Keep these 10 tips in mind when travelling over the holidays and you can make sure your toddler is happy and well-behaved, and that you'll have the best vacation yet!
1. Be Prepared! Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, train, bus or boat, you’re going to want to make sure you have all the basics: diapers, wipes, lotions, extra pacifiers and bottles if they’re age appropriate, favorite toy or blanket, and toys galore.
2. Have lots of distractions… Toddlers have one of the shortest attention spans. So try to keep them constantly occupied with different toys and games, or switching from one thing to another. Just try and keep everything short and fun for them!
3. Bring lots of snacks! Toddlers can get very grumpy if they’re not fed at their normal times, so try and keep lots of tasty and healthy snacks handy to keep them full and happy while you’re on the road. You don’t want a meltdown to happen while you’re stuck in traffic!
4. Burn off some of that energy! We all know that toddlers are very very active youngsters, so try and get them to run around outside before getting in the car, or carry your suitcase through the airport. By giving them a little extra to do, they will be much less antsy and won’t be bouncing off the walls when you being your trip.
5. Take lots of breaks… Whether or not you have the most toys, games, and snacks, toddlers little legs are going to be ready to run after two or three hours in the car. A short break at a rest stop where they can walk around or you can have a snack on a picnic table will help them be more relaxed throughout the car ride. Better safe than sorry!
6. Bring familiar things from home. After a long day of travelling, kids can be overtired, cranky, and in need of some comforts from home. Make sure you pack some familiar items, like their favorite toy, blanket, or even pillow from their room. You can even bring their baby monitor, pictures from home, or their favorite night light to make them feel especially comfortable. These little touches will help them relax and fall asleep without feeling stressed out about being in an unfamiliar location.
7. Keep the routine. Even though it’s hard to predict when you’ll make a rest stop for dinner or for the night, try to keep your toddler’s routine as normal as possible. Breakfast, lunch, dinner on time, as well as snack times and nap times in between. The more normal their routine, the happier they will be!
8. Dress in layers… Toddlers can be very fussy if they’re uncomfortable in their clothes or car seat. If you make sure they have plenty of layers on you can take them off and put them on as they get hot and cold. An easy solution for a fussy toddler!
9. Avoid long lay-overs, late connections, and generally travelling during peak hours. Being stuck in traffic with a toddler or having to wait in long lines at the airport is only going to add to their stress and the probability of a melt-down. Try leaving at a time where you can beat traffic or taking a flight that won’t be a jam-packed and as busy!
10. Plan to visit a family-friendly location. Whether it’s a beach resort, a cabin in the mountains, or just a visit to the city, make sure your hotel, condo, or villa is child friendly. Pick places that have lots of fun museums, parks, shows, and kid-geared activities to keep your kids occupied while on vacation. You also don’t want to bother other guests, so picking somewhere that is used to kids and has many activities to offer for them is going to make your vacation and your toddlers that much better!