Travelling with Toddlers

Our vacation has sadly come and gone.  I miss the heat and the sun so much already.  I’ve also realized how much of my day is actually taken up by cooking, cleaning, laundry, running errands, planning meals and trying to stay organized.  It was so nice to spend a week at a beautiful all inclusive in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.  It was the second time in the Mayan Riviera for my husband and I, but this was the first hot vacation we have taken either of the kids on.  It went so much better than I anticipated it would (including the flights, which is really 90% of the battle if you ask me).  We got to spend so much time together as a family and I felt the stress just melt away and had a feeling of carefree that I find only a vacation can bring.  Having zero responsibility to do anything other than eating, sleeping, relaxing, tanning, and playing with the kids was fantastic and we made some great memories!

I do have some tips for those of you travelling with little ones (my kids are 3 and a half and 21 months).  The first thing I did was buy each of the kids the cute Skip Hop rolling carry ons.  They both felt so important wheeling around their carry-ons.  Plus I could stash a lot of food and entertainment in these bags and they fit well under the seats of the plane so they are easily accessible the entire flight.  I tried using one of the leash backpacks with my son and he was not having any of it, so I gave up.  Maybe they would work well with some kids by my son is definitely too strong willed.  My husband and I each packed backpacks for carry ons so we could keep our hands free to tame the kids.  In those we packed the diaper clutch, a spare change of clothes for each of us (because you never know) and more food.

For the flight itself bring entertainment and lots of snacks.  I had read that suckers worked well for take-off to help with equalizing pressure so I made sure to have several suckers for each of the kids.  We gave them to the kids during taxiing and they worked fantastically.  Neither of the kids complained about their ears bothering them and the suckers helped keep them busy and quiet.  So really it was a win-win.  In terms of entertainment, we packed iPads, the quiet book I made, colouring books, headphones, toy cars and the felt car mat I made, the velcro popsicle sticks, a puzzle, picture books, the felt mr/mrs potato head and felt doll sets I made.  These seemed to keep the kids busy and when all else failed, there was food.  I wish I could say I brought all healthy food, but that would be a lie.  The biggest hits (other than the previously mentioned suckers) were mini Oreo cookies, goldfish, and Nibs.  Not proud, but they did the trick.  We also purchased some sandwiches on the flights because on the way there we flew right over lunch time and on the way back we were flying through supper time.  I really have no other tips for the flight.  I think you either luck out or you don’t.  The flight there was definitely easier as it worked well with nap time, but the flight back was a little more tricky as my son missed his nap because of the time we had to be at the airport and then didn’t want to sleep even though the flight lasted past his bedtime.  Lucky for us there were other parents on the flight so we weren’t the only ones dealing with a fussy kid.  All in all though it really wasn’t that bad and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Once we got to the resort it was smooth sailing.  Our room was equipped with both an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi so the kids could play away and splash all they wanted in the outdoor jacuzzi and it didn’t matter.  In terms of packing for the trip, I packed outfits for the trip in Ziploc bags for each day of the trip for each of the kids.  In each of these bags I packed an outfit for hot weather and and outfit for cooler weather (just in case).  Luckily we did not need any of the outfits for cooler weather as it was good and hot the entire time we were there.  This was not the case the last time we went.  The first couple of days I remember wearing jeans and a long sleeved sweater.  So I wanted to be prepared.  Having the outfits together also ensured I was packing clothes that matched, my husband would not have to pick out outfits, and I didn’t have to waste time picking out clothes each day.  These same bags also came in handy on the way back as we were able to fill them with wet bathing suits, liquids, etc.

We also packed our double stroller because we knew the resort we were going to be at was huge and we figured it would be nice to have in the Cancun airport.  It came in handy for both of those and I’m very glad we packed it.  For those of you that have a Britax B ready stroller, I was able to fit it (with both seats) into the old Vista bag (from 2011).  I did have to take it apart to get it to fit but once I figured out the perfect configuration, I took a picture so I would be able to quickly pack it again to gate check it on our way home and I’m glad I did because I referred to the picture a couple of times.  The main things I did were remove both seats from the frame, removed the front wheels from the frame, and then folded the handlebar up.  I then stacked the seats, main seat on top of frame and second seat on top of that.  Here are the pictures in case any one else wants to try to travel with their Britax B ready and wants a travel bag:

How to get a Britax B ready with two seats to fit into a 2011 Vista bag

How to get a Britax B ready with two seats to fit into a 2011 Vista bag

Getting a Britax B ready with two seats into a 2011 Vista stroller bag

Getting a Britax B ready with two seats into a 2011 Vista stroller bag

And of course here are some pictures from our trip:

Our daughter with the monkey on the beach

Our daughter with the monkey on the beach

Free room service = greatest thing ever for supper with kids - we did this for half our trip

Free room service = greatest thing ever for supper with kids – we did this for half our trip

Our fantastic room

Our fantastic room

Yummy room service dessert - cheesecake for us, chocolate cake for the kids

Yummy room service dessert – cheesecake for us, chocolate cake for the kids

Filling a pit with water = hours of entertainment

Filling a pit with water = hours of entertainment

Found a sea shell

Found a sea shell

Getting some sun with my little man

Getting some sun with my little man

Just a part of the beautiful resort

Just a part of the beautiful resort

 

 

Cute baby coatie

Cute baby coatie right off our balcony

Somebody was not happy to be leaving

Somebody was not happy to be leaving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to Travelling with Toddlers

  1. Dorlynn Schneider says:

    Sound like a great holiday enjoyed your pictures

    Sent from my iPad

    • cdawnb says:

      It was fantastic and I am very glad I did not let any of the negative press Mexico has received deter us from going back!

  2. Wendy says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    • cdawnb says:

      You’re welcome! The thought of travelling with the kids was terrifying to me before the trip but now I am confident I could do it again.

  3. This is just what I needed to hear – We are going to Greece from Canada in June, My Savannah will be 34 months and I am nervous to say the least. The first flight (a short one from Ottawa to Toronto) is over her nap time so I am hoping she will take a small nap or aleast not have a complete melt down if she skips it. We then have a 3 hour lay over at the airport before our flight at 5:50pm. I am nervous – hoping she doesnt freak out in the plane on take off and am hoping for the best preparing for the worst. Thanks for the great tips. x

    • cdawnb says:

      You’re welcome! I was worried right up until we got onto the plane, but once we were on the plane I tried to have the attitude that it was going to go how it was going to go and there was not really a whole lot I could do to change it. So I just went with the flow. Our original flights included a 2 or 3 hour layover in Toronto, but a seat sale came up with direct flights so I snapped up those seats pretty quickly as they only required us changing our trip by one day. That being said, I’ve heard that layovers can be advantageous with little ones because they get some time to run around. One last tip that a friend gave me would be to bring balloons to the airport with you. Blow them up and let your little one run around and have some fun.
      Hope you have a fantastic trip!

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