Three essentials every parent should pack when flying with toddlers

Ah, flying with toddlers…when you’re somewhere that you don’t want to be seen as ‘that parent,’ that’s when your child wants to act up. You know, that look of how people look at you like you can’t control your child when they have a tantrum. It’s like your kids have a radar and can sense when you want them to be on their best behavior, and they’ll do the exact opposite.

These temper tantrums seem to be more frequent when you’re traveling with your little ones, especially in the airport and on the plane. Getting fussy on a plane is to be expected, because the change in air pressure messes with their ears, they’re in a small, cramped space, and if you’ve been constantly traveling, they can experience jet lag. Let’s be honest – most adults would have temper tantrums on a plane if they could get away with it, but we just deal with it and try to comfort our kids as best as we can.

The key with toddlers and their tantrums, is to be proactive – you have to beat it before it begins. The way you do this is to make sure you’re equipped with the things they love, and that will keep them occupied. Your little ones probably love many different things, but you can’t bring everything with you on the plane, so you have to limit yourself to the most important items in your carry on, and pack everything else with the checked luggage.

Knowing that you packed their other beloved toys in the checked luggage, it’s very important that you make sure you protect your personal possessions and even add tracking devices to your luggage. Whatever it takes to make sure your personal items arrive safely, and are protected against loss. As far as what you need to have in your carry-on bag, make sure you don’t leave your home without these toddler essentials.

Essential 1: Tablet and Headphones

Technology has taken over kids’ lives today. Believe it or not, there was an era where kids enjoyed playing outside, but now, kids would rather stay indoors and play video games, or surf the web. Even toddlers understand technology now, and with that, you have to have the mindset of, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Your toddler more than likely has a favorite television show they enjoy. Pull it up on your tablet, or download a few episodes to your tablet, and you more than likely won’t hear a peep out of them. Be sure to pack headphones, so you won’t disturb other passengers, whether you’re in the airport or on the plane. Also – don’t forget to swap the tablet to airplane mode when you’re instructed to do so.

Essential 2: Snacks

Snacks for toddlers is like wine for women…we get a little cranky when we don’t have it, especially when we really need and want it! You always want to have snacks on hand when traveling with toddlers, because their stomachs are a lot smaller than adults; therefore, they hold less food, and can get hungry more often than adults. Plus, whenever they see you eating something, you better be prepared to share it, or give them their own snack, because 9 times out of 10, they are going to want to eat too, even if they just ate! So, to keep the peace, have plenty snacks!

Essential 3: Security Toy

You know how kids carry around their favorite blankie, or favorite toy? Well, most of the time, kids carry those particular items because they make them feel safe. Being in an airport, or on a plane, can be a little scary for kids, because it’s an environment that they’re not used to, so be sure to have that added bit of security for them to put their little minds at ease.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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