Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday's Five: Toddler Flying Tips

Tatum's first flight was when he was just under 3 months old and we were flying across the country.  (I shared my baby flying tips here).  Since then he's flown just under 10 times and each time we get our routine down better and better.  On his first flight, we took EVERYTHING of his as a carryon, now we carry on as little as possible and it's so much easier. 

1. Pack light (in the carryon):  
Chasing after a toddler in the airport is enough, you don't want to be dragging a ton of stuff with us.  We usually have a stroller and one backpack for Tatum plus my carryon so I usually watch all those things and Derek handles Tatum, letting him run around and get out some energy.  If you're renting a car - rent a carseat to go with it - this makes a big difference.  Carry on just the necessities!

2. Favorites to take on the plane:
Don't overpack - with toddlers (not babies) less is more!  You don't have time to keep up extras.

We've found that toys we pack, he doesn't play with - he wants to play with whatever is on the plane or in the hotel room so it's just a waste of space + extra things we have to keep up with.  We usually pack one or two "flap" books for the plane because he enjoys opening them and playing with them.  Also these magic coloring books.  Other than two of his favorite Mickey & Friends stuffed animals, we don't pack any toys anymore.  We do pack some beach toys and if he wants to play with them on the plane/hotel room he can, but he usually doesn't.  Make sure you have a few snacks for the flight in case of meltdowns or delays that keep you on the plane longer than expected.

3. In flight tips:
Wipe off anything and everything near your seat - your child will touch whatever they can!
Try to plan the flight around a nap.  Flying in the morning always works well (Tatum will take two naps that day usually) - but if later in the day, make sure for a nap!
Let them watch things around the plane - look out the window, watch people board, watch what's going on.
A "new" toy can go a long way - or two cups from the flight attendant, ha!
Make sure snacks are ready and plentiful - this can pass a lot of time and a full belly makes for a happy toddler.
Watch a show on the tablet if needed at any time.
Things can go wrong!  Accidents will happen, crying can occur, keep calm and don't worry about it - you're doing your best.

4. Similar to baby travel tips:
(flying with a baby tips here) & we still stick to some of them... 

Make a list of everything you need before hand to make packing easier.
Pack in advance (the night before Tatum's first flight we were up until 2am trying to pack - now I lay things out the week before and make sure they're in the suitcase a day before).  
Be nice to everyone - most of the time you'll get "oh, your baby is so cute!"  But every once in a while you'll get someone rolling their eyes.  
Also, flight attendants are usually very helpful and understanding of anything you might need.

5. Buy necessities once you arrive: 
When Tatum was a baby and we HAD to have certain things (and I was new at traveling with kids), I'd pack a ton and also ship things from Amazon to the hotel - which worked great.  I would bring just about all his food on the plane with me and always had to have it checked at security which was a pain.  Now that he just really needs diapers, a few pouches and some snacks, I make my first stop upon landing to a grocery store.  It's much easier - you just grab what you need there.  We pack only the amount of diapers/snacks in our carry on that will get us through the travel day.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I carry Purell wipes to wipe down the arm rests and tray table and my boys LOVE their tablets (and we are finally able to pack them in their own little backpacks that they carry -- so helpful!).