Monday, June 5, 2017

Traveling with toddlers: Airplane essentials


I get a lot of questions about traveling with the girls!  Traveling with toddlers can be a crapshoot.  They're usually either really good or their behavior resembles a feral cat.  I will be the first to admit, my girls are USUALLY super easygoing travelers.  They have always been great, especially on airplanes... until our last trip to Disneyland.  Our entire day was delayed, turning our hour and forty-five minute flight into an all day (8.5 hour) travel day.  When we finally landed in California, there was construction at the airport which caused us to have to taxi in the airplane for about an hour.  This is when the girls started to lose it (which was also coincidentally when Eric and I started sweating through our clothes as we felt ALL eyes turn to us), but I was able to somewhat hold things together because I was prepared!

I am self admittedly an over-packer, BUT I am also always prepared for the very worst.  Through all of our flights I have come up with a lengthy, but really useful packing list.  I usually bring my diaper bag with all of the usual items (diapers, wipes, etc.) and then a second "plane bag" with additional toys, activities, snacks, and extra clothes.  Now that the girls are getting older, I got them their own backpacks and they can carry their own toys and snacks (so I only have to carry one bag!).  Plus the girls looked SO cute walking through the airport with their little pink backpacks!  Below you will find everything I bring when we're traveling, let me know if you have any questions in a comment below!


What I bring in my diaper bag 
(I always travel with a diaper bag that can be worn as a backpack, my favorite is my Fawn Design bag):
-Diapers & wipes
-Extra clothes and underwear, for each kid, even if they are very much potty trained.
-An extra shirt for me.  Sloan threw up all over me on a plane once.  I never travel without an extra shirt for myself now!
-Pacifiers/comfort items.  Even if you aren't traveling during nap time, your travel plans could be delayed and your kiddo may need to nap while traveling.  Make sure you have their comfort/sleep items on hand.
-Snacks
-Bib
-Covered Goods nursing cover.  Even though I'm not nursing right now, I never leave the house without my Covered Goods nursing cover.  I have found countless uses for it, including tying it on Sloan like a skirt when she had an accident and I didn't have any extra clothes for her!
-Swaddle blanket.  I always bring a small swaddle blanket just in case one of the girls needs to nap.
-Infant/childrens Tylenol
-Hand sanitizer
-Disposable bags.  If you do have an accident, you will be so glad you have bags to contain messy items.
-Gum and suckers, for takeoff and landing to help them pop their ears.
-My personal items (phone, wallet, chapstick, etc.)


What I bring in my "plane bag"/the girls backpacks
I bought the girls these little pink backpacks for our most recent trip!
-NEW toys, books, and activities (see what I brought for the girls on our last flight below).  I will usually throw in one or two of the girls favorite toys, but I try to stock their backpacks with a few new toys, books, and activities.  Giving them new toys keeps them engaged for a lot longer (and quiet!).
-iPad and headphones
-Snacks.  All the snacks.  I usually pack each girl a ziplock bag full of their favorite/non messy snacks.  For the girls I usually pack the strawberry toddler mum mums, fruit snacks, crackers, nuts, and dried fruit.  I don't pack anything that could potentially be messy like granola bars (melty chocolate fingers, no thanks) or applesauce.
-Sippy cup.  Whether we're on a road trip or an airplane, I always bring each girl a sippy cup.  My favorites are the Re-play sippy cups because they never ever leak.  This comes in handy when the girls want water on the airplane-I don't have to worry about their cup falling off their tray and soaking their laps
-Sweaters.  It gets cold on planes!

Like I said, I always bring the girls a few new toys, books, and activities when we're traveling.  I always bring new items because those items will keep them busy, quiet, and engaged for an extended period of time.  For Sloan (just turned four) I brought a tape activity book, a letter tracing book, a princess look and find book (Sloan is obsessed with find it books and can do them by herself now which keeps her busy forever), and some new princess figurine toys.  For Phayre (21 months) I brought some Monster's Inc. figurines, a new baby doll and bottle (P is obsessed with baby dolls, she always has one under her arm), and a color wonder coloring book and markers (highly highly recommend these for younger toddlers).  I also brought them each a book or two, a little notebook, and a ton of stickers (they will sit and stick stickers on paper forever).  If you have an older toddler, play dough is another great activity that they can play with on their airplane tray table.

Another super fun idea when traveling on an airplane is to bring a pack of the little gel window clings (you can find them in the dollar section at Target usually).  I did this with Sloan once and she spent at least half the flight rearranging them on the window.  I did not do it this last time because we only had one window seat and the girls definitely would have fought over doing this.  Hashtag sister probz.

I hope these lists were helpful!  My best advice is stay relaxed and try your best to go with the flow.  Unfortunately travel plans can be delayed or change and it's important to set the tone for your kiddos. Stay calm and order yourself a glass of prosecco, even if it is in a tiny plastic airplane cup and cost you $7, it is more than worth it my friend ;).

Xo,

M

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