Apr. 13
Annabel Nash   |   

Traveling with Toddlers

I don’t know if it’s just me or if this happens to anybody else as well, but somehow traveling seems to make me tired. I’m talking about the journey itself and not the idea of traveling because that’s some fun which will never lose its flavor, I don’t think. Driving just wears me out, even if I’m not the one behind the wheel and don’t even get me started on flying long distance.

Add the dynamic of having a toddler in tow and all of a sudden you realize that traveling by yourself was a cup of tea compared to what you have to deal with. Toddlers tend to get especially cranky when they effectively have to be confined to smaller spaces than what they’re used to and generally on a flight or even in a vehicle their inquisitive minds are way too restricted. Their brains don’t seem to be able to digest the need for them to sit as still as they possibly can, making it near impossible to travel regularly with them.

The situation can be managed however, but that’s exactly what it is – managing it instead of trying to completely solve the problem.

Make regular stops

It seems to get truer the younger they are, that being how toddlers act out when they’re bored, amongst many other situations of course. So you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to act out as a result of the boredom they’ll be subjected to on a long trip, which is why it’s important to make regular stops. Obviously this is only really practical if you’re driving yourselves as a family, otherwise if you might be on a long-haul flight for example, you’ll have to improvise and create situations that resemble a stop.

Basically you just need to feign a change in scenery, perhaps by getting up and walking around the cabin when it’s safe to do so while you’re flying, or simply going to the toilet to freshen up.

The cabin crew members are trained to deal with toddlers and even infants on board and they’re generally very accommodating, so ask them for some help if needs be.

Deploy some in-trip entertainment

Both local and international flights these days compete on their in-flight entertainment as part of their value proposition, so there’ll be plenty of shows for the kiddies to enjoy while you’re all eating up the miles. Just make sure all the media consumed is family-friendly though, something which perhaps applies to in-trip entertainment you’d be bringing along, otherwise the media displayed by airlines is often modified to be family friendly.

Put them to sleep

I don’t really have a problem as far as my kids go in this regard because we can barely count five minutes after the car has left the driveway and they’re gone, dreaming away with their sleep aided by the sound of the tires turning on the road. Otherwise this is a good way to help toddlers make it through journey, by timing the trip to fall in line with their nap times.

Good luck on the longer journeys however!