Have Toddler, Will Travel. Maybe.

As first time parents there are SO many things my husband and I have no clue how to do. The newest item on that list is how to travel with a toddler. I’m excited and almost petrified at the same time, to take our first family vacay.

Oh my word! There are countless decisions to make like:

Should we take her car seat with us? What if we check it and it gets damaged?

How will we manage her stroller, diaper bag, and luggage? I will say her car seat attaches to her stroller (see below), so that does make it a little easier. But still.

Should we fly at night? What if she doesn’t sleep on the flight? We don’t want to be “those” people with the child that stresses out the entire cabin of passengers trying to sleep. I mean, she’s cute and all…but that gets old real quick in a cramped airplane!

Snacks, diapers, activities…will we have enough?

Will we find enough things to do that will be family friendly?

Clearly I’m a bit stressed. LOL

What you can extrapolate from my ranting and worrying above is that we’re leaning toward flying at night and taking her car seat/stroller with us. We’re going to check it when we get to the gate and hold her on the plane, since she’s under 2 years old. We’re looking at Florida as our destination, so the flight would be about five hours.

I’m reading lots of sites with helpful information on how to travel with children. But I decided, why not ask all of CC’s cyber aunties and (uncles, if you’re out there) for tips, too?

So go ahead. I’m listening.

Please and thank you!

14 comments


  • I checked the carseat, and got a good fold up umbrella stroller that you check at the gate. Pack as little as possible. It’s hard to go through the airport with all of that stuff AND a fidgety toddler.
    Bring lots of toys.
    Snacks
    Books.
    If you have a set naptime, time your travel either during it, or after it. The last thing you want is a cranky child.
    And that is my advice after four plane rides with my toddler. Who is entirely too busy for his own good.

    February 27, 2012
  • Try to travel around nap time that’s the most important thing. I have never been on a plane so I can’t help you with that but I have traveled to NY by train with a toddler and I carried one of those small strollers everything else I rented or bought if needed and I don’t think I really needed much of anything. Good luck

    February 27, 2012
  • Yay I can provide advice! Lol

    So travel at night is a good idea. Let her stay up later and that way she’ll sleep on the flight. If she’s not sleep when the plane takes off then give her a bottle or bink if she uses one. It’ll help with the ear popping.

    I took Jas’s carset and checked it. I also got a small umbrella stroller( the second time, I learned from the 1st flght lugging that large stroller) I made sher she had things to coller and books to read and I also made sure I had her yo gabba gabba dvds and that the portable dvd player was charged. I made sure my ipod was charged too.

    I think my key for flying with her was that I made she sure didn’t nap before flights so by the time we got on the plane she was knocked out. And I did that for every flight. I hope this helps.

    February 27, 2012
  • first bit of advice – stop stressing.
    bring the stroller; leave the carseat. stroller is handy in the airport.
    bring benadryl – the air pressure may affect babys ears and she may scream…if that happens give her something to suck.
    have a well stocked baby bag – clothes, wipes, diapers, food, bottles, snacks, toys…
    worse case – give benadry (i learned this from a pediatrician and always carried with me)
    allow extra time just because you have the little one
    relax – if you’re not uptight all of this is a whole lot easier.

    Have fun!!

    February 27, 2012
  • We haven’t flown with RJ yet. Mainly because of the same things you are stressing about!! However, I want to do it this Summer, so this post and the comments are very helpful:)
    We have taken A LOT of car trips with him. A couple times to NYC(12hrs), Atlanta(2hrs), Charleston(3hrs) and Charlotte(1hr). I figured out the Benadryl trick WAY too late! LOL It saved me when I traveled alone with him to Atlanta.
    I always over pack, don’t do that!!

    February 28, 2012
  • Dress comfortable, leave in plenty of time so that you’re not rushing and bring toys to keep CC entertained. Since it’s going to be two adults, you shouldn’t have any trouble managing luggage and the stroller. You can get on of those luggage carts for one of you to push your luggage on while the other pushes the stroller. Late night or early morning flights are best because they seem to be less crowded.

    Bring a pacifier or sippy cup to help with ear popping for CC.

    February 28, 2012
  • Traveling with a child on a plane can be done! Just plan ahead and relax. Make sure you have the comfort stuff and you’ll be fine. ;)
    My son first plane ride was at 7 months and it went well, definitely have that bottle/sippy cup ready. ;)

    February 28, 2012
  • Yes! Finally someone writes about Baby Jogger.

    February 28, 2012
  • Amber

    Thank you 3x’s for all of the tips, everyone! I truly appreciate it. You really have helped me calm down (lol) and get focused about the trip. I’ll keep you all posted on how everything goes!

    March 1, 2012
  • Great advice that all have given and I agree with everything. I’ll add this and you can take it as you’d like – I’ve found that a well timed does of tylenol or ibubrofen works MAGICALLY to calm said child down and almost always results in a nice, long nap. =)

    March 16, 2012
  • Ebony

    Why didn’t you ask me? Your niece is a flying pro, I have video to prove it too✈

    April 9, 2012
  • Excellent article! We will be linking to this great post on our website.

    Keep up the good writing.

    April 14, 2012
  • Monica

    Bring plenty of snacks and more than enough diapers. I had the same kind of car sear but now that my kids are a little older I don’t bring it. Now my tablet is a must. It’s loaded with some kids’ games, interactive books, and the Remote Access app from my employer, Dish. The app lets them watch kids’ shows and movies and if they fall asleep, I get to watch my shows.

    April 23, 2012
  • [...] was worried earlier this year about flying with CC for the first time, but I’m so pleased to report that [...]

    July 10, 2012

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