We took E to Florida in October and I know for months ahead of the flight I worried, and planned so before you step on that plane, I thought I'd share some of my tips for traveling with a toddler.
1. Be Techno Ready - get the iPad or Kindle or whatever technological tool you're planning on taking charged up and loaded with lots of apps. Make sure you know which apps need WIFI to work and which don't. On the flight to Hawaii, we had no WIFI so I had to remember which ones he could use.
Our Favorite Apps:
- PBSkids.org (needs Wifi) - provides clips from all the kids shows available on PBS. Keeps E busy for hours.
- Pocoyo (Needs Wifi) - A british kids character. The app plays the little 3-5 minute episodes. It does take WIFI but you can also download them to your iPad so they can be accessed without it.
- Daniel Tiger's World - (Does not need WIFI) - An app that lets kids explore Daniel Tiger's world. A great interactive app
- Elmo's ABCs (Does not need WIFI) - Another interactive app that helps kids learn their ABC's. It has an option to let them trace the letters.
- Freshwater HD (Does not need WIFI) - It's basically a fish tank but it has a choo-choo that drives through it frequently so E loves to watch for it. You can also feed the fish and play with bubbles.
- Shapes (Does not need WIFI) - A great interactive app that lets kids learn their shapes.
- Windosill (Does not need WIFI) - A problem solving app that I originally bought for my husband and I but E has really taken to it. He loves trying to solve the puzzles.
3. Time Wasters - The dollar store or the dollar isles at Target are the perfect place to shop for these little trinkets. I think I spent about $10 and got E a plethora of little toys, crayons, games, etc to keep him preoccupied. In most cases, they may only work for a little while but having variety will keep him busy for a while. Put each one in a different baggie or wrap it to add to the fun (and time it takes to get to the gift).
On the plane
1. Make sure all the goodies are at arms reach and not in the overhead. Depending on where you sit, getting to those treasures might be a challenge.
2. Create a comfortable feel. If you're a nervous traveler, try to think as positively as possible. Kids sense the nervousness and adds to their nervousness. If your tot has a teddy, blanket, or other lovie, make sure to have them. I know we will be taking E's super giant teddy and blanket.
3. Stay cool. If a meltdown does happen, try to stay cool. I know that's easier said than done but keeping a level head will keep everyone on the plane at ease.
4. Make sure all the things needed for diaper changes are also at arms length.
5. Have something to drink ready for take offs and landings. To help them equalize the pressure in their ears.
Hopefully those tips will help you have less stressful travel. Flying with kids doesn't have to be a nightmare if you're prepared.
What are your tips?
Merry Christmas and safe travels!