So you're going to travel with your kids, exciting! Before you chicken out, relax, it's going to be an adventure! Children, especially toddlers have such a short attention span so regardless of your travel distance, it's important to have endless activities on hand throughout your flight. Here are a few of my travel tips and activity ideas that I feel are a must-have for traveling with toddlers.
Snacks can be brought onto the plane so bring a variety of munchies that you think your child will enjoy. I love to bring popcorn, goldfish, fruit pouches, baby oranges, pretzel sticks, etc. The list is endlesss. Remember that you won't have a way to keep things cool so pack snacks that are not perishable and require little to no preparation. When you have to start pulling out the snacks, you'll want to just hand them over! *Pro Tip: if you're traveling overnight or through a meal time, I like to pack the single serving macaroni and cheese cups that just require warm water. Ask the flight attendant for some hot water and TING, dinner is served.
Play-Doh has saved my life on airplanes more times than I can count. I like to get these mini size jars of Play-Doh that way Logan has a variety of colors to choose from and they're easy to pack. I'm always shocked at the length of time that Lo will play with this but it's ALWAYS on my carry on list.
3. Let Them Pack Their Own Carry On
Logan always gets to pack a few small toys to go into her own carry on which is usually a small, child size backpack. She loves the responsibility of having her own bag to carry and she can pick the toys that will fit into the bag. WIN-WIN!
I know you're thinking, WHAT!? SUGAR1? ON AN AIRPLANE!? But I promise, with the older kids that don't take a pacifier, lollipops or jolly ranchers are great for helping the kids' ears pop when the plane is ascending. It can be very painful if children's ears build up with pressure from the rapid increase in altitude. I always pack at least 4-5 lollipops for the trip. 1 for the flight there, 1 for the flight back and a couple extra for bribery in a pinch. You'll thank me later. =D
5. Skip the Benedryl
Have you heard of the horror stories of children having adverse reactions and it backfires? For some children, Benadryl can actually make kids hyper. We've never tried it and it's not worth a child bouncing off the walls.
I know the airport is stressful to begin with but try and enjoy this exciting time with your kids. Slow down and jump into the adventure with them, ooze over all the little details that amaze them.
7. Surprise Them With New Little Toys
When we flew to Maui right after Lo turned 1, I went to the dollar store and bought every toy that I thought she might even like a little. It saved my life. When she'd be bored with one toy, I'd bring out a new one. If we lost a toy, it wasn't the end of the world. These little finger puppets actually still travel with us today.
8. Where's Waldo
We recently picked up this Where's Waldo book at the airport in Boston and I'm wondering what we did without this for so long. It kept Logan busy for the longest time and I didn't mind playing with her for a while too. I Spy books like these are great for the younger kids as well.
Traveling is fun! Don't let the task overwhelm you, embrace the madness that is traveling. What are some genius ways you keep your kids busy?