You’re preparing for your next family vacation and you couldn’t be more excited to spend some quality time away from home with the people you love most. At the same time, you have some reservations about traveling with your toddler for the first time. After all, there’s a reason parents call them the “terrible twos.” They’re walking, grabbing and eating things that were never meant to be consumed. So how will you – and all of the other passengers – survive a three-hour (or more) long flight with them? Planning, planning and more planning. These tips for air travel with toddlers will help you get started.
Maintain a Set Schedule
As with children of any age, routines are crucial to making the day run smoothly (or as smoothly as it can with Cheerios flying around, arguments between siblings over belongings and mid-afternoon temper tantrums). Try to pick a flight that falls within your child’s regular nap time and bring items that are familiar to them on the plane, like a soft blanket or a beloved stuffed animal. If this is their first time flying, this familiarity will help ease them into the new situation.
Bring Activities (and Snacks) on the Flight
Make sure to have several activities and snacks on the flight to keep your child busy. Go with tried-and-true toys you know your child enjoys playing with, as well as a few of their favorite healthy snacks. When packing toys or activities for your child, avoid items with individual pieces that could become messy, such as building blocks. Also, leave noisy toys at home, such as talking dolls. The other passengers sitting close by will appreciate it.
If you’ve ever tried navigating through an airport while holding children and luggage, you know it’s quite a juggling act. Skip the circus and maintain your sanity with luggage that rolls, and that isn’t too heavy. While investing in child-sized luggage with wheels is a great idea for older children that are able to pull it, for toddlers, it’s just another bag that you will have to carry. Instead, pack your toddler’s clothes and shoes in with your own, and pack a much smaller bag for items that you want to be easily accessible on the plane, such as diapers, activities and snacks. The less baggage you have to carry (and pay for) the better.
Choose an Aisle Seat
While, typically, you may prefer to sit by the window, easy access to the restroom becomes critical when traveling with toddlers. There's nothing like waking up the person next to you in order to take your child to the restroom ... every 15 minutes. Reserving an aisle seat will make for an easier exit when nature calls.
Invest in Travel Insurance for Your Child
As traveling with toddlers has its own inherent challenges, RoamRight makes at least one step in the process easier: Family Travel Insurance. So if you want to ensure that you aren’t responsible to pay for a flight that you have to cancel last minute, baggage that gets lost by an airline or medical emergencies that occur while away from home, our Elite, Preferred and Essential plans include coverage for one child per covered related adult, at no additional cost.
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