Alison Ryan8 Comments

Tips For Traveling With A Toddler

Alison Ryan8 Comments
Tips For Traveling With A Toddler

Breath, you’ve got this!

From the time Berkeley was a baby up until now we have made numerous long road trips. I wish I could say that it was always a joyful experience but she hated the car. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s what adequately describes how she felt about car rides. She would scream and cry and cry and cry wether it was a 5 minute drive or a 3+ hour drive. Let me tell you, hearing a little one scream and cry is so hard to endure without making you go crazy (and breaking your heart!). Figuring out a way to keep her happy as possible was something I was determined to figure out. Now that Berkeley’s a little older I’d say she’s definitely better, but she still does not enjoy car rides.


Over Labor Day Berkeley got to experience her first plane ride. Michael stayed back so it was up to me to tackle it by myself. I put so much thought and planning into it and incorporated lots of tried and true tricks that I always utilize when on the road.
Thankfully the pressure never really seemed to bother her ears too much and on both flights we had very understanding people sitting in front of her that were very gracious when she’d kick their seat. All in all, I consider it to be a successful first flight.

Here are some things that have worked really well for us when traveling:

  1. {When flying} Pre Check-in
    This is not a huge deal, but it does help save you some time. We all know that when you fly you are spending a good amount of time of waiting; waiting for security, waiting for the plane, waiting to board, etc. so having one less line to wait in is always nice in my book.

  2. {When flying} Choosing your seat wisely
    When you are flying with a carseat keep in mind that you must have it secured by the window seat. However if you are not flying with a carseat and you think your going to be up and down having to change dirty diapers or to stretch little legs, being on an isle seat may be a good idea, that way you don’t feel like you are disturbing your seat mates.

  3. {When flying} Car Seat
    Wether your child is active or not sometimes it’s good to have something “familiar” on the airplane. They are use to being strapped in their carseat for long periods of time and not being able to get out of it whenever they want. Plus I really didn’t want to pick battles of clicking and unclicking the seatbelt. Make sure your carseat is FAA approved. It will say it on the actual carseat or in the manual.
    This car seat travel bag I purchased off of Amazon was great. It made getting through the airport with a carseat, stroller and carryons easy since I wore it like a backpack. Another bonus is that when it’s not in use it stores so easily. It folds up so small so it barely takes up any space.

  4. {When flying or driving} Travel Tray
    A travel tray is not something that is “needed” but oh-so convenient. It sits across their lap and the arm rest of the carseat and straps behind the carseat. It has great little storage (which I have not utilized to its full potential yet) and everything can be detached for ease of cleaning. Berkeley did not drop near as many toys having this and gave her the ability to do more (color and use play-dough!) to keep those little hands busy and her mind engaged.

  5. {When flying or driving} New Toys
    I went to a dollar store last year and stocked up on a bunch of “stuff”. I keep it tucked away and she can only have it when traveling or while we are at a restaurant. That way I don’t go have to go out and buy all new toys every time we go on a trip but I know if kids have something all the time it looses it’s novelty. If she looses it or breaks something it’s not a big deal to me since it was so cheap.

  6. {When flying or driving} Surprise Bags // “Good Girl Bags”
    There’s two ways you can do this. You can either have everything in one large ziplock gallon bag (great for older kids) or else you have each item individually wrapped up in tissue paper in a small gift bag (what little kid doesn’t like opening presents?!). Decide on a reasonable amount of time (30-60 minutes) and set a timer. A digital timer is great because it gives the kids a visual of how much longer they have to wait and when it goes off they get to choose something. A few ideas for you to fill those bags with are: special snacks, candy, stickers, a small new toy, things from the Target Bullseye’s Playground section, coloring items, play foam, play-doh and wikki stix.

  7. {When flying or driving} Snacks, snacks and more snacks
    This one may be a little bit more for me than Berkeley but it really does help!

  8. {When flying or driving} Music // Singing Songs
    She’s like her daddy and loves music! Engaging with Berkeley and her mind with sing-a-long songs helps keep the restless, boredom, crankiness at bay a little longer.

  9. {When flying or driving} Screen Time
    This one is tricky. When at home I like to limit screen time but my husband does not. So when we are about to go on a trip I always have to tell Michael to “please, don’t let her watch anything” so I at least have it to help keep her entertained.

  10. {When flying or driving} Books
    She loves to have someone read books to her. When we go on family road trips I normally sit in the backseat to entertain and Michael does all the driving. I read and read until it hurts. Hopefully I am instilling a future habit for her.

I’ll let you know in a few months if all these work for a long flight as well!
What are somethings you do when traveling with a little one?

xo,
Alison