Monkey and I are back from our winter getaway. Luckily for us, Florida had a record-breaking heat wave so we spent a lot of time perfecting our sand-sculpting skills at the beach. It was a great vacation, but it's nice to have our little family back together again at home.
This trip marked Monkey's third time on an airplane, but it was the first time he didn't take a little snooze (or two). Thankfully, it was only a three-hour flight and I was prepared to be a non-stop entertainer to avoid any toddler meltdowns. Here are some of the things that helped our trip go smoothly ...
Snacks -- I packed a lot of little containers with bite-sized snacks (blueberries, dried cranberries, crackers, cucumber slices) to occupy and keep Monkey well-fed.
Favourite things -- A few days before our trip, Monkey and I picked four of his favourite books and two of his favourite little toy cars and packed them together for the 'big trip'. He was very excited to see his favourite things magically appear again on the plane ride.
Sticker and colouring books -- Monkey was captivated by this sticker book that let him decorate all the rooms of a house in his own (interesting) way. He is also a big fan of this colouring book that comes with stickers.
Cartoon narration -- Madagascar was playing on the in-flight entertainment system, so we made up our own story about the characters as we watched (without headphones). Monkey was partial to the zebra. When he's a bit older, it'll be fun to watch the cartoon with actual sound and see if he remembers any of our crazy, made-up tales.
iPhone apps -- We don't let Monkey play with our iPhones, but before we left I downloaded some toddler-friendly apps in case I was desperate. The two free apps that I got were Toddler Counting 123 and The Wheels on the Bus. Surprisingly, I didn't have to use them.
Diaper changes -- A diaper change on the plane takes up time and is an adventure for your little one (so do it even if one isn't needed!). Monkey walked down the aisle himself so it was a good stretch for both of us too. There are peepholes in the emergency exits on either side of the plane that make it fun to peek out if you have to wait in line.
Logistics -- Use a backpack for your carry-on to make it easy at the airport. Sit in a window seat so your toddler can see the action while you wait on the runway or at the gate. Put your stroller in a golf bag (or something similar) to avoid wear-and-tear when it's checked at the gate. Instead of sitting to wait for the plane, walk around the airport together so they aren't as squirmy when it comes time to sit on your lap for the trip.
That's all I have. Do you have any tips and tricks to share about travelling with babies or toddlers? I'd love to hear from you for our next adventure!