My daughter started her traveling journey when she was almost one year old. It was her first road trip and we were traveling halfway across the United States, from Tennessee to Virginia and back. That road trip was a piece of cake. But as a new mom, we were also getting ready to travel halfway across the world, a couple months after she turned one.
We were traveling to Japan to live, it was my first international trip and also it was the second time in my life that I had flown on an airplane. It was a scary thought for a first time mom. Will this very long flight go well? Will she be a fussy kid on the plane? Questions swirled around in my head.
I wanted to do my best to make this flight and move to a new country as easy as possible. For the flight we had three large suitcases, a stroller, and a car seat. We were just a tad bit over pack.
That flight was just the start of my daughter becoming a little traveler, traveling to Thailand, Guam, many cities in Japan, and flights each year to Hawaii from Japan. Traveling by plane, train, and shinkansen (bullet train) I’ve learned along the way how to make it super easy to travel with a small child.
I’m sharing tips that will help new moms and dads with planning a roadtrip to a neighboring State or taking an international flight. What’s great about the tips I’m sharing you can tweak them to fit your family. It is a learning experience when traveling with little ones.
The one thing I have helpful, is my daughter carries a small backpack. It’s toddler size and always comes in hand. So without further ado, let’s jump into the tips for traveling with a kid.
Lots of snacks. Having your kid’s favorite snacks (and a few for yourself) makes it easy to calm down a fussy kid. Airport and airplane food may not suit the little one’s palate, so it cause them to get gumpy. But snacks like crackers will help to lessen the grumpiness.
Entertainment. For any trip, I do not leave home without a tablet or Nintendo DS when traveling. For both little one and myself. Sometimes for running errands, I’ll toss the table in my handbag. Also bring a favorite stuffed animal or toy, it can help to soothe the little one will waiting in an airport or while in the car on a road trip. Packing some activities like crayons, coloring book, and black paper for drawing or writing.
Change of clothes. Even if the little one is potty trained, accidents and messes can happen. It’s better to be prepared, instead of having to buy something on the go.
Fly at nap time or bedtime. Living in Japan, many of the flights to the USA were in the evening. This made for an easy flight, as my little one would sleep through majority of the 10+ hours flight. And as a parent I was able to get a little bit of sleep on and off.
Pack a small surprise. On flights I like to pack a couple of small surprise in my handbag to give to my daughter. There are small and inexpensive things, like a travel size coloring book with her favorite character. A small toy she could play with on the airplane. You can give the surprise will waiting to board the plane or while on the plane. It will help to ease the little one and put on face on their face.
I hope these tips will help with planning your next adventure. As parents all we want is for the trips to go smoothly, everyone have a great time, and to enjoy traveling. I know my daughter love and is always ready for the next adventure either my car, plane, or train.