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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Traveling with toddlers: A mom's survival guide

More than 20 years ago when my oldest daughter was a toddler I, thankfully, didn’t have most of the traveling troubles parents have with toddlers. Amber was a quiet girl who didn’t like being reprimanded. As long as she had something to keep her occupied we both were content. However, I know for a lot of parenting traveling with toddlers is like ice dancing while a monkey throws bananas at you. It's survival of the fittest and your little one is conditioned to win. Glares from fellow passengers along with the fits and tantrums of your child will have you doubting your sanity. Unlike childless vacation-goers, your trip requires careful preparation and endurance. Relax and realize things may not go as planned. For moments you can control, let these helpful gadgets give you a dose of toddler-travel relief.

Carry On

c804f201-8c5c-4ddf-861a-dc356c09bc65Transporting your child around the airport is an adventure. Strollers are bulky and useless once your toddler kicks into spider monkey mode. Carrying your luggage plus a heavy child through security and boarding the plane is precarious. Enter the Ride on Carry On. This innovative product converts your roll-aboard luggage into a kids travel stroller. Snap the safety-tested chair onto your existing rolling luggage and you're off. Added perks include a convertible headrest that turns into a tray for eating during layovers. Once you are ready to board just collapse the seat and stow it away with your carry-on.

Amber will need this for my granddaughter, but when Amber was a tot she thought of it as an exciting adventure. She had her own carryon bag complete with mom-approved  items of her choice. and her kid-sized rolling suitcase. In the beginning, I just carried her when we had to make a mad dash and as she got older we did the “hold my pocket & don’t let go” run. It actually works and often seems fun to them especially if you tell them you’re racing.

Travel Tech

Do yourself a favor and refrain from packing a carry-on full of toys. The airlines are already equipped with interesting toys. Barf bags, plastic cups, straws and the in-flight magazine are far more amusing. Once the allure of paper goods has faded, turn to the hypnotizing power of visual stimulation. A tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Note from T-Mobile can be pre-loaded with entertaining, kid-friendly apps. Bigger than a phone, smaller than a tablet, it's the perfect size to carry for your tot.


The plane ride is only the beginning. Hotels contain dozens of curiosities to poke and prod at. Reduce the perils of new surroundings with the Travel Tot, a childproofing kit to help guard your kid against table corners, electrical outlets and other inevitable hazards. This tool-free and non-destructing component requires only a few minutes for instant damage control.

Convenient idea, huh?  I’ve had quite a bit of luck with my four at them maintaining the boundaries set upon them upon arrival. I didn’t have to be a move things, cover things, etc., kind of parent. Lucky, right?

Sleep Away

When traveling with children, your vacation begins at bedtime. Give your youngster (and yourself) a fighting chance at a proper night's sleep with a cozy bed. No more makeshift cots or sharing beds with your little one. The Shrunks portable bed is proportionately-sized when inflated and its deflated version is easy to pack. For your peace of mind, this portable bed contains BPA-safe and lead-safe materials. Make it feel like home with a soft bed sheet your toddler can snuggle up in. The unique design lets you tuck in any standard-sized crib sheet so it feels like a real bed.

I wish they had those for big kids. Recently, on our first night away I discovered I won’t be sleeping with my 10-year-old daughter ever again. She’s still the child who has her feet and legs all over the place including on my legs. We had two queen-sized beds so I just switched kids the next night.

There ya have it; traveling with toddlers made simple. What are your best traveling with kids tips? Get them ready ‘cause the season to be on the go is here.

Sleeping travelers circa 2006-07

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Good luck getting yours to sleep like this on a plane.

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