I’ve seen so many people asking for advice on social media on what to take and how to cope when travelling with a toddler. Having just been on a 10 day trip which included plane journeys and coach transfers, I wanted to share my experiences with you.
Harry is a very (VERY!) active toddler who rarely sits still, so although this was our second holiday abroad, we were still nervous. We tried to be as prepared as possible when it came to the trip, with hand luggage full of entertaining bits and bobs. We also stuck to a flight time under 2.5hrs and tried to choose times where Harry would be in a good mood/ready for a nap. Middle of the day proved the best time for us to travel.
Packing for the journey
– Snacks. We took Soreen, mini cheddars and raisins which kept harry happy. He also nailed our cadburys chocolate fingers on the plane!
– Carton of milk. You can take milk on flights, the cartons just need to be sealed and in a clear plastic bag. We also took on some cows milk in a tommee tippee bottle which you just show security as you go through. Sometimes they pop the milk bottle in a machine to scan.
– Dummy (or bottle). Planes can make children’s ears pop and it can be uncomfortable so anything they can suck on helps.
– Teething gel and calpol. Harry was teething when we travelled so a little uncomfortable, but the gel and calpol eased this and also helped with his ears hurting during the flight.
– Kindle or tablet. We were so pleased we had our Kindle Fire with us, loaded with Peppa Pig and Thomas the tank engine from Amazon Prime video. It was a lifesaver the whole holiday.
– Colouring/sticker book. We took a brand new Peppa Pig sticker book on the trip which distracted harry for quite a while.
– Toys. We found a small digger, police car and mini etch-a-sketch worked a treat.
– Sling. Once we had handed in our buggy when boarding, we popped harry in the sling so he was safe and secure and gave us an extra pair of hands to carry the hand luggage.
The holiday – what to pack
– Swimwear and swim nappies.
– Arm bands. These were brill for the big pool and we bought some inflatables for the baby pool whilst we were out there.
– Lots of tshirts. If your child has a tendancy to wipe their hands on their tshirt like mine, plenty of tshirts is a must!
– Sunglasses and sun hat. We took both, under the assumption that Harry wouldn’t wear either! He actually wore his hat but wasn’t as keen on the sunglasses! Harry had a sun hat for during the day and a swim hat for when he was in the pool.
– Snooze Shade. Our friends very kindly leant us their snoozeshade which was brill. It covers the buggy so kids can snooze protected from the sun. We used this everyday.
– Buggy. We love our Joie buggy. Although Harry is very independent and wants to walk everywhere, the buggy was perfect for daytime naps and evening chill outs before bedtime.
– Nappies and wipes. We underestimated quantities and had to pay extortionate prices on the resort. We planned for 4 nappies per day (assuming harry would spend a lot of time in swim nappies) but averaged around 6 per day. I think it was a combination of him eating and drinking more but also more frequent changes between swim nappies.
For boys we found M&S, Zara, H&M and Next the best for holiday clothes. They were all well priced and had some lovely summery designs. We bought Harry’s swimwear from John Lewis and it was great quality and looked adorable.
Try and choose a family friendly resort – our hotel was great as it was full of families meaning there was always a child shouting louder than yours!!!!
Our transfer time was over an hour on a coach but this turned out to be the least stressful part of the journey! Harry sat in his own seat with a seatbelt on and he was amazing! It gave us an insight into how much more settled he may be on the plane when we pay for his own seat once he turns two (you don’t pay for children on flights until they are two. Before then, they sit on your lap with an extender belt provided by the airline).
My advice is to be chilled with your routine. Harry adapted well and enjoyed the mini disco and evening entertainment so he often had a later bedtime than normal. Bonus was he slept in a little later for us but do what feels right for you – we followed Harry’s lead and it worked for us.
Although travelling with a child/children can be daunting, the worry is worse than the actual travelling! We have made so many lovely memories from our latest holiday so it’s well worth taking the plunge if you are considering it.
I hope this has been helpful for anyone taking a trip – have a great holiday!
If anyone would like recommendations for where we stayed and who we travelled with, please drop me an email to Sophiefirstname.lastname@example.org.