My own beautiful Bow & Rattle babies have already had their fair share of travel. We’ve been abroad to the USA quite a few times to see their grandfather and have had a few sun holidays in Europe. In those short three years I have learnt a huge amount about travelling with toddlers. It is no easy feat but worth it once you see their happy little faces exploring new places and enjoying the excitement that travel brings! These are just a few of our favourite tips to make that journey with toddlers as easy as possible.
Nowadays most airports offer a fast track security queue that you can pay a small bit extra for. This has been our saviour on so many occasions. It’s very hard with toddlers to queue for any length of time so with the fast track system we breeze through security making for a more pleasant start to the journey!
To get you through security it’s handy to have a freezer bag of all the liquids ready to go. For travel you will need to bring some calpol etc incase you need it on board so making sure you have all the under 100ml versions of your favourites it’s great if you store them all in the one place. We always bring a few extra zip lock bags as they are handy if you’ve any dirty clothes on the flight you can store them in them. We also store soothers in one so we keep them all together.
Aswell as our changing bag we bring a carry on case just for the kids items so that we have everything at handy reach for the journey. The changing items stay in our Bow & Rattle changing bag so they are easy to bring in to the bathroom with us but everything else goes in the case so we have it all together.
My husband and I learnt the hard way on our first every flight. We had no idea that sometimes planes can encourage little ones to go to the bathroom a lot more than normal. We went through about 3 changes of clothes on that first flight to the USA and could have gone through another few if we had them. My husband also had his clothes ruined but we hadn’t planned for this at all and weren’t prepared with the amount of changes we would need! Now we make it a point to travel with one light change of clothes for ourselves and at least five changes for the kids. It sounds like a lot but you’ll be very thankful should it happen you!
Tommee Tippee and a few other brands make paper disposable bibs. These are a life saver for feeding time. Once they are used you can just bin them and you don’t end up carrying around loads of mess! In general we always tend to have a few of these at the ready in our changing bag even when we are not travelling as you never know when they’ll come in useful.
Depending on the length of time you are going to be travelling for we always like to bring a few new toys for the journey with us. Sometimes we’ll get some new story books and colouring books and then some other form of toy (ideally without small parts that you are going to spend your journey picking up!). We save them for the times we really need them on the plane and produce them at key moments.
We only discovered this on a recent flight. We were flying to the USA and I purchased an inflatable footstool off Amazon before we went. This was incredible to have with us. Our son would never sleep on a plane and it was giving us nightmares each time before we travelled as we knew what lay ahead but this time we didn’t take the usual bulkhead seat and instead we sat in a row and put him in-between us. We set up the footstool and brought his own favourite blanket and small pillow with us and made a bed for him. He lay curled up with his head on the footstool and feet on the seat and we put the belt over him and he slept for hours. It is probably one of the best parenting hacks we have discovered yet!
For those traveling to new time zones, make sure to try to adapt to the new time zone as soon as you arrive. Take your children for a walk outside. With exposure to sunlight as kids’ body clocks adapt very quickly and they can really handle time changes with relative ease.
We always pack extra for a flight. You never know when you’re to be delayed or if there will be a shop open when you get in. We pack lots and lots of snacks to have! Also they can help with keeping a tricky child busy on the flight!
When we fly, the notion of screen time tends to go a little out the window. We found it fantastic having earphones for each child so that their ears don’t get sore with the free earphones which you get on the airplane which can be quite hard. Amazon has a great selection to choose from.