Travelling with a toddler? It can be a daunting prospect, even if you’ve done it before. But for all the moments your toddler will have you questioning your sanity, you’ll also have some amazing ones to remind you why you organised your trip away in the first place. Whether you’re flying, going by train or have a long car journey ahead, here are some tips to make travelling with your little one as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible.
Don’t forget clean-up supplies
Toddlers love to touch everything, so it’s always worth having wet wipes and hand sanitiser within easy reach. Remember to carry additional paper towels for any spills, and disposable bags in case of any sickness.
Pack extra outfits
If your child is toilet training, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some spare sets of clothes in case they have an accident. It’s also worth getting your child to wear pull-up nappies when the seat-belt sign is turned on, or to make your life even easier, get them to wear it for the entire plane, train or car trip.
Take some sugar-free snacks
Finding healthy snacks at the airport or petrol stations isn’t easy, so keep a bag full of snack options like fruit, crackers, cucumber, sultanas and carrot sticks in your bag for them to munch on. If you are flying, remember to carry something your toddler can suck on during take-off and landing, in case the air pressure hurts their ears.
Give yourself plenty of time
Always give yourself plenty of time. When you’re travelling with a toddler, everything takes twice as long. Let them explore and investigate their surroundings, and make sure you can fit in a toilet break or two. Knowing that you’ve factored in all the gawping, tantrums and stalling into your timeframe will leave you feeling a little more relaxed.
Stay safe in the sun
It should go without saying, but if you’re off on a hot and sunny holiday, your toddler will need a very high SPF sun cream applied regularly. UV damage in childhood significantly increases the risk of skin cancer, so make sure you apply it when they come out of the sea or pool, and a hat is essential. Nobody wants a sunburnt toddler.
Take a travel cot
Packing a portable cot is vital when you’re travelling with a toddler. Taking one with you can save you extra money on additional hotel bed charges, and it’ll give you piece of mind that they are safely in the same room as you and won’t roll out of a bed they aren’t used to. You can choose a travel cot based on size, portability, weight, comfort and ease of construction, because the last thing that you’ll want on a late-night arrival is to be struggling to put one up. It’s worth noting that travel cots shouldn’t be used as permanent beds for long periods of time.
Invest in a collapsible stroller
Large collapsible strollers and strollers that don’t fold are usually only accepted as checked luggage, with airlines generally letting you check in a fully collapsible pushchair for free. It’s best to check your airline’s policy on pushchairs before you fly and buy a smaller stroller beforehand if you need to, as you’ll want to strap them in as long as you can.