5 Packing Tips for Flying With Toddlers
Traveling and experiencing new places is one of my favorite things to do and if I could, I would do a whole lot more of it. Regardless of how young our little ones have been (as young as 2 months) vacationing with them has thankfully not been as hard as I thought it would be. Packing for babies, on the other hand, can easily be overwhelming. Trust me, I know. In getting ready for our first family vacation I packed everything but the kitchen sink.
Getting ready to go on our first family vacation with them both in their toddler stage, I can happily say that packing for them has been much easier this time. I am about 85% packed for them which is a huge accomplishment for me since I am usually still fitting things into our suitcase as we are heading out the door to the airport. To help you start off your getaway on the right foot, here are my 5 tips when packing for traveling abroad with toddlers.
LAY EVERYTHING OUT- AND GET RID OF HALF
I am naturally an over packer. I’ve always done it for myself and when it comes to the babies, my problem is way more ridiculous. When my cousin walked in on me closing the babies luggages, last vacation, she asked if I was moving them out! Of course I thought I needed everything I was taking but I maybe used half the outfits I packed for them so yes, I have a serious overpacking issue. Lay everything you plan on taking and aim to get rid of half. This will force you to see what the true essentials actually are.
CREATE OUTFITS AND MIX & MATCH PIECES
To make getting rid of half the clothing you originally wanted to take easier, pack pieces that you can mix and match to give you more outfits out of what you have. If you can create two looks with at least half of what you’re packing, it’s that much less that you’ll need to carry around.
ACCESS TO LAUNDRY
This one depends on where you are traveling to. If you’re doing Airbnb or staying at a relative’s home, even partially, having access to doing your laundry will save you outfits as well as time when you get back from vacation. I’ve never used laundry services at a resort, and personally don’t think I would ever consider it unless it was truly out of necessity, but you certainly can if it’s where you’ll be for your entire vacation stay. Whenever we go to the Dominican Republic, we have the benefit of having our laundry done while we are at my parents' house.
MAKE SURE ADULTS CAN CARRY EVERYTHING (TODDLERS INCLUDED)
Although toddlers are most likely walking on their own and they’ll probably be excited about pulling their own carry on bag, especially if it’s a kid-friendly one, remember that the excitement might wear off after about 5 minutes and you will most likely end up lugging around all the luggage. When packing for traveling abroad with toddlers, don’t forget that they might become tired and cranky and want to be carried around which is why you need to make sure the adults can carry everything, toddlers included.
I don’t care how little you want to travel with, umbrella strollers are lifesavers. When vacationing with toddlers or babies, and I would extend it to include kids even when they’re out of their toddler stage, an umbrella stroller is crucial. Achilles is very independent so as a one-and-a-half-year-old we didn’t think he would want to be in a stroller since at home he prefers to walk everywhere. Instead of investing in a double stroller for our first vacation with two babies, we just took the baby’s snap and go stroller. Huge rookie parent mistake! Our first week on vacation we stayed at a resort and by 7 pm, every night, he was ready for bed which meant we either had to take turns carrying him or letting him run wild on a past-his-bedtime burst of energy. Needless to say, next vacation we packed a double umbrella stroller and it was honestly a family vacation game changer. Once we had dinner, they would happily relax and sleep in the stroller until we’d get back to our room.
There you go. Five packing tips for flying with toddlers that will hopefully alleviate some of the pre-vacation stress for you. Now go ahead and pack but most importantly, relax and remember that it’s all part of the parenthood experience. Plus, in a few days you’ll be living a bunch of fun new moments with your family.
What has your experience in traveling with kids been like so far? Any tips for the plane ride?