So after much success with my blog post on travelling with a baby, I decided to write one for travelling with a toddler. I was inundated with questions last week about travelling with Lily now. Lily is nearly 19 months and very much on the move. She was on the move for our Orlando trip at Christmas so this wasn’t our first time with her on holidays walking.
Let me first point out that travelling with a toddler is a total different ball game than travelling with a baby. Give me travelling with a baby any day over travelling with a toddler. When Lily was a baby she wasn’t able to move so this was heaven, whereas now she wants to not walk but run everywhere. Lily also is extremely fearless and nothing really phases her. If you’re a mama reading this and you have a baby under 1, I urge you to read my travelling with a baby blog post HERE and do it. Travel as much as you can before they are on the move.
A good stroller is key for both the airport and on holiday. We have the BabyZen YOYO which is a foldable stroller than fits in the overhead locker on the plane. This is hands down the best thing and most used item that we got for Lily. It fits into a bag so perfect for travelling and means no waiting at the other end for a buggy to come out. I highly recommend getting a stroller that folds up and is light & easy to push/carry. We got a parasol for it too for the sun and you can get loads of really cool accessories for it also. You can have a look at it and buy it HERE. This is the stroller for 6months + but you can also get a newborn insert too. NOTE: This is not an affiliated link.
I’ve broken it down into 4 sections so it’s easy to read.
PACKING FOR THE FLIGHT & THE TRIP
- Make sure you have some bits and pieces for the flight to keep them distracted. Little toys, books, iPad, a soft blanket, snacks, snacks and more snacks for the flight. Also make sure to bring one or two changes of clothes for them in your carry on too, just incase of any accidents.
- Take antibacterial wipes for the tray tables if you wish and for their hands throughout the flight also.
- Make sure you pack extra nappies/extra wipes just incase. You never ever know but always best to have more than needed.
- An inflatable for the pool. We had a small inflatable for Lily when she was a baby and then we got the unicorn we have now. You can get them when you are there or before you go. But it’s so handy for the pool. Lily’s not ready for arm bands yet so this was great.
- A small ball. Lily along with many other toddlers loved playing with her ball. This gave her hours of fun on the holiday. It meant we could play with her too and she loved it.
- Having a comfy pair of runners and sandals is key. The will probably walk around barefoot for a lot of the trip but two or three pairs of shoes is enough.
- Some home comforts like snacks from home they are used too. I also brought Lily’s plate we use at home and bibs of course too.
- Don’t do a me and bring the wrong size nappies with you. Personally we bring nappies from home always as nappies can be so expensive when you are there. We paid €13.95 for a small pack in a supermarket across the road from our hotel. Bring more than you think you’ll need too.
- Buying them an all in one swimsuit is so much handier for the sun. We got two cute ones in Next and H&M which covered her up. A little sun hat too is a must.
- Here’s a couple of cute all in one swimsuits for boys and girls I found online from Next. I think the sunsafe suits are the best and Lily will absolutely be wearing them for the foreseeable future. They are so much handier than swimsuits and at least you know they are covered. One less thing to worry about.
- In terms of sun cream, we have used P20 on Lily since she was born and not once has she burned. Whatever works for you. Nivea is also great and comes in factor 50 too.
- Lastly a cool little thing that we got for this trip & used for the first time was Savvisand. It’s a product that comes with a brush and removes sand easily from wet skin. It came in very handy for us, me included so I said I’d mention it.
AT THE AIRPORT
When travelling with small tots, I always always say give yourself a bit of extra time. Go 45 mins before you would normally if it was just yourself and himself. The last thing you want to be is stressed so leaving yourself some extra time will be a blessing.
I recommend to any parent when travelling to do FAST TRACK at any airport the go too if it’s available. Check your airports website to see if it’s available. Dublin Airport do it and it’s worth every cent you pay. It’s €6.95 and you go through a different part of security which is 70% of the time much much quicker than regularly security. You can book it HERE.
Food wise. Any food & water you bring with you will need to be tested by security so I recommend keeping all their bits in a small bag so it’s easier for you to take out at security. There’s no limits on how much you can bring with you. Only pack enough for the flight and when you get there. Pack the rest in your suitcase.
There are so many little gadgets out there now to buy toddlers for travelling. Lily wouldn’t be able to use a scooter yet but I’ve seen people bring on foldable scooters onboard which were handy for their little ones to get around the airport and distract them. Our next flight with Lily is to Dubai in April and it’s a night flight so we’ll be investing in something for this flight for her. I’ll talk more about these as Lily gets older and we use them.
TIPS FOR THE FLIGHT
- Ask at check in if there are any free seats or rows available. It’s always best to have an aisle seat for them/you as easier for you to get in and out
- Remember they are going to want to move more than normal as any restrictions for the toddler, well they don’t like. So walk up and down with them if they want.
- Having all the above items should totally distract them.
Remember that no matter how much they scream, cry or go mad, we were all babies once. Ignore any dirty looks from anybody and expect them, as people can be so rude. Most of all remember it’s only A FLIGHT, you’ll be at the other side before you know it and all be enjoying your family holiday. That few hours on the flight will all be worth it, I promise you.
ON YOUR HOLIDAY
So when they are babies, you can drink and enjoy yourself like normal with little worry as they don’t move however when the can RUN. Ohhh your eyes are firmly on them 24/7.
Personally for us, we let Lily decide the routine when we are away. It’s less stressful if you do it this way and I promise you’ll have a less stressful holiday. We went about our morning like usual then when we could see it was nap time we took her for a lie down. We both knew if we kept her on a lounger by the beach club or pool she would just want to get in & never nap so we took her to the room. It’s also the strongest time for the sun between 12-3 so it was perfect. Now staying down by the pool might work for you but this worked for us.
Another person asked about keeping Lily awake at night. We kept to her 8/8.30pm bedtime like at home. Depending on how we were feeling ourselves we either went back to the room or she slept in the stroller. We didn’t keep her up as she would be too cranky if we did.
HYDRATE HYDRATE! Keep a small drinks bottle with water on you at all times. They can’t communicate fully that they want water so I found it handy to have it in the back of the stroller everywhere we went.
When Lily wasn’t in the pool, the sandpit or running around we kept her in the shade under the parasol. She happily sat eating snacks and ice cream after being in the pool. Snacks are great to have by the pool and we brought some from home so this helped in between meals for sure.
So there you have it 🙂 I hope you find it helpful.
Love Aoibhe xxx