• Sara Christopher

Traveling Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Tips for traveling with a Toddler.


Just kidding, I realize that sometimes its necessary to take a family vacation and although they may say “ No” If asked if they are part of your family, they really are.

So a few months ago we took a family vacation to California with our 2 year old. ( she had turned 2 just a few weeks before vacation) The vacation started in San Jose, than San Francisco for a few days, a night in Cambria, Long beach for a night, then a 3 day cruise to Catalina and Mexico, then drove back up to San Jose. It was Me, my husband, my sister and her best friend. So 4 adults to one child, easy peasy right? Wrong. She wasn’t terrible, but she definitely was a 2 year old. At that time my 2 year old had about a 10 minute attention span before she got bored. So we would cycle entertainment with snacks and sippee cups. Here are a few entertainment options we had:

Buckle backpack. My little one was absolutely obsessed with buckles. You know the kind you use to strap them into grocery carts. Well on Amazon, the sell a bunch of stuffed animals, toys and backpacks that are lined with these buckles. The one that we bought her had 4 buckles on each side. We hid this from her until the actual trip. It was new and exciting and she would spend hours buckling it up. Of course, as the adult, every so often you had to unbuckle them again , but this is definitely something I would recommend.

Doodle board. There are many types of doodle boards, but the important thing is, you want one without the need of crayons or markers. They just get lost, and it also a temptation for you child, because you know there going to want to write on something while you are out and about. The one we got was the Boogie Board. They write and its kind of a mix of colors and you push a button and the drawing disappears. I caught my husband and sister playing on it from time to time.

a few happy meal toys. Every once in a while they wanted to hold a toy, while in the stroller and no one wants to lose an expensive toy, give them the happy meal toy to be entertained, if they lose the toy, thank God.

Old iPod with Netflix movies downloaded and ridiculous kids apps on it. I know, I know you shouldn’t give your child electronics, but this was as a last resort, and it’s their vacation too. If you have the Netflix app you can download movies on there, they delete after a week, then you can download some more. Also there were a few toddler apps that my sister put on there. I can’t remember the name of them, because i’ve tried to block out those annoying things.

In between the entertainment, we gave snacks, snacks included:

cookies, not the messy kind that are going to make them look derelict, but the kind with not a lot of mess, I recommend Maria cookies, or there are some ABC schoolhouse cinnamon cookies from Trader Joes.

Goldfish crackers. This is crack for children, they love their fishy crackers.

Granola bars I told my toddler they were candy bars,she enjoyed them, but they can get kinda messy.

Fruit snacks. We started out with the generic fruit snacks, but ran out and I had to purchase some from an specialty store on our trip. They were Jelly belly organic fruit snacks. OMG they were delicious and super soft.

With a mix of snacks and entertainment, we were able to keep her occupied most of the time and were able to enjoy ourselves( a little). Oh we can’t forget her sippee cups. They were also a lifesaver. Although she can drink through a straw, there is something about sippee cups that is comforting. I packed a bottle brush and dish soap so I could keep these clean on our trip. I tried to have an extra filled sippee packed in the bag at all times. If I knew we were going to be out for a long time I would put a few ice cubes in it and put it in the insulated pocket in her diaper bag. Every night on the cruise I would fill up a sippee cup with water and ice and than put a splash of lemonade and keep in our rooms for when she woke up thirsty in the middle of the night. She normally doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night, but for some reason on the cruise she did, and luckily we had a sippee ready.

Know before going that traveling with a toddler will probably be a little stressful, but if you prepare for it, it really won’t be too bad. As they said “ Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Happy Travels!

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