International Travel With a Toddler

With long queues, security checks, busy waiting areas, cramped seats, and airline food, international travel can be difficult for everyone. But an international travel with a toddler can be particularly challenging. The last thing you want is to wonder “Why didn’t I think of that?” or “How could I forget to pack that?” in the middle of a flight. 

As parents everywhere know, toddlers aren’t known for their patience. Plus, it might be a new experience for them, which could further unsettle them. But with a bit of planning, it won’t be that daunting. To make it easy for you, here are the top tips for international travel with a toddler.

Book night or early morning flights

Both the airport and flights will be less crowded if you book a night or early morning flight. Since your kids will be most likely tired, they might also easily go to sleep once inside the aircraft. The fact that it would be dark outside with nothing to see will also help. 

Choose a kid-friendly airline

Find an airline with kid-friendly policies. Some offer perks to kids and have television shows that they like. These airlines would also have kid-friendly headphones and snacks. Some might even offer games or activity books. 

Pack wisely

Find out the weather of the region you’ll be travelling to and pack accordingly. Carry extra clothes for both your toddler and you. Importantly, make sure it’s a lightweight bag, trolley, or suitcase. It should be easy to carry and lift. Your carry-ons should be packed with everything your toddler usually asks for.  

Pick up snacks

To the extent possible, ensure that they eat before leaving the house. It’s when they’re hungry that they’re more likely to ask you to buy airport snacks. You should also pack your kid’s favourite snacks keeping these things in mind: Get a variety of them in smaller packets and keep them separately. You should also look for snacks that will take some time to consume. 

Charge your devices

Your phone, tablets, and other devices should be fully charged. Bookmark or download cartoons that your toddler likes. This will help keep them occupied while in the aircraft. Make sure that you carry toddler-friendly headphones too. 

Carry toys

Of course, you should carry your toddler’s favourite toys. But the trick is to take the ones that can be easily packed and that won’t slip through their fingers to below the seat in front. Pro tip? Carry a surprise toy that they can unwrap during the journey. That will keep them excited. 

Explain to your kids

It might be helpful to talk to your kids about what they can expect. If this is their first time at an airport, show them videos that explain the whole process, from checking in to security checks to boarding. This will help them be at ease. 

Dress in comfortable layers

If you don’t want to be surprised by the weather, you should dress in layers. It makes it easy to take off or add clothes. Go for clothes that don’t have zippers or buttons since these will be easy to remove when your kids have to use the washroom. Similarly, get them slip-on shoes, which will be easier to put on and remove. 

Use a small stroller

Your regular stroller might turn out to be big or heavy. See if you can get a smaller troller and check it at the gate. The crew will hand it over to you when you arrive at your destination. 

Carry enough sanitisers, diapers, and plastic bags

Considering the times we live in, needless to say, you should carry enough sanitisers. Pick up the smaller packs that will easily fit into any of your bag pockets or carry bag. The rule for diapers is to carry one for every hour you’ll be travelling. Ensure that you also have enough plastic bags to dispose of the diapers. 

Be mindful of air pressure

Get a doctor’s approval and the necessary medication if your toddler has an ear infection. Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to get them checked. Carry enough water and make your toddler drink after takeoff and before descent. This will hydrate them and help with the air pressure. 

Don’t choose aisle seats

You’ll have better control if they’re either in the middle or window seats. Plus, aisle seats can pose problems for kids. The beverage and food carts carry hot water and coffee. You don’t want your toddler to accidentally touch them and burn their hands. 

Divide chores

Discuss with your partner beforehand and divide the duties. Figure out who will carry the tickets and who will carry what bags. Importantly, both of you should know what item is in which carry-on bag. 

Sanitise everything

Sanitise the seats at the lounge and in the aircraft and whatever you may buy from the airport. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much caution. The last thing you want is either for your kid or you to develop something while being abroad. 

Stay calm

Someone or the other might complain if your child were to sneeze or cry. The best course of action is to ignore them. The vast majority of people, either at the airport or inside the aircraft, would know the challenges of travelling with a toddler. You can ignore the ones who don’t. 

Be friendly to the crew

One of the most useful tips for international travel with a toddler is to be friendly with the crew. This extends from those at the check-in counter to flight attendants. If you’re travelling alone with a toddler, you can also mention that when you book the tickets or while checking in. Thank the flight attendants for their service and they will make it easy for you and your toddler. 

In short

With these tips for international travel with a toddler, your next trip would be easier. So, stop worrying and start looking forward to the trip. 

Frequently asked questions

How do I prepare my toddler for a long flight?

It might be helpful to talk to your kids about what they can expect. If this is their first time at an airport, show them videos that explain the whole process, from checking in to security checks to boarding. This will help them be at ease. 

How can I make my toddler travel easier?

Read more in this blog post :)

How to travel internationally with a toddler?

There are many things to consider when travelling internationally with a toddler like when to fly, preparing for the flight and what to pack. You can read more about it in this blog post.

How to travel internationally with a toddler by plane?

You should book a night or early morning flights, choose a kid-friendly airline, be mindful of air pressure and be friendly to the crew.

What to bring when travelling internationally with a toddler?

Snacks, devices with a full battery, toys, clothes, sanitisers, diapers, plastic bags, 

How to travel internationally with a toddler carseat?

Typically airlines require you to check-in car seat.

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