No matter your mode of transportation, traveling with a toddler can make life interesting. Use these ideas to travel safely and stress-free.
Flying with a toddler
- Plan ahead. Understand what you can bring and the security protocol. Explain it to your children before you leave for the airport. These safety tips for first-time flyers can help you prepare and keep your family and luggage safe.
- Pack smart. Help children pack their bags to make sure they don't pack prohibited items. If you have questions about what you can pack, call your airline or review this TSA list.
- Reduce ear pressure. Help toddlers relieve ear pain or pressure by encouraging them to drink liquids through a sippy cup or straw.
- Understand safety procedures. Even if you've flown before, tune in to the pre-flight safety speech and clear up any lingering questions you might have with a flight attendant.
- Prepare safe seating. Children who weigh more than 40 pounds can safely use the airplane's seat belt. If your child weighs less than that, bring the proper child safety seat for your child's size.
- Pack entertainment. Carry on a variety of toys and snacks to accommodate short attention spans. Some parents recommend giving toys out on a schedule. Try wrapping them up as gifts to make the experience even more exciting.
Traveling with a toddler by train
- Stick together. It's easy to lose your balance on a train, especially for unsteady walkers. Stay with toddlers if they need to move around the train car.
- Sanitize surfaces. Encourage children to wash their hands whenever possible, and use sanitizer often.
Road trips with a toddler
- Use a proper car seat. Exact height and weight measurements will determine the correct size of safety seat for your toddler. Infants should be in rear-facing car seats, but children age 2 and older can typically use front-facing seats.
- Come prepared. Especially on long drives, young children may become bored easily. If both adults are in the front, have the front passenger distribute soft toys and snacks to keep toddlers calm and content.
Whether you're traveling by air, train, or automobile, being prepared and safe are key to a good trip.