Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Over the summer, we traveled to Texas to visit my in-laws. We’ve traveled on a plane before with our son when he was 5 months old around Christmas and spent some time in California, but this time around was crazy different! 

Our son turned one on July 25. Super exciting, but I know my husband and I were worried about how a mobile and vocal 1-year old would do on an airplane when all he wants to do is walk and scream. All ended up being fine, but let me tell you…if I wasn’t prepared things could have turned out differently!

I’m gonna help y’all out with some things I did and some tips to fly with your babies, ESPECIALLY since the holidays are fast approaching!

  • PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN! I cannot stress that enough. I’m definitely a relaxed person, but I also need a plan. So I mean, plan what you’re bringing on the plane, plan around their schedule, plan for delays, etc–everything! 
  • Do a TSA Pre-Check if possible. On the way out to Texas my son and I did this and it was crazy easy. Didn’t have to remove our shoes, didn’t have to take everything out of my bag for them to test our baby food, and we flew through security. If you can swing it, do it.
  • Toddlers will find things to entertain themselves for sure, but make sure you bring some toys or whatever they enjoy to play with on the plane. My son enjoys dancing so we had his favorite song on my husband’s phone for him to listen to. My son also just had fun taking all the magazines out of the back pockets on the seat and tossing them everywhere–whatever works! 
  • Figure out ahead of time how much food and snacks you’ll need. I had some unopened Puffs and Yogurt Bites in my carry-on, as well as some take and go powder packets for his drinks and some purées as well. I didn’t overload but packed just what I needed for him in the airport and on the plane. (Again, planning for delays and other things as well!)
  • Coordinate your flights (if you can) around their naps. This happened naturally for us, because at the time we booked he was still all over the place. When I saw the flights though after we nailed down a pretty good napping schedule I was stoked. He napped through most of the flight to Texas and in the beginning as we flew back home. It was great, so if you can find flights around naptime, do it!

  • Stay on schedule as best as you can. This goes for your ENTIRE vacation. It’s easy to get off schedule–between sleeping in and packing in activities–vacations allow for a little bit more flexibility, but my son doesn’t do super well off his schedule. I tried to maintain his eating and nap schedule each day, even if that meant I had to hold off on doing something or remove myself from an activity. It helped him sleep better (for the most part) and ease back into being at home much better than if we were to throw him off his normal routine.
  • Rent/borrow as much as you can. My MIL borrowed a lot of toys from some of their neighbors so I didn’t have to worry about bringing a ton for him. We also borrowed a pack-n-play and a stroller, so we didn’t have to lug ours while traveling. It just made it so much easier on us.

Above all–try to go with the flow. It’s easy to get stressed out over the holidays, and if you have a toddler, it can make you EVEN MORE stressed out. Do your best to just roll with it and remain calm. They pick up on your energy, so make traveling fun and as relaxed as you can. 

What else do you do to travel with a baby or a toddler? What is your advice? I’d love to hear! Comment below or send me a message!


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