Airplane and Road Trip: Toddler Travel Tips

Toddler Travel Tips:

After scouring the internet and consulting with friends on the best ways to travel with a toddler, I found a few tips pretty helpful. My goal is to share 6 tips that made our traveling experience easier than I could have imagined. I’ve broken it down into top 3 tips for flights and top 3 tips for road trips. Recently, we experienced both under two totally different circumstances.

Let me first start off with the part about giving yourself grace and room to know that with all of the planning, gadgets, and snacks, it’s your toddler you will have to lean into for a smoother trip. 

If you’re flying with your toddler in your lap:

  1. Less is more: we decided to ditch our stroller boat for an umbrella stroller. It was much easier to carry and navigate through a busy airport. Yes, I missed the additional space underneath to store those “needed” items, but we appreciated the convenience of being able to maneuver freely without taking up too much space. Instead of the bulky blanket consider a lightweight muslin or use your super soft cardigan to cover the both of you. On our flight going, I used a muslin and on the return flight, my cardigan worked just fine.
  2. Montessori activity board: I had no idea how interested my son would be! He was so interested in the zipper, snaps, and buckles. Of all the things we purchased this received the most in air time. The electronics ironically did not get as much action.
  3. Break up longer flights: this may not be the most popular tip for traveling families because of onboarding and deplaning, however, breaking up the flight gave us time to stretch, eat and decompress.

Toddler on a road trip:

  1. Add 2-3 hours to your trip: this is sure the obvious, however, leaving early in the morning and allocating a few stops outside of the gas station break will keep your toddler happy. We included a few playground stops on the trip so that he could get out and play. This also allowed a release of energy which led to a car nap.
  2. Pack a lunch and snacks: not only for your toddler but stock up on snacks and favorite food items for everyone on the road trip. You may want to stop and eat, but if you’re in a place where gas station sandwiches are the only option, and that isn’t your jam, pack items that you are really looking forward to nosh on.
  3. Download a great podcast or audiobook: In between singing every toddler song and once the electronics aren’t working, we found that our son enjoyed some of our downloads. Unsure if it was timing but the steady voice on our devices created a calming factor.

Hopefully, the shared tips will allow for an easier trip, whether it’s a trip for pleasure or an unplanned trip with your toddler, know to leave room for the unpredictable. Last tip I promise, all in all, take lots of pictures and enjoy the journey. By no means am I a toddler expert, however, I thought to share a few tips that may allow for a fun trip whether by plane or car. Toddlerhood will only last so long.

Nia Avery is a New Orleans based Fine Art Consultant for Heather James Fine Art. Prior to joining Heather James Fine Art in 2017, Nia was an art consultant in Beijing, China, where she oversaw the inaugural C!Talk initiative, a series of cross-cultural events sponsored by the World Culture Open organization. She also previously served as an art consultant in Houston where she co-led the Emancipation Economic Development Council workgroup for the art non-profit Project Row House. Nia received her Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University. Before relocating to New Orleans, she served on the board of Loma Linda Hospital’s “Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild” in Indio, California, and was a member of Desert AIDS Project’s “Partners for Life” committee in Palm Springs, California. “New Orleans is my hometown, so I am thrilled to be back. As a gastronome and fine art consultant, I have found that this city is the perfect fit – and because New Orleans is a city focused on tourism, there are always opportunities to meet people from all over the world. Living here presents an exciting opportunity to contribute to the cultural landscape. My favorite place in the city has yet to be discovered. From 1000 Figs, to Original Thought, to the McKenna Museum, there is always something to discover and experience. I am excited to discover many new favorites for years to come.”


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