Saturday, July 9, 2011

Travel Tips for Toddlers?

It's that time of year again. It's shaping up to be an annual tradition for us to take a quick summer vacation out to California to see my family each summer, and that trip will be taking place in just over two weeks. As such, I'm interested in any and all tips that may come in handy when traveling with a toddler, especially given that she will NOT have her own seat. Not to out myself as the cheapest person alive, but I just couldn't spare the extra $350 when she could technically still fly for free. Ask me how I feel about that decision after the trip, though.

Anyhow, I know I saw somewhere a great toy that clipped or suctioned to the airplane seat back trays and gave someone's child hours of fun. If the mama that posted that great invention is reading this (I cannot for the life of me remember who it was - sorry!), can you please let me in on the secret?

Other than that, what should I pack to take on the plane with me? What are things you packed that you didn't actually need, or things you wished you had? Any anyone with successful ideas on how to keep my extremely energetic and rambunctious toddler from going berserk will be handsomely rewarded...not sure with what yet, but I'll keep thinking on it ;)

Two weeks until vacation leaves just enough time to make a zillion Target trips and turn to Amazon for anything I can't find! Thanks, ladies!


  1. Three words: Portable. DVD. Player. (Or is that five words?) We're not big video watchers, but we borrowed a portable DVD player from a friend for a 2.5-hour road trip a few weeks ago, and Anne loved being able to watch Elmo while we traveled. She didn't complain a single time about being cooped up in the car. I think we're actually going to buy one before our next trip.

  2. Oops, I meant to write 3.5-hour road trip. I thought the trip would be a nightmare, but the DVD player was a godsend.

  3. Good luck! I've heard great things about DVD players, too, but Shelby isn't into them yet. We brought books and some other small toys, but Shelby mostly threw them. Food. Bring lots of snacks. That did help occupy her. We also got one of those cheap sand buckets at Target. Shelby "stirred" in it for a while on the plane. Hey, every minute counts! If you have a baby carrier, bring it. I had to strap Shelby to me to contain during our April trip. She hated it, but trying to keep her in my lap otherwise was a huge challenge.

  4. I hear you! I'm a little more nervous about this upcoming trip to the US for the very same reason. I'm not a fan of struggling to keep a child still for 13 hours (yep... 13 on a plane). Liara always does ok, but it wears me out (and to think that this time I'll be 5 1/2-6 months pregnant... eek!).

    Here's what we normally do: We bring a whole carry on bag full of snacks (they DO help...tons), favorite toys and lots and lots of books. Liara will sit and listen to someone read to her for about an hour at a time (awesome). Luckily, on overseas flights there are the little personal TVs, so she does watch a little bit of the kids programming on there (so I would suggest a DVD player as well, especially with how much Ava likes Dora and such... now's not the time to limit time in front of the boob toob, your sanity is more important!). We usually end up reverting back to letting her play with our phones, walking up and down the aisles, and letting her sit on a hand towel on the floor (just so no one is holding her the whole time) to play with her toys.

    On the flights from Texas to Washington (and vise versa), it's a little more complicated since they leave the 'fasten your seatbelt' sign on more often and there isn't as much room, but it's pretty much the same principle. We're bringing color wonder markers and loads of coloring books for her to do, as well as some play doh, since she's a fan of that and it isn't TOO messy. I think we'll grab a few sticker books as well, just as something different for her (since she loves stickers). Hopefully we'll do ok... I'll be looking out for the seatback thing though, that sounds awesome. Maybe I can help ya track it down!

    Good luck!

  5. Wow, I wrote a novel. Sorry! lol

  6. We took lots and lots of snacks, and drinks. My hubs downloaded fav videos and shows on his iPhone, and we also took some DVDs on the laptop. We bought some special things just for the trip, like a magna doodle, some books, special treat (suckers). I recommend lots of wipes, and a change of clothing and plenty of diapers too. Pray for people who love cute little kids sitting by you too . . that always helps :) Parker did great about 95% of the time, but those few minutes of being really tired and having a hard time falling asleep really felt like hours. They'll let her walk up and down the aisle when allowed too. Good luck you'll survive. I always remind myself how thankful I am to have one child at a time because I don't know how people with multiples (especially more than 2 at once) travel without help. We didn't get an extra seat either, and we managed, and P slept about 30 minutes both times on a 3 hour trip

  7. How fun!! I'm sure Ava will love it even more this year! :)

    When we go anywhere for an extended period of time in the car, I always stock up on scotch tape and stickers. Bryson LOVES playing with it and trying to unstick himself. it usually keeps him busy for a quite a long time.

    Also, Bryson loves the iPhone. We have a few aps for him on there and he loves them! Duck Duck Moose has some cute aps. We have Old MacDonald and the Itsy Bitsy Spider and he loves them. Also, if you have u-verse, you can pull up your DVR'd shows and watch them on your phone, so we've been able to pull up Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies.

    Hope everything works out!! Good luck packing and getting everything together. :)

    Sorry, it won't keep me signed in, but this is Kristin :)

  8. Great tips! I'm reading and following this particular post avidly as Riley, my mom and I are leaving for a weekend trip at the end of July as well. Unfortunately, our flight has a stopover. It's been a whole year since we last flew with Riley so I have no idea what to expect. We are definitely bringing a DVD player in the hopes that she'll watch it and some toys and snacks. Good luck!!

  9. Here's a link I just found with a list of toys that work well on an airplane for toddlers. Maybe it'll help!

  10. We went to CO when B was just 15 months old. One of the BEST things we did was buy a small toy (a set of Caterpillar dozers and cranes) and gave it to him right before we boarded the plane. He was so enthralled with his new toy, that he played with them until he fell asleep. And we only spent about $5! We had the portable DV player as a backup as well, and didn't even have to get it out!

    Since the new toy thing worked so well on the way there, we kept our eyes peeled and surprised him with another small toy for the way home.

    Also, have plenty of snacks too! :)

  11. I have flown with Presley multiple times and my # 1 travel tip.... Drum roll, please....... M&M's. I'm dead serious. Reason being, they were new to her and of course, delicious ( it doesnt have to be M&M's, just something that she has never had that you know she will LOVE). She did not want to leave our side while that delicious treat was in our psession. Just make sure to save them until you really need them. In the mean time, DVD player, new toys ( gotta have the novelty) and ice from your drink. Good luck!!

  12. I agree with everyone else- something new is the trick. Books, toys, food, etc. As you know, Jack and I took a 6 hour car trip (7 hours total travel time with stops) and when he got restless, I just handed him a book, toy, or snack. I was able to get a few new things at a local kids sale. As he gets older, I plan on getting a portable DVD player for our car trips, but he did great without it. He was, however, strapped in his car seat, and you will have a harder time with Ava in your laps. I think using your phone could help a lot. I got an iPhone last week and Jack already loves it! I really like Ashlie's m&m idea too. I'm going to save that for next time! Good luck and have fun!


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