With revenge travel in full swing, a lot of parents are going on new adventures with toddler, baby, or kids in tow. Doing anything with children is already time consuming and traveling is no exception. I’d love to share six, helpful airplane travel hacks with toddler in hand!
6 Airplane Travel Hacks with Toddler or Baby
1. Pack Diaper Essentials Separately
If your children are anything like mine, they need a diaper change at the most inopportune moments. So I have learned to pack the diapers, change pad, wipes, and diaper cream in a gallon sized ziplock bag. This is in a separate compartment within your diaper bag. When I need to run into the restroom in the airplane, with a changing table about the size of a three ring binder, I don’t have to take the whole diaper bag into the restroom with me. It’s also come in handy when I’ve traveled with my partner and either of us asks for diapering essentials. We can reach into the bag and grab this ziplock in one swoop and to have everything we need.
2. Check Stroller & Car Seat at the Ticket Counter
If you are able to, try wearing your child – this tip might only work if you have one child. When traveling with children that are being worn in some kind of carrier, you can go through security without having to remove any items or maneuvering your child around. If traveling with a stroller, you have to put the stroller and items in the stroller on the security belt. When I was traveling with my then six month old, it was an absolute disaster holding my child and trying to put the car seat and stroller on the security belt while people behind me looked at me in disdain.
3. Diaper Backpacks for the Win
I know many of us have diaper bags that hang on one shoulder and we have spent all of our time selecting this bag and meticulously packing this bag. However, when traveling and wearing a baby, having a backpack helps free our hands. It also balances weight across your front and your back. Also, when you get on the airplane, you wont bump into all of the seats trying to get to your row if you have a backpack on.
4. Put All Liquids in One Location in the Diaper Bag
You’re allowed to take liquid through security, so long as that liquid is clearly for the child. I have traveled with two full bottles of milk, two shelf stable milk packets, and a Pediasure all for a one hour flight. Security will definitely pull us to the side to test liquids, but instead of fishing through the whole bag, I place all the liquids in one bag. Then they can pull it out and test out what they need and then place it back in the bag. It also helps keep all the remaining contents in the bag in one place so all of your meticulous packing doesn’t go to waste.
5. Have Baby Suck or Drink During Takeoff and Landing
To help your baby and toddler handle the elevation of flight, have them breastfeed, drink from a bottle, or suck from a pacifier. Sucking and chewing helps their little ears with the air pressure which could cause them pain. When I have my child in my lap and they are drinking from a bottle, they tend to calm down from all of the stimulation of air travel. Fingers crossed they fall asleep! But I can’t bank on them sleeping because if I do I am going to have an excited little one. Don’t they always love to make sure they are the boss sometimes.
6. Special Airplane Toys and Snacks
I stash some toys and books that I only show my child when they are on the airplane. It magically appears in flight and toddlers love it. This hack only worked after 9 months. I make sure to have varied small toys and books so they stay intrigued. Stickers are always a hit too. If you have time to gift wrap toys and books, then that it is another fun airplane activity.
Of course, kiddos love snacks too! Food keeps their mouths and hands busy and their tummies full. For flights, some of our favorite snacks are puffs, bananas or other fruit, goldfish, muffins, and string cheese. These are easy to pack beforehand and transport well during flights.
Traveling with children has made me wish I had another set of arms. Juggling the baby, the diaper backpack, wiping down surfaces to keep germs away, managing all the boarding passes and snacks is exhausting. We hope these six airplane travel hacks with toddler in tow will make your life a little easier.
Also, give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself while traveling. A positive mindset goes a long way when traveling with babies and toddlers too. If they have an accident, have a meltdown, or you are tired of pacing the airplane, etc. remember that it’s temporary. You are making brand new travel memories with your little one.
Safe travels out there!