Back in 2010-11, I travelled back and forth to Australia from Canada on my own with a 3 year old and a 6 month old, that was ok. Tomorrow I travelled from Odense to England on my own with a 2 1/2 year old. Compared to the Australia trip, it should be a cinch. But I still get nervous. So, I still prepare. Travelling with kids can be so fun, especially when you’re organised. Here’s five quick tips about how to make flying on your own with a toddler, a bit more relaxing.
Take a quick trip to your local dollar store (Tiger in Denmark is the best!), and get a few new things for your child. A new colouring book, stickers, a cool hole punch and maybe some new crayons. This crayon holder c/o Colourstogo, has been well used and continues to be brilliant. Airport/airplane books are apt and particularly Usborne and Richard Scarry books as they have so many details and you can spend hours (you wish!) pouring over them (plus they’re not noisy books that won’t annoy your neighbours!), ’opening and shutting’ items (eg a toy car with doors, a hair clip and an empty container – these are not only great for working on their fine motor, they keep my little guy entertained for ages!), sticky things (eg. stickers, post-its, bandaids, tape) – your toddler will use their adorable chubby fingers to slowly tape things to their clothes, face, your face, their seat, their tray, the neighbour….
2. Don’t limit electronic time.
Ok, ok, you may hate me for saying this. Normally, I only allow 30 mins of electronic (tv, computer, ipad, iphone) time a day but when travelling, I say – hold out for as long as you can with toys and snacks, but eventually…. you’ll have to hand your phone over. There are plenty of free apps available, stock your phone up with them and just sit back as your toddler scoots their way around your phone faster than you can. Also bring headphones so you can listen to your favourite tunes together and upload lots of photos – they LOVE seeing pictures of themselves!
3. Stock up on ‘time consuming’ food.
Things that need peeling, opening, eating with a spoon, unwrapping, breaking apart, chewing on… forget quick snacks, think about how you can make meals last as looooong asssss possssible…. (and although it is tempting, try to restrict sugar, you don’t want a sugar-high toddler bouncing off the walls….)
4. Don’t be scared of strangers.
Get friendly with the people around you. Many a time we’ve had some lovely older people who have taken a liking to our children and are way more willing to do the boring things that you’ve already got bored of – they’ll chat with your kid, colour with them and read to them… don’t be afraid to let your child ‘entertain’ them. On my long flight to Australia – there was a wonderful guy who took my baby to the flight attendants section and there with the attendants they amused him for an hour or so and gave me a bit of rest-time, it was amazing!
5. Don’t over-pack.
As you can see I do have a lot of stuff. But I used to travel with WAY more. Now when we travel we ONLY take hand luggage. It makes the trip so much easier. So, think about ways you can cut down on your luggage – no, you don’t need a fifth pair of black shoes…..
Happy travelling my international readers!!