Advice on traveling with a toddler

Jessi - posted on 03/30/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My husband and I will be traveling to Istanbul, Turkey with our two year old in September for a family wedding. Any advice? This will be her first air plane ride....also wondering would it be better to take our own stroller or just buy a cheap one when we arrive?

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Louise - posted on 03/31/2011

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My best advice is to take a car seat that is airline approved as your child is used to sitting in the car for extended periods of time and most of the time they fall asleep. This is far more comfortable for them than the lap belt of the airline seat. Also take plenty of snacks and toys that you know they like. Also try and get a travel sized magnadoodle. This allows them to draw without any use of pens or crayons. My daughter loved it.

As for the pushchair if you decide to take your own by an airline pushchair bag for it. They cost about £6 and protect the buggies wheels and handles when in the cargo hold.

Moni - posted on 03/31/2011

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What a fun trip! The most recent long flight our daughter was on was from the States to Australia...pretty darn long! I hit up the dollar store and the childrens craft bins at Michaels (most things there were between $.50-$.75) and put some in her travel back pack and some in our carry-on. Definitely get a kids roller suitcase. She loves carrying hers through the airport - keeps her occupied, keeps her toys contained, perfect!
Bring lots and lots of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. Your kiddo will want to touch everything and the last thing you need is a sick toddler overseas/on an international flight. Have children's tylenol on board with you, you never know what they'll get a finger stuck in. Our daughter loved watching movies on the portable DVD player. Headphones were not a hit, but she just liked the visual, no sound needed.
Will she have her own seat? I recommend her own seat on long flights. We were able to get an extra seat on the trip home so my daughter could stretch out over 2 seats to sleep...made that flight a lot better!
I would take a stroller. We've used a light weight stroller and a BOB when traveling. I much prefer knowing the stroller will last and that we have it if we need it for the airport.
Lastly, relax. There's a good chance that at some point she'll cry on the flight. If you're relaxed, she'll relax faster. Planes are not libraries, they're not meant to be completely silent and with engine noise, most people won't hear any fussing. Oh, always make nice with the flight attendants right away. They're your greatest asset on the flight. HTH!

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Amber - posted on 04/07/2011

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Bring a small stroller(like an umbrella stroller) that way you can have your child in it, if need be, up until you board. Ours was really helpful because our daughter fell asleep while waiting for our tickets. It was much easier having our own stroller and not having to carry a sleeping child through customs.

Jessi - posted on 04/07/2011

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I forgot about the ears popping! Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to have a sippy for her! :)

Michelle - posted on 04/06/2011

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Make sure to bring a sippy cup or straw cup with something to drink during take off and landing. It helps the ears pop to relieve changes in air pressure.

Oh, and large head phones (ones that cover the ears instead of go inside) so that your little one can watch the DVD player without bothering anyone else.

Hope you have a great trip.

Ashleigh Jade - posted on 04/03/2011

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Take a light,cheap stroller. Also when we travel for long periods of time with our 4yo, 2yo and 1yo it helps to pack food,drinks,lollies,books and toys. This is always a big hit with my kids.so is the portable dvd player and headfones, so they can watch their cartoons.
And relax! Your child will be more relaxed on the trip if you are!

Have a great time!

Carmen - posted on 04/02/2011

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Just have a wonderful time...like you said "once in a lifetime" my 15 month old and I just got back from Maui and I was a wreck worrying and then got compliments on how great she did with the (combined) 16 hr trip. Lots of litttle toys, and great flight crew seemed the key for us. The final leg was 6 hrs straight and she slept about 5 of that. Already looking into next one. Have fun!!

Jessi - posted on 04/01/2011

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Thanks so much for the advice ladies!!! All great ideas! I feel less stress already :) The flight will take us about 11hrs non-stop. We are planning to fly out of Chicago which is a 5 hr drive from where we live. I'm having a bit a difficulty swallowing the cost of the airfare!! Once in a life time trip though!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/31/2011

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First thought....bring your bag of patience and something to knock yourself out LOL

How long is the flight?

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