If you were scared to travel with a baby, the real fun begins when you travel with a toddler. Let's just call traveling with a toddler "unpredictable." There are a few tricks over the last couple years that have helped my 13 hour flights or 3rd connection be less painful. None of which include drugging your child, but stuffing them full of pasta and making them extremely tired might be some of them.
When booking a ticket for your little one, you can special request a child's meal or call the airlines 24 hrs in advance for the request
Try to book a flight around nap time
For an early morning flight, I wake up the little one so they are exhausted by the time you board
Family lines- ask to cut lines- do what you need to do so that you don't have a toddler melt-down
Let your child walk (run, skip, roll) as much as possible, this reduces the need for your child to run laps around the plane
Try to find direct flights when possible, connections can be tough and stressful
When you have connecting flights, make sure you have enough time to catch your next flight (in the airline's magazine, you have a layout of your arrival airport, check out the map of the airport so you know where your next flight's gate is)
Avoid little toys! It's inevitable they will be everywhere (that also goes for cheerios) and the people behind you will be cleaning up toys the whole flight (not cool!)
The glorious iPad! I only let Luna use the iPad when we travel so she stays engaged for a longtime. Technology on airplane mode- works miracles.
Avoid SUGAR! Never do I ever let give sugar or candy to a child before a flight, cramped small spaces can really help a child to loose it
Bring snacks + drinks for long flights, those little ones can get hungry and you never know when you might have a delay or get stuck on the runway because of traffic
Sleep! There has been a theme here, but the easiest way to get through a flight with your toddler is some good ol' ZZZzzzzz's. Do not drug your child, but a full belly and lots of running around helps!
Potty Training- is tricky. I find they tend to need to go potty when you only have 15 mins to make your connection, lets just say its never the right time. I put on a diaper before a flight in case she falls into a deep sleep or we are unable to get to a potty during turbulance.
Meltdowns do happen, but try not to feed into them or they could get worse. Don't care about others around you, just do your best to calm your little one and occupy them.
Its still hard for toddlers ears during take off and landing. Make sure they have something to drink on take off and landing (if they aren't using pacifiers)
You will need a birth certificate if traveling domestic, state ID's can be issued, and a passport if you are traveling internationally (child passports are valid for 5 years).
If traveling alone with your child-especially out of the country- you need a letter from the other parent with a photo copy of their ID with their written permission. (They almost wouldn't let into Canada twice, grrrrr)
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