Prepping for International Travel with a Toddler

December 28, 2017

We head out next Tuesday to Mexico with my parents, brother and soon to be sister in law and we couldn’t be more excited! Despite Phoenix not necessarily being our home, we’ve been here for almost four months and it has definitely become our home base this last season. While we are beyond excited to establish our roots back in Brooklyn in two weeks, this vacation couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

We’re looking forward to eating, drinking and relaxing on the beach for the next week before the chaos of moving begins, but we all know that traveling with a toddler isn’t always a breeze. That being said, I’ve condensed the many travel articles I’ve written into one article here for you so if you happen to be traveling with your little ones this winter you can make the most of it. If you’ve found tips that have helped you along the way I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

1. Prepare for the flight. International travel, especially if you have a long flight ahead of you, can be quite the challenge with an antsy toddler. We’re coming prepared with plenty of snacks, iPhone games and movies and a handful of toys and books. We do our best to travel light, but with Owen’s track record we like to keep a change of clothes handy as well!

2. Carry on your stroller. We’ve LOVED our Yoyo Babyzen! We’ve been able to carry it on the plane for every single flight which means a more efficient process when we’re getting off the plane with Owen.

3. Rent or borrow carseats and a portable crib. Can you believe we’ve never actually owned our own carseat? Because we don’t own a car it has just never been necessary. You’d be surprised how many car services allow you to request a carseat and how many hotels are happy to bring in a crib for your little ones. Luckily for us Owen co-sleeps so that makes this even easier, but it’s been so nice to never have to worry about this baby gear while we’re traveling.

4. Bring medications with you. With Owen’s history of motion sickness and fevers we always bring travel size children’s medications with us. We’ve never had an issue picking them up at our destinations, but it’s nice to have the brands you’re comfortable with and instructions you don’t have to translate if the worst should happen.

5. Make sure there’s a laundry service available. Since we’re all about keeping it minimal we’ve made an effort to make sure each and every place we’ve stayed in has a washer. This makes spills and necessary changes less stressful when you know you can just throw them in the wash.

6. Keep calm. This is so essential for us. Owen feeds off of our energy like crazy and if we can manage our expectations and go with the flow it makes a world of difference. Traveling with a toddler is never going to be a breeze, but you can go into as the parent with a calm and understanding perspective. It changes everything.

7. Don’t make set plans, but have some ideas. Since we’re traveling with family, fortunately our itinerary is spread between more adults than just Zack and I, but I always like to come to the table with some ideas. With kids it’s so important to be able to ditch your plans if things aren’t looking good that day, but it’s your vacation too so before you leave home create a list or find one online. I’m using my good pal, Ana’s, travel guide for this trip!

8. Map out the closest grocery store. Owen eats a variety of foods, but he definitely likes certain foods so it’s important we have access to a grocery store. We have plans to swing by right on our way into town!

9. Make sure your hotel is conducive to kids. I don’t mean baby-proof necessarily, but make sure it’s set up in a way that’s going to contribute to your vacation positively, not the other way around. For us this means an outdoor area where we can enjoy the night while still staying in with Owen. This, of course, requires us to bring a baby monitor with too!

10. Accept help. From the time you arrive at the airport to the time you are on your return flight accept help from your spouse, relatives, and even strangers. It’s so easy to take on that I can do it all mentality as a parent, but those little acts of kindness from others can really contribute to a smoother journey for you and your family.


Have you found anything that has worked particularly well for you? Would love to hear your tips!

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