Top Tips for Travelling with Toddlers
Author: April Callan from Globetrotting Grommets
Does the very thought of travelling with a tantrum throwing toddler in tow have you running for the hills? Is it enough to make you put that credit card away and block all travel booking sites?
Well, as someone who has travelled extensively with toddlers, I am here to tell you it CAN be done and it doesn’t have to be the nightmare you envisage. It just requires a bit of flexibility, patience (well lots of that!) and extra planning.
My name is April, Family Travel Blogger and Social Influencer from Globetrotting Grommets. Globetrotting Grommets is all about sharing our family’s travel adventures with others and taking the pressures out of family holiday planning.
So to help take the woes out of your next family travel adventure I have compiled my Top Tips for Travelling with Toddlers.
Only you know your child and how well they sleep in different surroundings – so follow your instinct and book your flights accordingly. From a very early age I knew my kids weren’t good at sleeping on planes, so snagging those cheap red eye flights weren’t all they were cracked up to be. It would result in them being extremely tired and grumpy which didn’t make for a great start to our well awaited family holidays!
On the flip side if your kids will sleep anywhere and the thought of keeping them amused on a day flight makes you nervous, then night flights may suit you just fine and could save you some money as well.
When it comes to keeping toddlers happy and amused on the plane, all I can say is SNACKS! If my kids had food in their mouth they were less likely to be screaming! So prepare and pack as many snacks as you can to help get through the flight/s. Whatever you do DON’T make the rookie mistake of packing too many sugary snacks — don’t ask how that turned out for me! Various different healthy, finger food snacks were great for my kids. Things like pretzels, small bliss balls, cheese sticks, sultanas, mini rice cakes. And if they are still taking a bottle of milk or are breastfed, feeding during takeoff and landing is great for their ears.
For long haul flights there are also some great inflatable leg cushions out there like those from Kooshy Kids, that give toddlers more room to lay down and sleep, making everyone’s trip more comfortable and enjoyable!
STROLLERS AND COTS
We invested in a great travel stroller which was compact but reclined, allowing them to sleep comfortably. Our favourite was the Babyzen Yoyo, which folds up tiny but is so comfortable! Depending on where you are travelling you can also hire baby equipment from prams to cots, toys, high chairs and more. So it really depends how much you want to be carting around with you.
SLOW IT DOWN
As you know toddlers can be like ticking time bombs when overtired. So make sure you slow it down when they require it. A full on action packed holiday with tours every day and early starts is very likely going to be too much for little ones. Make sure you schedule days where your little one can just run freely at a park or spend the day swimming in the pool and taking their usual naps - a rested happy toddler makes for happy parents!
Dinner time with toddlers is always unpredictable depending on their mood - they can be tired, hangry (a hangry toddler is NOT FUN!) and ready to kick off at any moment. Try and stick to their normal dinner time, even if it means giving them an early dinner in the hotel room before you eat your dinner. We always take a little bag with toy cars, portable activity sets, or depending on their age some colouring or iPad to help keep them amused once they finish eating.
PICK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Depending on what accommodation style you are staying in, some resorts/hotels cater for toddlers and small children more than others. A hotel with a kids club was always a hit with my kids, even just an hour for them to take some time out from the sun and play with other kids and toys. And if you are really hanging for a kid free peaceful meal, organise a babysitter to stay with them for an hour or two to let you refresh and have a little break.
When it comes to travelling with both babies and toddlers, my only MUST have, never travel without product is hand sanitiser!! As you know toddlers just love to put their hands in their mouth and in places they shouldn’t - so this will be your lifesaver.
I hope my ‘Travelling with Toddler Tips’ are helpful when planning your next trip. As long as you are flexible and remember things don’t always go to plan, no matter who you are travelling with - then you will have a fantastic time!
April is a mobile travel consultant, travel blogger and mum of three and calls Perth home. Her family love to travel and share their tips and child-friendly destinations along the way. You can follow their adventures over at Globetrotting Grommets, on Instagram or Facebook.