Ready for an adventure? When you travel with a toddler, there are surprises around every corner. It is a time of exciting first experiences, but it can also get incredibly stressful.
The good news is that with a bit of preparation, you can create a (nearly!) perfect family adventure. Learning a few smart travel hacks will make it a lot easier than you might think.
Want to know how to travel with toddlers? Here is your stress-free guide to travel with kids under two.
Plan for Hot Weather
If you are going somewhere warm, take extra precautions. For fuss-free travel with little ones, create comfortable environments. Look for hotels or Airbnbs that have air conditioning. If you are going to be driving, opt for a light-colored car and bring reflective screens for the windows.
Be sure that you always have plenty of water on hand. It can be tricky to accurately monitor fluid intake– especially with all those spills! The simplest way to make sure your toddler is hydrated is to watch urine color. The lighter the color is, the higher the level of hydration.
Be sure to focus on sun projection as well. When you travel with kids under two, it’s especially important to avoid the hottest times of day. Of course, sun projection is essential! Bring a wide-brimmed hat and plenty of SPF. Apply SPF every two hours during the day, even if it’s cloudy.
Sunburns, dehydration, and uncomfortably hot weather will make kids restless and unhappy, so prevent it before it starts.
Maximize Your Discounts
When you travel with toddlers, why not get all the discounts available for travel with kids under two? Many airlines, for example, offer free travel with toddlers. If you are going to travel with kids under two who do not require a seat, they can usually travel for free. Of course, do inform the airline and check on their requirements to see if you need to pay any taxes or additional fees.
When you arrive at many locations, you can travel with toddlers for free on public transport. Ask the local tourist information center or check out the transport website.
The most essential element to stress-free travel with kids under two is planning. You can never be too ready! When you are going to travel with toddlers, bring a bag of tricks. Stash plenty of snacks, toys, creams, wipes, and other daily essentials.
Start making a list at least one week before you go. Write down everything that you use on a daily basis. No matter how obvious it is, write it down. Keep a complete list of everything so you can check it off as you pack. You know that you will need diapers, wipes, and other basics so make a note of all of them.
When you are planning to travel with toddlers, plan for the expected. You never know when kids under two are going to come down with sniffles or a fever. Keep a small stock of the basic meds. Of course, you can always find pharmacies but not always immediately. Keep a stock for late-night surprises or bad feelings on the road.
Pack a Plane or Car Bag
When you are flying with toddlers, you will want to give them their own carry-on bag. To make that bag useful, however, organize a secondary plane bag inside.
When you travel with kids under two, or at any age, it’s crucial to have a bag of essentials on hand. If you have a backpack or wheeled suitcase, you are going to need to store it in the overhead bin. That is why you will want to have a smaller bag to tuck under your seat. Fill this with snacks, games, wipes, and other things you will want to have accessible. Just be sure not to overpack! Keep it simple and only pack what you know you will use. The rest can go in the overhead.
Likewise, if you are going to travel with a toddler in the car, have a goodie bag ready. You don’t want to pull over every time you need to find something you have packed away somewhere in the back. Keep the basics on hand.
Bring a Screen
Yes, there are many reasons to limit screen time. We all want our kids to have diverse, well-rounded lives. One aspect of this is not allowing them to live their whole life online.
That said, when you travel with kids under two years old, it is time to bend the rules. Stock up your tablet or laptop with plenty of entertaining content. Find fun songs and cartoons that will entertain your little ones.
Keep in mind that screen time doesn’t have to be a waste of time! In fact, screens can be one of the most valuable educational tools. You can help your kids learn by downloading engaging educational tools.
Note: Check out our 10 Essential Travel Gadgets for Families. There you can also find our recommended tablet for kids.