5 Tips for Saner Trips with Toddlers

Karsten and I just survived 22 hours of nonstop travel, from Asia to Europe. The toddler age is a lot more difficult because of how active they are, so it means less sleep for you, and more brainstorming for ways to keep them happy and settled, with the other passengers undisturbed. I am sure you have found what works for you when traveling with your own kids, and here are 5 things that helped make our long journey a lot smoother.

  1. Bring surprise toys. Invest in some little interesting playthings that will help kids kill time—a brick game on mute, a hand-size tractor; a deck of colorful cards. Then pull them out at that desperate moment.
  2. Pack a travel pillow. When you find yourself having to sleep or just sit for hours in an unnatural position with a kid on your lap, you’ll be glad for the tiny comforts.
  3. Reserve the seat you’ll be more comfy in.  A little detail like this often gets lost in the planning, but it makes a world of difference. Best airplane seats are the ones where your front is free, near a window and easy access to the toilets.
  4. Don’t forget your umbrella stroller. These are God’s gifts to traveling parents. Get one that folds up thinly, no fussy wheels or gadgets—simply a place where your child can rest and you can hang extra baggage that seems to accumulate out of nowhere!
  5. Relax. The old adage of “enjoying the moment” was never so complicated. But your child will notice things you hadn’t before, and you can have fun experiencing the sensory world of travel with him. The only thing worse than a screaming, crying child on an airplane, is a screaming, crying parent. Pack some patience and just have fun.
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