The Best Travel Ideas for Families With Toddlers to keep your vacation moving and your sanity intact.
Whether you have a child that’s just entering the terrible twos, your toddler is soon to start pre-school, or you’ve got a couple of kids in the 1- to 3-year-old category, you have probably become aware of the difficulties of traveling with toddlers. Not only do you have to deal with the same concerns as you would with babies, including feeding, fussiness, and the onus to keep them distracted so that they don’t aggravate other travelers, you also have to worry about them wandering off in terminals. But even if you decide to forego public transit options like planes, trains, buses, and so on by taking a road trip, you’re going to have all those hours in the car to contend with, a situation that could be difficult with energetic and inquisitive toddlers. So how can you ensure an easier a trip with fewer headaches when you’re traveling with tiny tots? Here are a few tips to help you out.
For one thing, you need to weigh the hassles of airline versus car travel, and several factors may come into play. For example, does your child experience motion sickness? If you’re not sure, a long car trip may not be the best way to discover this pertinent fact. On the other hand, having a sick child on a crowded airplane could be even less desirable. Another thing to think about is how your toddlers handle the excitement. If they tend to get anxious or animated in situations where they’re dealing with crowds or unfamiliar settings, then travel by car may help to keep them calm and comfortable during your trip. Of course, if you’re going a great distance, you might not have this option.
In truth, you can find ways to combat all kinds of travel issues that you may face with toddlers. For starters, you want to keep them close whenever you’re dealing with crowded terminals. It’s all too easy to lose a toddler if you divert your attention for even a moment, say to hand tickets over to a TSA agent or hoist your bags onto the conveyor belt at the security screening. Curious toddlers unaware of the danger of getting lost may wander away without hesitation. For this reason, you should not only consider an attachment of some sort (like a baby leash), but also equip your toddlers with identification and contact information, as well as keep a current photo on your person to give to the authorities.
As for seeing to your toddler’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being throughout the trip, there are several options. You should begin by ensuring that he has comfort items such as a favorite blanket, toy, or book. These items will provide flashes of familiarity that can help to calm him in unfamiliar surroundings and situations. You should also plan for a variety of distractions. A tablet can be extremely helpful here, offering books, music, movies, and games to entertain your toddler in the airport and throughout the duration of the flight. Snacks are another must, and those that require some work to eat (string cheese, cheerios, etc.) can do double duty as time-killers. Just avoid high-sugar snacks that could leave him bouncing off the walls one minute and devolve into a tantrum the next.
Depending on the age of your toddler, you might also give him “important” tasks to do. For example, consider getting him to take responsibility for his backpack, or to make sure that his plush puppy is comfortable and happy on the journey. Whether you’re going to visit relatives or you’ve decided to rent luxurious holiday apartments in Rome, travel can be extremely taxing for both you and your toddler. So make the situation easier for everyone by planning ahead and making sure that you have all of your ducks in a row for your trip. It could make a world of different for you and your toddler, and your fellow travelers will appreciate your forethought, as well.
You may also enjoy these 5 Top Safety Tips for Traveling with Kids.