Traveling With A Toddler: A Survivor's Story
Ya know what? It wasn't so bad. I made sure to keep a few tricks up my sleeve, ones that I am GLADLY sharing with you today!
Here is the recipe for a more successful trip with your toddler:
Lap Child- To Pay or Not To Pay?Yeah, I am cheap. I prefer the term frugal, but I will cop to being cheap. Since my son was 23 months old at the time of the trip, I thought it was a GREAT bargain that I didn't have to pay for his ticket. Ummm...here's the real deal- if your kid doesn't have a seat and the flight is longer than 2 hours, you WILL PAY one way or another. Luckily we conned the flight attendants into locating an extra seat and re-locating some passengers for us. Otherwise? Exorcist re-enactment for sure.
TIP: If you do not pay for an extra seat for your lap child, ask EVERY PERSON in a uniform you see to help you try and find an extra one, and explain that it would make everyone's life easier.
iPad- fully loaded with apps that don't require Internet access
Headphones- sound-limiting so you don't damage their little ears
Laptop- including at least 5 DVDs that are favorites
Dollar Store Junk
Pen and paper
Markers & coloring book (the magic kind that only write on special paper otherwise write clear)
TIP: Buy everything from the Dollar Store that your toddler won't choke on and don't show it to them prior to getting on the plane.
AccessoriesHere are my must-haves:
Wipes, and not just for booties
Diapers- more than you think!
Changing pad (my plane had a changing table in the bathroom; amazed)
Paper towels or napkins
Plastic bag for trash or other issues
Empty sippy cup that won't leak (ever try to keep a cup of water on your tray with a toddler? Good luck!)
Snacks. Every snack imaginable, new, old, whatever...just try not to get anything liquid.
TIP: Re-pack your snacks in resealable containers when packing your carry on.
Car Seat and StrollerSoooo....United told me that I could only check my car seat OR my stroller. Huh? Really? You want me to pay $25 extra each way to ship a stroller that costs $30? I decided to just to to Target when we got to our destination and buy a $15 stroller, however on the way back they let me gate check both for free.
TIP: When checking your car seat, purchase a case to put it in and then stack diapers, wipes, etc... in the bag as well.
(If it won't fit through the conveyor belt/scanner, you will have to unpack it but whoops! Too late for them to do anything about all the extra supplies you brought).