Long flights with a toddler

Surviving long flights with a toddler

Several months ago my mom asked me if I wanted to go to Vietnam.  I looked into the flights and couldn’t for the life of me get excited about taking such long flights  with a toddler. The only other time I have been on a plane that long was for a trip to India (pre kid) and it was challenging.  However, the conversation did peak my curiosity and I started looking into the possibility of traveling to that side of the world. 

I didn’t pick Vietnam for our next vacation but somewhere just as far. Thailand!  We are days away from flying to Bangkok and I have been planning like crazy to make sure we get there in one piece.  I sat down and visualized the steps we would go through from getting from our house to the airport with luggage and gear, checking in, clearing security, getting through the airport and finally managing a toddler for two long flights. 

Activities, Entertainment, and Snacks

(Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.)

I wanted to create a whole activity binder thing but it was too big and I didn’t want it taking up so much room in our carry on.  Instead, I settled on a couple sticker books, a water pen coloring books, a tape activity book, sticky notes, and some play dough.  I also bought some little random items from the dollar store (toy cars, silly putty, paw patrol figurines, stuff like that).  I gift wrapped everything for an added time killer and to add a little excitement when the journey got daunting. 

For snacks I purchased a plastic craft box and filled it up with all sorts of things.  The snack box was a little large.  But the novelty of the snack box was definitely worth it.  My toddler decorated it before we left and he is looking forward to having it on the plane. 

Toddler Travel Snack Box  Toddler Travel Snack Box

We brought an iPad with plenty of Paw Patrol, Curious George, Peppa the Pig, Daniel the Tiger and Dino Train.  For headphones we have the LilGadgets Connect + Premium Volume Limited Wired Headphones with SharePort for Children.  These headphones are perfect for little heads and I love that I can plug my ear buds in and check the volume. 

Long flights with a toddler are easier when your hands are free…

Next I set out to ensure that my husband didn’t end up lugging large and heavy bags all over.  I wanted to be as light as possible so we would have no problem making our short connections, didn’t have much to keep track of and had our hands free to keep hold of our toddler.  I debated about bringing the stroller.  The stroller always doubles as a good luggage cart, a place for a sleepy kid to crash, and is easy to put a kid in when in a rush through an airport.  But having the stroller is also a hassle.  I decided no stroller and ergo instead.

CARES Airplane Harness and the RideSafer Travel Vest

For the airplane we used the CARES Harness.  Also, I opted to leave our carseat behind and use the RideSafer Travel Vest.   If you are interested in learning more about my experience with these travel restraints you can read about it here —>  (Lighten Your Travels Using the RideSafer Travel Vest)

RideSafer + CARES Harness CARES FAA Approved Harness

When taking  long flights with a toddler you never know what you are going to get.  Take some time to plan snacks and activities, bring a good pair of child size headphones, and talk to your toddler about what they can expect and you will be in a good position to manage it.  Also, don’t forget you have to fly back.  Pack extra surprises and things your toddler hasn’t seen for the trip back. Most importantly relax and remember you’ll get there eventually and it will all be worth it!

(Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that I may receive a small commission from when you click through and make a purchase.  This commission comes at no cost to you.)

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