The passports have arrived! Maybe they thought the bub was cute after all! Now that challenging exercise is over (read about it here) we are one step closer to departing NZ for a holiday! Flights are booked and accommodation arranged. My son and I are going on our first trip together, while dad and daughter mind the fort on the homefront. Now the part I am most dreading is nearly upon us. Having to pack and actually flying with a toddler. I have been researching like crazy trying to find the best travel tips and tricks the internet has to offer – most of which already feature on the p&t blog! Which is handy. If you are in need of some travel tips be sure to head to the “travel category” on the p&t blog home page, it’s in the right hand menu. My strategy is to keep the destination in mind and that whatever happens, happens. Being as prepared as much as I can and knowing it will all be worth it will be my motivation to adapt&survive this situation!
There are a million and one free printable packing lists online, but just the sight of them gets me feeling overwhelmed. To take the stress out of the process I am thinking practically. A change of clothes per day for each of us (a good mix for all seasons) + one spare set, swimming gear and a warm jacket just in case. Two pairs of shoes max – one dressy, one casual. And only one pair for the lil guy. This should easily all fit in one bag with room for cosmetics and a few essential personal items.
In the carry on nappy bag/back pack I will keep an ample supply of nappies, wipes and hand sanitizer. A few ziplock bags for used wet wipes or any rubbish and an activity pack with some interactive books and toys + a few snacks and a drink with a straw. I have read on a lot of blogs that lollipops or sucking through a straw/sippy cup work wonders in helping with the difference in air pressure and stops the little ones ears from hurting during take off and landing. I will definitely be including a couple of these for the trip!
I have also read it is a good idea to let them run around for as long as you can before boarding the plane. Letting them burn off all that extra energy in the airport and getting them to explore and plane watch for a bit can be a great distraction technique. If you have a super energetic toddler it can be a bit daunting boarding the plane early knowing you will have to stay confined as everyone else boards, which can take some time. Moving about may also help tire them out so they can catch some zzz’s on the flight – fingers crossed!
Thankfully our friends who we will be visiting have offered us a travel cot, car seat and stroller to borrow while we are on holiday. Which is a huge help! The less stuff I need to take the better. However if you need to take your own gear, make sure you check out the phil&teds traveller. It is super light and won’t take up much room in your luggage at all. The smart stroller or smart lux are also both great compact strollers to consider using when travelling. Don’t forget the p&t universal travel bag to keep your stroller or buggy protected while in transit (it also offers more storage space for any extras you may need to take)
Our accommodation is family friendly, with a pool and is also located close to the train station with bus stops nearby. With local restaurants within walking distance and a park/playground to keep the little one entertained only a short stroll away, getting around will be super easy. Knowing we will be staying in a central location, kind of takes the pressure off being in an unfamiliar place. Which is good peace of mind when you have little passengers to think of.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that should I forget anything (which with my memory is highly likely) there will be a lot of shops where we are going. Any excuse for a spot of shopping! (As if we needed one…) All the more reason to stay calm and end enjoy the experience. It is not often you get to jet off on holiday so why make it more work than it should be? The whole point of the trip is to have fun and take a break from the usual daily routine. All of this talking about packing and travelling would normally make me anxious, but I am actually starting to get excited now, I am really looking forward to it! It will definitely be an adventure for us, a great learning experience one that I am sure will be filled with some amazing memories.
Can you pass on any air travel tips that you have tried and tested with your little ones?
For more stories on travelling with toddlers in tow check out these phil&teds blog posts below!