There are a lot of challenges that parents have to overcome when it comes to raising their kids. From preparing them for adulthood to providing enough for them, being a parent is no joke.
However, one of the challenges that come with parenthood that you probably didn’t realize would be traveling with a toddler.
We’ve all heard nightmare stories of kids in planes, or any other public place, throwing a tantrum. Alongside these stories are the images of haggard parents letting their kids wail throughout the flight.
You don’t want to be this parent. Therefore, you should make sure that you prepare for your trip with your kid beforehand.
Here are seven essential travel tips that parents need to know when traveling with a toddler.
Buy a separate airplane seat for your child
Many airlines have a policy that allows kids under two years to fly for free if they’re sitting on your lap. However, with toddlers, it’s best to get them their airplane seat. Buying that extra seat may cost more, but it’s going to give you and your child the most comfort during the flight.
It’s a lot safer for them in the long run, especially since there are planes that provide child safety restraint systems or CRS. CRS is going to protect your child a lot better than you could when they’re sitting on your lap. Therefore, it’s safer for your kids to have their seats on the flight.
Plus, it’s a lot easier to move around and fix them up or address their needs if you have the space to move.
Pack just enough
One of the hardest tasks that come with traveling with your toddler would be the packing. It’s a delicate balance of packing enough for your child and not overpacking. First off, you should make sure that all of the essential items for your toddler’s proper care are already inside your carry-on luggage.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you don’t overpack, especially when you’re traveling alone. You want to carry your kid and your luggage during your travel, without causing a significant inconvenience for anyone who will encounter you. Plus, it’s to help you move smoothly during the trip as well.
Dress them in something comfortable
As an adult, you probably dress up a bit to travel, but in your child’s case, it’s better to keep them as comfortable. Gussying them up might look cute for the family photo album, but they might be miserable the whole time. When they’re unhappy, you’re going to be sad too.
Therefore, when you travel with your toddler, make sure that you dress them up in something comfortable. You can even let them wear their onesies or pajamas if that’s the most convenient for them.
Gates check their travel gears
A lot of airlines let parents gate check their travel gear for the child, such as the car seats or the strollers. Some airlines even offer incentives to those who volunteer to gate check their equipment. All you need to do is ask for the gate check tags from an attendant at the gate, then attach the tags to your gear.
You can get them back from either the baggage claim or at a similar place where you deposited them, except it’s in your destination.
Take advantage of family pre-boarding
Travelers with kids have the privilege of boarding the plane first and for a good reason. It takes a while to get your kid situated, especially on a flight. Therefore, you should take advantage of the pre-boarding privileges that you and your toddler have.
Besides giving you more time to prepare with your kid, it ensures you don’t hassle other passengers while dealing with your toddler.
Help them cope with ear pains
One of the most significant issues you’re going to deal with would be the ear pain your kids might get from the altitude changes in the plane. Prepare crunchy food that will make your kids chew a lot. Having candy or lollipop for your toddler to suck on will help prevent ear pain.
You can also yawn to make your toddler yawn so that it helps pop the ears and reduce ear pain.
Keep them happy with all sorts of entertainment
Make sure that you prepare enough entertainment materials to distract your toddler during the trip. Whether it’s on a plane or in idle times during travel, giving your kids something to entertain themselves with will keep them happy and less grumpy.
Traveling with your toddlers can be a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great way to let your kids experience new things and broaden their minds. However, it’s quite challenging, so doing preparations beforehand will help make the travel less stressful for you, your kids, and other people around you.