Seraphine’s top 5 tips for stress-free travel with toddlers and tots

Jetting off on vacation with the kids this spring? Already worrying about how you’re all going to make it through the flight? Don’t panic! Travelling with little ones doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In fact with a little careful planning you can make it into a fun and exciting way to start your big vacation adventure!

Here are our top 5 tips for simple, stress-free travel with toddlers and tots!


1) Plan ahead & take your time

When planning your vacation, make sure to book everything well in advance, and give yourself plenty of time at every stage to avoid last minute headaches. Aim to book a flight at a time when your little ones are either at their most cheerful or when they are likely to sleep – only you can know what will be best for your kids. If you have the option, select your seats before the flight to make sure you all get to sit together.

With little ones in the picture, one of your most important considerations has to be that you leave yourself enough time to get to the airport, all the way through security & departures and into your seat. Calculate how much time you think you need, and then double it. What with one thing and another; toilet stops, tantrums and general travel-related disasters, if you plan to leave at least twice as long as you think you need, you ought to get there just in time!

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2) Be prepared

The old Boy Scout motto ‘Be Prepared’ has never been so important as when you’re getting ready to venture away on vacation with young children. When packing your carryon luggage; include everything you might possibly need, and then pack some more! Snacks, wipes, band-aids, toys, spare clothes for everyone – just in case – pick up a few spare maternity & nursing t-shirts at Seraphine!

Make sure you have everything on this complete carryon luggage kit list from Have Baby Will Travel!


3) Avoid ear ache

Unfortunately that irritating ear ache during take-off and landing as your ears adjust to the changing air pressure in the cabin is a fact of flying, and for little ears it can be particularly painful. So what can we do to help?

For really little ones, the best thing you can do is to feed them during take-off and landing – whether you’re breastfeeding or using bottles, having something to suck on will really help. For toddlers, having a drink is a good idea, but you could also give them a piece of candy to suck or (if you trust them not to swallow) some gum to chew.

If you’re planning on nursing on the plane, our Bamboo Breastfeeding Shawl is a god send – you can use it as a discreet cover up for nursing, and it’s a great wrap to have with you in case  the plane gets chilly!

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4) Keep them entertained

A bored, tired toddler on a busy long haul flight is every parent’s worst nightmare, so plan ahead to keep the little ones entertained throughout the flight. Of course in an ideal world they’d nap through at least some of it, but just in case they don’t feel like playing ball, make sure you have plenty up your sleeve to keep them busy.

For a toddler, it’s a great idea to wrap up a few small gifts for them to open through the flight – little things like re-usable stickers and coloring books, hot wheels cars or plastic animals are perfect, and if all else fails, ask one of the flight attendants for a cup of ice and some miscellaneous bits and pieces from the tea and coffee trolley – if you’re lucky, plastic spoons, wooden sticks, serviettes and coffee creamers could buy you a full half hour of entertainment! As a general rule of thumb: If whatever is keeping them occupied is quieter than the sound of the plane’s engines, you’re doing a fantastic job!

Stuck for ideas? Check out these 50 ways to keep your toddler or preschooler busy on a plane by Katie at the Playing with words 365 blog!


5) Make Friends

Last but by no means least: Be nice to your seat mates and flight attendants! It’s a great idea to get the people around you on your side early on – smile, be nice and make friends. You know they didn’t want to sit next to your toddler and they know that you know, but if you make a little effort at the start of the flight it can pay off later when your little Madame or Young Mister is having a meltdown at 3 in the morning! If you really want to go all out, you could even put together little goodie bags for the people sitting around you with sweets and earplugs and a cute little message apologizing for the noise!


All images by Alexi Lubomirski, taken from Vogue Russia May 2012


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