Although I may not have any kids, I’ve taken enough flights with kids on board to know that traveling with a toddler doesn’t seem easy. Thankfully, once the plane landed, I was able to go my separate way and was free from the crying and screaming that filled the cabin for the better part of the ride.
If, however, leaving a child behind (either at home or on the plane) isn’t an option, here are a few tips to make traveling with toddlers easier – or at least bearable – from expert Taryn Mohrman at Parents.com. Here’s to a stress-free vacation!
- Tough Situation: Flying High – Leading up to the day of departure, Mohrman suggests building “positive anticipation for the journey” by giving the child a toy plane or pointing out airplanes in the sky. She also recommends packing old and new toys on the trip to engage them. At the airport, Mohrman advises parents to let their child burn off some energy before they board by having them push a smaller suitcase around the waiting area or riding escalators. Finally, once your in the air, Mohrman says to “narrate everything” to reduce their anxiety.
- Tough Situation: Driving the Distance – Mohrman says to prepare for a long road trip by thinking up plenty of “interactive play ideas in advance” such as the I Spy game or reading a story. Once you pull out of the driveway, it’s important to engage the toddler immediately so he/she won’t mind taking a break a little later. Mohrman says parents should also be prepared to make rest stops every hour or two so the child can stretch. Good detours include pet shops, a library, or a park. If the child has a breakdown, Mohrman says it may be best to pull over and climb in the back with the little one to give them some company.
- Tough Situation: Staying Overnight – Flip through photos of the hotel or the place you will be staying before you leave to help prep the child for the trip. Once you arrive, Mohrman advises parents to let children adjust before asking them to socialize. Finally, when it’s time to go to bed, Mohrman suggests sticking to the child’s normal routine.
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