Travelling with Toddlers

I write this after a 3 hour flight with a 2 year old.  It seemed a good moment to think about all the things we can do to make these experiences bearable.  As a WoMo, I am sure many of us are working the day before we travel which in itself is a stress we could well do without.  

So what are the top tips for travelling with mini people?

  • Plan Plan Plan.  You cannot underestimate the planning part.  Get a bag in your toddlers bedroom 2-3 days before and start putting things into it.  Then you will realise what is a) in the wash, b) missing or c) too small
  • Take entertainment. Download Thomas the Tank Engine (or equivalent) onto your phone, iPad or any other device, and remember the earphones.  A flight is not the moment to uphold your screen time rules.
  • Remember nappies. And remember to have them on the plane.  I messed up and put them all in the hold once.... I wont even begin to tell you how much my neighbouring passengers loved me by the end of that flight!!!
  • Leave a morning list. Put a list on top of the bag, or somewhere obvious for the day you depart.  This is for things like a) the cuddly toy that needs to be in the bed the night before and is therefore not in the bag b) the cup that is in the dishwasher and c) any other useful item you think you need to make sure you have at the last minute.  I normally add PASSPORT to this list!
  • Try and take a deep breath.  It's stressful travelling with small people.  Try and avoid fractious words at the airport which can quickly descend into family meltdown.  And when you toddler decides the best place for a lie down is in the middle of the airport, take another deep breath!
  • Remember the car seat.  Yup... on this trip, we drove to the airport with the car seat in the car (obviously), got through security and realised said car seat was STILL in the car! That's a cheeky 70 Euros we didn't need to give the hire car company!

And on a final note, remember a cardy or a jumper.  There I was, all bigged up about a sunny trip from a sunny London to sunny Italy, only to find my 2 year old was chilly on the plane and I wrapped him in my jumper while I froze.  Yup, its basic, but I forgot.  And that is the curse of working the day before and then going out for dinner.  I have one word for myself:  Foolish