloe vera gel in case of sunburn, arnica cream and a few plasters. Because you never know with toddlers..

10) Bring your buggy if your child will still sit in one.

 Little Man doesn’t sit in the buggy often at home but on holidays he found it a novelty to sit in it and watch the world go by especially when he was getting tired. Ours is the Graco one from the travel system we bought before he was born and although he wouldn’t sit in the simple umbrella type buggy , this is much more comfy and gives him a great view of what’s going on. Airlines will usually let you carry up to two items of baby equipment for free and we took the travel cot and the buggy. You can even keep the buggy right up to the boarding gate which is great if you have a long walk from security to the gate and a toddler who gets tired/bored walking!

11)   Enjoy it. 


When you become parents, your Summer holiday plans change. The cocktails and lazing on the beach and long lie ins are a thing of the past. But instead you have this new little person to share it with who will be so excited splashing about, building sandcastles and exploring.  They grow up so fast so cherish every memory – even the ones where they were roaring about not being able to watch Paw Patrol due to dodgy Wifi and refusing to eat anything other than chips.

If you have any other tips to share with other frazzled toddler parents please do shout!

Bye for now,



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