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Looking for tips for flying with a toddler? I’ve got plenty! I have been flying with all the kids since they were infants. Avery is now four and Ilius is nine. Recently, I flew alone with all three kids to Orlando in October so I’ve got lots of tips for flying with a toddler.
Picking the Best Flight When Flying With a Toddler
The best flight when flying with a toddler is one without layovers! The last thing you want to do is having to go on multiple flights and run all around the airport to make it to another flight.
You’ll also want to book a flight around your toddler’s nap/sleep schedules. For example, in March we are flying to Amsterdam at 1 AM. Not an ideal time but it works because they will be able to sleep throughout the flight. This also takes into consideration the travel time to/from the airport.
I use Kayak.com to compare all flights to find the best flight.
Prepping for Your International Flight With a Toddler
We booked our flight with Norweigan and we are able to check-in Avery’s stroller at the gate with no charge. You may want to check if your airline does this too, if not there may be a fee to check-in the stroller.
I’m excited I get to bring a stroller for Avery at no charge. We have had this stroller since Avery was 7 months. You will love how it is super durable and how easily you can fold/open the stroller. This stroller will be checked in when we check-in our bags, not at the gate.
I don’t recommend bringing a nice stroller to the gate because it can get banged up and then you’ll have to file a claim if something happens to it. If you are checking in a nicer stroller make sure to put it in a carrying case.
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Toddler Carry-On Bag
When traveling with a toddler, most flights you can bring a personal carry-on with no charge. In Avery’s carry-on bag she will have her dolls, tablet with headphones, some workbooks, and this fun coloring book. Two sets of clothes to change into (just in case) an empty water bottle and snacks. It is best to bring a light blanket too because it gets cold inside the airplane.
Get My First Toddler Coloring Book on Amazon.
Dressing Your Toddler
Since you are traveling with a toddler you want them to be comfortable. Our flight is 8 hours to Amsterdam so Avery will be wearing a hoodie, sweat pants and sneakers. You want your toddler to wear sneakers they can easily slide off in case they might need to take them off at the Security checkpoint. If we were flying in the Summer I would have had her put on sandals.
Packing Snacks for Your International Flight With a Toddler
Bring enough snacks when traveling with a toddler. Our flight is 8 hours long and we do have to get to the airport about 2-3 hours prior. You will want to have enough snacks while they wait to board and also for the flight. If you are flying to an unfamiliar country and your child loves a certain snack I would definitely bring as much as I can, even in your check-in bag.
When Avery was 2 years old we packed milk for her in a bottle. You are allowed to bring milk for infants/toddlers. I don’t think I’ll pack milk for her but I will be bringing her Contigo water bottle to refill with water at the water fountains.
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Snacks at the airport and on the plane can be pricey so be sure to pack what your child loves! You will also have to consider the time of the flight when traveling with your toddler if it’s during their meals. Avery loves Motts Fruit Snacks and Goldfishes, but what kid doesn’t?
Getting Through the Airport With Your Toddler
You and your toddler will have to go through the security checkpoint. You’ll have to take off your shoes and jackets etc. They’ll have you take out electronics and place them in a separate bin. If you brought breastmilk, formula and/or milk take it out and place it in a separate tray because you’ll be pulled aside for them to test it. Security checkpoints can be stressful especially if you have a lot of carry-on items.
Dealing With a Toddler at the Airport
Bring your charger in your carry-on bag! There usually are outlets all over the airport. Since you know that you have some time to wait prior to the flight you’ll want to make sure your toddler is not bored. If you have Netflix you can download movies to view offline.
Boarding the Airplane With a Toddler
If you brought your stroller for your toddler then you’ll have to tell the agent so that they can give you a ticket. Most airlines will let you board earlier since you are traveling with a toddler and may need additional assistance.
If you need to change your toddler the bathrooms inside the airplane have a pull-down changing table. If you are traveling with multiple kids know that they would not allow more than three people inside the bathroom. (When I flew to Orlando, I had to bring Avery to the restroom and had Adonis (3 months old) in my arm and they would not allow all of us in together. I was traveling alone and the Stewardess was kind enough to hold him while I helped Avery.)
Keeping Your Toddler Entertained on an International Flight
When traveling with a toddler they can get bored easily. If you are bringing a tablet, have all the apps they love and movies for them. Make sure to pack headphones so they can use them on their tablets to hear. Some flights even play free movies to watch. This also helps avoid buying a cheap headset on the flight.
Protecting Your Toddler’s Ears During Takeoff and Landing
If your child uses a pacifier have them use it while taking off and landing. The sucking motion of pacifier will help prevent their ears from popping.
Did our tips on traveling with toddlers help you at all? Or do you have any travel tips with toddlers you can share with me? Please comment below or DM me on Instagram with your own experience traveling with your toddler!