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How I (Barely!) Survive Travelling with Toddlers

I get asked so often what it’s like travelling with two toddlers and what we do to make it SMOOTH. Well … I’ll be the first to admit. It’s a GONG SHOW and I am by no means an expert! LOL! Up until now, it has been prettyyyy easy travelling with the kids as Annie wasn’t walking much and we would really just have to deal with Leo. But now that Annie is on the move … things are a little bit different!! Thankfully Leo is now at the age where we can just give him an iPad and he will be occupied but Annie, on the other hand, is on the MOVE and determined to do anything BUT sit still. LOL!

Last time he went to Hawaii Leo just watched TV the whole time and everything was fine and dandy and when we took the red-eye home he slept pretty much the whole way! However, he was 2.5 at that time (not 3.5!) and he needed his sleep!

Well, things were a little bit different during our last family trip to LA! LOL! We were lucky enough to be upgraded to First Class but other than slightly bigger seats and wine and meals this does not change a ton when you are travelling with toddlers. Let me explain. LOL! On the way to LA Leo watched TV almost the entire time and then luckily both Leo and Annie fell asleep … we thought we had this whole “travelling with toddlers” thing in the bag. We were so excited for our flights back because it was a red-eye and we thought the kids would be sleepy … well, just because you are in first-class does not mean you are immune to the shitshow of what it’s really like travelling with toddlers.

Annie was a wild child on this flight. She was walking everywhere, wouldn’t sit still, crying and screaming when we tried to sit her down … nothing was making her happy other than running around making a scene. LOL! Leo ended up falling asleep watching TV and then randomly woke up just screaming. It was chaos, to say the least.

Honestly, there is no rhyme or reason to this whole travelling with toddlers situation. Some flights are a DREAM and some flights feel as though you are on an episode of Survivor just trying to stay alive. It obviously depends on your own kiddos and how well they travel … it depends on the duration of the flight, how smooth the flight is, how the kids are feeling, etc. There are SO many factors and I honestly think the only thing we can do as parents is to make sure we are prepared as best as we can be. It’s our only saving grace. LOL!

When it comes to my personal experience and the ups and downs we have been through travelling with both kids, I would say the that TWO things I couldn’t live without while travelling with the kids would be:

1. A fully charged iPad with Bluetooth Headphones

I’m sure once Annie gets a little bit older we will have to bring two iPad’s but for now, this only works to entertain Leo. The reason why we bring Bluetooth headphones is that kids and cords don’t mix well, they are always tangled!

2. Munchie Mugs FILLED to the brim with snacks!

If you have kids and you don’t have Munchie Mugs … you need to RUN (do not walk!! LOL!) and pick some up! They are game-changing! You can jam-pack these cups with snacks and they don’t spill and are easily accessible for the kids!

When it comes to anything beyond these key items I always go with the concept of “less is more”. Personally I find it frustrating when we have too much stuff with us. Don’t get me wrong, we bring much more with us than those items listed above but we don’t get carried away with things we bring. I’ll share the rest of my necessities below!

3. Sippy Cup for each kid

We all know that having water (or milk, for that matter!) for your kids is very important to have on hand at all times! I love the Thermos Mugs for each kid because it keeps fluids at the proper temperature whether they are supposed to be warm or cold!

4. Pack extra diapers and wipes

You never know when there could be a blowout or an issue with travel so I always make sure to have extra diapers and wipes on hand. Wipes also come in handy for … EVERYTHING. I can’t even count the time I have used wipes for cleaning up a mess other than the mess that is ON my kids! LOL!

5. Always have spare snacks

Even though I bring both of the kids their loaded Munchie mugs, I always make sure to bring extra granola bars and gummies to make sure we have something on hand! I also pack Tic Tacs because they are a small treat and double as a GREAT bartering tool! If Leo is starting to act up I’ll let him know that he can have one Tic Tac as long as he sits still and is quiet … if he is able to do so, then he will get another Tic Tac! LOL! Sometimes us parents sure get creative … don’t we?! LOL!

Oh! And … just before takeoff, we like to give the kids either a bottle, soother, or gum to help with their ears!

6. Wear medium coloured clothes

When we travel I like to dress the kids in medium coloured clothes (or something with a pattern!) so that spills and stains don’t show up as much. I make sure to pack them an extra set of clothes in each of their backpacks and when we land I like to get everyone changed into a nice fresh, clean set of clothes! When we went to LA I dressed myself and Annie in our light grey Smash + Tess Rompers and it didn’t take long for both of us to get dirty then I was wishing we had worn our darker Rompers!

7. Bring a couple of bigger toys and books

I like to bring a transformer for Leo and typically a stuffie for Annie when we travel. I don’t like packing smaller items like lego and crayons with us when we travel because they roll off the tray and get lost under the seat … it just becomes more work than anything!! I also avoid bringing toys that light up or make noises, for the sake of everyone else travelling on the same plane!

I don’t really have any advice for napping and sleeping kids on the plane other than making sure their bellies are full of milk, water, and food prior to taking off in hopes they will be comfortable and satisfied enough to go to sleep! There is something that I have always wanted to try but haven’t yet – it’s called the JetKids Bed Box which is essentially a seat extender for kids so they can lay down in their seat and have a nap!

When we travel we also like to bring our Bugaboo Ant with us, we love it because you can fold it up and it fits in the above head storage! Also, if you have kids that are close in age, you can get the skateboard attachment so one kid can sit upfront and the other kid can ride on the attachment! You can wheel them right onto the plane in the Bugaboo Ant and leave them in there until you are ready to sit down!

We have also travelled with our Clek Car Seats before, they are amazing to have on your travels and they come with their own carry bag so we actually used this as a spot to store extra items like toys, diapers, and wipes because car seats are allowed on board for free!

What I pack in my carry-on

I always make sure I bring my Fawn Design backpack with me as a carry-on, this is where I store the extra diapers, wipes, snacks, a mini medical emergency kit (filled with Gravol, Tylenol, band-aids, etc.!), I always make sure to bring my Saje Pocket Farmacy with me everywhere I go!

My last and most important piece of advice … order yourself a glass of wine. LOL!

Happy travels!



Leave a Reply

  1. I don’t think the Clek car seats come with the travel bag. I think you unfortunately have to spend quite a bit more money to purchase one. They seem incredible!

  2. Thank you so much for this post! It is very timely for me as we are leaving on Tuesday for Cuba with our 7 year old and 3 year old. They have both been on planes previously, but it has been a while, and I’m a bit nervous in the lead up to what our 5 hour flight plus wait time will entail. Some great points – especially, the less is more idea. I had the kids’ back packs full (and were too heavy). I’ll be reorgainzing them this weekend based on your suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here!

  3. I got one of these amazing things when I traveled by myself with my 18 month old and 3 yr old over the holidays. It was so nice to have, compact and easy to inflate. I didn’t buy a seat for my little one so when one of them wasn’t sleeping she had somewhere to sit. Inflatable Travel Foot Rest Pillow | Kids Airplane Bed | Adjustable Height Leg Pillow | Make a Flat Bed for Kids and Toddlers | Great for Airplane, Train, car (Grey, 2-Pack)

  4. I don’t know why I never thought of blue tooth headphones. My son is always pulling cord out. Just ordered the ones you recommended.

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