I have been working for my nanny family for two years now, and we’ve been on our fair share of trips together during that time – including trips to Italy and Hawaii.
I quickly learned that long flights aren’t for the faint of heart.
After over 43 hours and 20,000 miles of flight time, I’ve finally found a system that works for us! Here how we keep a two-year-old happy and occupied on flights, whether they’re one hour or twelve hours long!
7 Ways to Save Your Sanity When Traveling With Toddlers
- Bring familiar snacks. Many people forget that you are allowed to bring food into the airport with you. We use this to our advantage and bring things like graham crackers, fruit leather, mandarin orange cups, and apple sauce pouches with us on all flights. This ensures that toddler tummies aren’t rumbling and we keep her blood sugar steady.
- Load up on books! E is one of those kids who could sit there for an hour or more while you read to her. We pick up ten to fifteen books from the local library just for the trip. If you don’t have room on your luggage, downloading books onto your tablet is a great idea! We go with paperback books if possible, as they weigh less and take up less room.
- Bring a few small open-ended toys, and a few activities. We always bring a coloring book and crayons with stickers, as well as a small set of Tegu Magnetic Blocks. I also found this I Spy pouch recently, that I plan on picking up before our trip to Japan in a few months!
- Walk the aisles. Everyone loves a cute, chatty toddler. We use this to our advantage and do a few laps of the plan every few hours. This allows E stretch those little legs, keep her blood flowing, and prevent too much cabin fever. We also find an empty spot of the airport to let her run off all her energy during layovers.
- Schedule flights to overlap with sleep time. Fortunately for us, both E and her little sister are stellar sleepers. Their respective lovies, plus the constant white noise of the plane, ensure great sleep. It takes E a little longer to fall asleep since she’s bigger and in her own seat now, but the promise of pancakes upon waking often lulls her into dreamland.
- Of course, we always load up the iPad with a movie or two.
- In order to make sure we’re well prepared and don’t forget anything, I always begin making categorized packing lists about a week before we leave. This way, I know what needs to be washed or packed last minute, and I don’t feel overwhelmed or rushed. We went on three different trips in a 10 month period, and I’ve managed not to forget anything so far!
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How do you prepare for trips with your children? Do any of your tricks differ from mine?
From Elise: I’m a Professional Nanny to a toddler and a baby and part-time college student trying to pass Algebra in sunny Southern California. I’m a CPST, baby gear junkie, and lover of travel. I’m just a gluten-free girl in a gluten filled world, blogging my misadventures at Naturally West Coast. You can also check out how cute my nanny girls are on Instagram and hang out with me during nap time over on Twitter!