Traveling with a Toddler

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Hellooooo everybody!  So I’ve done a post like this before and another one here.  But those were when Zach was younger than a year and boy have things changed!  I now have an active, hysterical, talkative, sometimes adorably stubborn toddler.  Many things have changed, including traveling!  We went to Florida last week and I made sure to be SUPER organized because I was traveling alone with Zach.  Here is how I stayed partially sane traveled with my 21 month old to Florida this past week.



– Packing:  Write down the number of days and nights you are going to be gone.  For nights, pack that many nighttime outfits plus an extra, as well as any other sleeping “device.”  I am a sleep nutso so I aim to make Zachary’s sleeping situation mimic that of his home as much as possible. I packed his sound machine, sleep sacks and light up turtle (that makes stars on the walls).  For day time, I always pack 1.5 times the amount of days we are going to be gone for outfits.  Zach is messy.  For instance, if we are going for 6 days, I will pack 9 outfits.   I am also OBSESSED with this SIMPLE yet amazing J&J travel pack that has SOOO many uses.

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It is less than 5 bucks on and is awesome.   It has shampoo, lotion, diaper ointment, body wash and baby powder.  Now I don’t use baby powder on Zach, but this handy dandy travel kit helps me out too and serves double duty; the powder I use as dry shampoo (because I am generally too lazy to wash my hair ever on vacation).  LOVE this travel kit.  Also airline friendly.

– Buy it there:  IF we are going away longer than 5 days, I buy some things when I get to my destination.  These things include diapers, wipes, etc.  BUT, I do pack the most AMAZING thing that I have bought: the travel diaper changer with some diapers and wipes.  This one RULES.


It has a handy pocket too that I throw anti-bac wipes and other essentials in. That goes in my carry on.

Transportation: If you can afford it, buy a wheeler for your car seat (if you are bringing a car seat). I bought this one from

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I made the mistake of letting Zach “down” to run around the airport before we got on the plane to work some energy out.  BAD IDEA.  I was either going to lose him or my mind.  The latter MIGHT have occurred.  Anyway, on the way back from Florida, I made him sit int he car seat the ENTIRE time we were at the airport.  He then didn’t even think of getting “down.”  Good call, Mama.


As for security, they were (surprisingly) awesome and just took the car seat attached to the wheeler through security for me.

-Security: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to approach each and every TSA officer you can to ask if you can go into a family lane or something similar where you can through security as quick and possible.  Oh and make sure you show your baby 😉  Let’s be honest, no one wants a pissed off toddler, TSA, other passengers or otherwise.

Ticketing:  If you are able, buy a ticket for your toddler.  They WILL need the room to either nap (if you bring the car seat that is your best nap-bet) or do their “toddler thing.”


So here is a trick:  when you pick your seats (either ahead of time or if Southwest that day-ps for Southwest get the preferred boarding) as an aisle and a window.  If you are lucky enough to not have a full flight, chances are people will NOT choose to sit between you and your monster toddler.

Entertainment:   Call me a cheap bastard (I’ve been called worse) but I am not going to go out and buy all new stuff to occupy my child on the plane.  TRICK?  Find old toys that he/she used to love and has forgotten about and include some new favorites too.  Wrap them all in wrapping paper so they are “presents.”  And dole them out as needed on the plane.


I wrapped his old laptop, three books, a car, a play phone and some stickers.  He LOVED it.  I totally saved some for the way back too.  Oh, and SNACKS.  Pack those too.  I just packed sippy cups in my carry on and bought bottled water at the airport so that I wouldn’t have to argue with security. I also bought a bottle of apple juice as a treat (I water down juice for Z as a treat sometimes).

– BREATHE.  Truly.  You can hope things will go well, but in the end, accept that whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  You have a toddler. An unpredictable, exciting and adorable toddler.  You can’t control it. Let go.  Ha.  If I could only take that advice myself… 🙂


Any other travel tips?!  Please comment!