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Tips for Traveling with Toddlers

Parenting experts offer advice for traveling with toddlers

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Real-life best friends and mom duo Kristin Gallant and Deena Margolin, the founders behind the Big Little Feelings podcast and experts in all things toddler and preschool-hood,

have tried-and-tested tips for one of the most daunting tasks for any caregiver— traveling with a toddler. Here are their best tips to make the best out of a potentially stressful experience.

AIRPLANE TIPS

  1. Let boundaries and structure go out the window. Seriously. Be gentle with yourself. On travel days with kids, we are all just trying to survive. This means lollipops, infinite screentime, truly whatever we need to do to make it to the destination. 
    HOT TIP: If you’re doing an iPad on the airplane for the first time, practice using the headphones at home ahead of time so your kid can understand how they work. 
  2. To prevent and soothe ear pressure and pain on the plane, we recommend:
    • For babies, give them a pacifier, bottle, breast, whatever you feed them with to suck on.
    • For toddlers, give them a snack to chew on, as chewing/swallowing helps to relieve the pain. 

TRAVEL ACTIVITIES

  1. Put different snacks in a container with different compartments. This is a fun way to give them snacks while also keeping them busy!
  2. We LOVE these water books for travel days. They provide a fun, mess-free way for your kid to get creative! 

SLEEP TIPS

  1. Make sure their sleep environment is as similar to their home sleep environment as possible. Bring their favorite nightlight, sound machine, sleep sack, whatever items cue sleep and make your little one feel most comfy at nighttime. 
  2. Here are our favorite options for baby sleep arrangements:
    • Pack-and-Play: bring your own, or ask your hotel if they provide one.
    • Local Crib Rentals: (usually you can find with a quick Google search!) Especially helpful for older tots who are uncomfortable in a pack-and-play.
    • Slumber Pod: Great option for those sharing one hotel room. 

SAFETY HACKS

  • If you are worried about your older toddler rolling off a hotel bed, use a pool noodle underneath the fitted sheet to create a barrier at the edge of the bed.
  • Bring childproof safety locks to put up high (and out of reach) on any balcony doors, especially if your kid already knows how to unlock doors. 

TOYS / FUN TIP

If you are traveling somewhere with the option to swim, ask the hotel ahead of time if they have kid’s toys: Buckets, water toys, pool floaties, etc. If they don’t have them, another option is to rent them (you can usually do this through the same crib rental service) or have them shipped to the hotel ahead of time. 

OUR TOP PERSONAL TIP

Get in the bathing suit. Get in the pool or ocean. Make memories with your kids. Enjoy your life! 

About The Author
julieKeller_author-1

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures, ForbesTraveler.com, E! Online, Gayot.com, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.