As many of you know Hubby and I are headed to Cabo soon with The Twincesses, which I’ve obviously been packed and ready to go for over a month now, not even kidding. The thought of being unprepared or forgetting something gives me MAJOR anxiety. Justin thinks I’m totally nuts. I literally packed The Twincesses suitcases in mid November because I was organizing their closet and dressers anyhow, and figured I’d get it out of the way!
This will be our third trip to Cabo with The Twincesses. We went when they were 2 months old, 18 months, and now this time they’ll be a little over 3 years old. People think that flying with babies is hard, but that’s a lie. It was honestly WAY easier flying with the girls on our first trip to Mexico than it was the second time around. Babies just sleep and eat. Toddlers are a whole other ball game.
I learned a lot after flying with The Twincesses last time, and this time I’m much better prepared. So, I thought I’d share with you my tips for travelling with toddlers. Happy flying Momma’s!
1) Snacks: This is probably the single most important thing you can pack on board for your kids. There is nothing worse than a hangry toddler, and airplane food is not only disgusting, it costs about the same as a year at college. Food is also a great form of bribery, distraction and time consumer. Make sure to include special treats like lollipops or other candy for when you sense a tantrum is nearby, and then bribe, bribe, bribe for good behaviour. Trust me, an airplane full of people is not the time to worry about a little sugar.
2) Activities: Absoutely essential to any type of travelling. Bring Crayons, coloring books, playdoh, stickers, lego, barbies, books…etc. Literally anything your child likes and that can entertain him or her for a while.
3) Technology: Whether it’s a child’s tablet, an Ipad, portable DVD player, or a cell phone, anything that your kiddo can use to watch a show or play games on will save everyone from a full blown toddler tantrum once snacks and activities are no longer keeping your kid’s attention occupied.
4) Emergency Supplies: This can be clothing, diapers, wipes, food…etc Basically anything you think you’ll need, try to pack a few extra if you can. Airplane bathrooms are always occupied, so getting your kid in may be harder than you think, and an accident could happen! Like a girl scout, always be prepared!
5) Do Your Research: Check your airlines website for info on what you can and can’t bring on board, and in your luggage. Before checking I had no clue that most items required for baby’s and toddlers are free of charge to bring on airplanes and that diaper bags don’t count as your carry on or personal item!
6) Toddler Leash: Yep, I said it. Airports are big, and toddlers are fast. My lil monsters don’t use a stroller anymore, like refuse to even get in one ’cause that would be too easy and helpful. So if you’re like me and have multiple children, and carry-on bags, a toddler bag with attached leash may be your best bet to ensure your little one doesn’t get distracted and run off. I was one of those people who thought it was crazy to put children on leashes…and then I had twins, who are insane. So now I use backpack leashes for The Twincesses when we travel and I’m always ready to give anyone who glares or makes comments the middle finger, and a few four letter words that I shouldn’t type…
7) Time Management: Give yourself a ton of extra time. Time to get ready before leaving for the airport, time to drive there, time to navigate the airport, time to check in, go through security, bathroom breaks, time to board…etc. When you have kids everything takes longer, and if you’re running late or rushing you’ll be stressed, and are bound to forget something.
8) Burn Energy: Before boarding time, let your toddler walk around, explore and play. Do anything and everything you can to burn off energy so that your toddler will be able to sit still, relax, and maybe even fall asleep while on the airplane.
9) Make Lists: List everything you’ll need to pack for your child’s suitcase, carry-on and diaper bag (if applicable) before packing. This will ensure you have everything you need for your trip and your flight. Nothing would be worse than a toddler freaking out on the plane all because you forgot their favorite toy at home.
10) Fear: When all else fails and your children start going crazy, I find scare tactics to be quite effective. Yep, I’m that mom. When The Twincesses are going bat shit crazy and destroying the house, hurting each other and just being total terrors, I tell them that the police are going to come and take them away. I will absolutely say this if necessary. You can use whatever works for your kid. The boogeyman, police, aliens, whatever works!
When it comes down to it, flying with toddlers is about survival. If you have to chuck your “no sugar before noon” rule out the window, so be it. Just remember that no matter how much planning and preparing you do, toddlers are unpredictable, unreasonable, and irrational (but adorable) little monsters, and that there will likely be tears at some point during your flight…possibly your own. Try not to stress, and if you have to order an adult beverage during your flight, go for it Momma, you deserve it!
Do you have any tips or tricks for flying with toddlers or young children? Let me know in the comments!