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how to travel alone with a toddler

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How to travel with toddlers?

A well-stocked diaper bag can be a lifesaver when traveling with toddlers. Wet wipes provide a basic level of hygiene for all ages, while plastic zip-close bags can store items ranging from toys and snacks to wet bathing suits and soiled shoes – and even garbage or diapers, in a pinch.

Can toddlers fly in car seats on planes?

Car seat safety experts universally agree flying with a car seat is the safest option for toddlers since runway emergencies do occur, which are similar to car crashes but at five times the speed. Toddlers may ride on your lap at no added cost but will need their own ticket if you are installing the car seat on the plane.

How do you entertain a toddler on a plane?

Entertaining toddlers on a plane, where you have to be mindful of other passengers and can’t pull over for breaks, is challenging. Quiet, engaging activities like coloring books and art projects with linoleum, felt, magnetic or adhesive cut-outs keep little hands and minds busy.

How do you pack for flying alone with a baby?

Everything needs to fit into one bag that can go at your feet. You have an extra person in your row so the last thing you want to do is be asking them to get up while you go in and out of a bag in the overhead compartment. I get pretty serious when I pack for flying alone with a baby.

How To Pack and Prepare

Depending on your destination (a hotel, an Airbnb, staying with family), it’s incredibly helpful to send as many necessities as possible ahead of time. After all, packing these things or loading them onto a plane with you, is just not feasible.

Necessities for the Airport and on the Plane

When you are traveling through the airport and flying on a plane with a toddler, there are a few items that are an absolute must. Aside from the things you traditionally have handy in your purse or diaper bag—snacks, diapers, wipes, and toys—you’ll also want to think about how your child will be sitting on the plane.

Other Helpful Tips

Preparing for a trip with your toddler can feel overwhelming. You never know if your child might get overwhelmed by a large population of people or feel claustrophobic on the small aircraft. Although you can’t plan for everything, here are some additional tips that can help you survive traveling with your little one.

A Word From Verywell

Traveling alone is stressful to begin with, and can be especially worrisome if you have a tot in tow. We hope these tips help you plan for a less stressful trip so you can enjoy your vacation or trip with your little one.

1. Book an earlier flight

Patiently waiting to board his very first airplane. Photo credit: Kimberly Miles

2. Pay to choose your own seats if necessary

Nowadays, it seems that every single airline is capitalizing off of passengers wanting to choose their seats ahead of time.

3. Take the stroller

Fast asleep in his comfortable stroller after a long walk along the beach. Photo credit: Kimberly Miles

4. Take the car seat, too

A car seat on the airplane means a comfortable, familiar place for babies and toddlers to enjoy the flight, and eventually fall asleep! Photo credit: Kimberly Miles

6. Give yourself plenty of time

When traveling solo, I arrive at the airport with just enough time to get through security. Grab some snacks, and make a bathroom break or two before the plane starts boarding.

8. Relax the rules

At home, we may have limited screen time, specific naptimes or bedtimes, restrictions on certain foods and when they can be eaten, and boundaries on when and where playtime can occur. Sometimes it just makes everyone happier if you let some of those things fly ( especially when you are literally flying…on the plane).

9. Do something for you

A cold treat for the both of us after a hot day exploring our surroundings. Photo credit: Kimberly Miles

Travelling solo with a toddler: how do I prepar?

This partly depends on how much you have already travelled with your child. Lotte has seen quite a lot of the world. The only thing being really different is her father and brother won’t join us. No much preparing needed on that part.

How do you manage all the luggage?

Travelling light is the key word. Make sure you don’t take to much as you all have to carry it yourself. Are you going on a weekend trip? Try to take handluggage only. I took a trolley, backpack and a little trolly, which Lotte carried herself.

Travelling solo with a toddler: what do you bring?

Of course the usual stuff and I can highly recommend these items when travelling solo, I tell you why;

Travelling solo with a toddler: thats it?

Almost.. don’t forget to relax! Kids are so sensitive, they will pick it up when you are totally stressed out. Always make sure you don’t stuff your program from dusk til down. Make sure you have a travel speed your baby can keep up to and add things they like as well. Do the “grown up stuff” in the morning a and the “kids stuff” in the afternoon.

Should You Bring a Car Seat?

Whether you bring a car seat on the flight is entirely your decision, as there are no regulations in place that require you to do so. Some parents feel more comfortable knowing their toddler is fastened into a car seat on the plane, while others prefer to get their child their own seat or keep them on their lap.

What does pre-boarding mean?

Pre-boarding means you won’t have to make your way through a huge crowd of people, nor will you have to worry about getting your toddler buckled in a hurry while also organizing snacks and toys. However, some parents caution against pre-boarding, as little ones can get antsy if they’re seated too long.

What to bring on a toddler cruise?

Be sure to bring items on board that will comfort and entertain your toddler, as well as plenty of diapers and food. Remember, you won’t be the only one on board trying to keep their little one entertained, and you’ll be at your destination before you know it!

How to approach a flight with a toddler?

The best way to approach a flight with your little one is to show up calm yet prepared. Your toddler will pick up on any tension, which you can eliminate by ensuring you understand all guidelines ahead of your journey. Having a plan in place for your arrival at the airport, security, and boarding will help things run much more smoothly.

How many ounces of liquid can you bring on a plane?

TSA guidelines state liquids must be under 3.4 ounces or 100 millimeters to be allowed on board, but the nourishment you pack for your toddler is an exception to the rule. Milk, juice, and formula (if applicable) for your toddler can exceed this amount and do not need to fit in a quart-sized bag. 2

How long can breast milk be stored?

If you’re planning on a shorter flight, remember breastmilk can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours. However, once breast milk is cooled, it must remain cool until it is consumed to prevent it from perishing. 3

How much weight can you carry on a plane?

The maximum weight limit for most checked bags is 50 pounds. Carry-on items must meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines. 1 They may not exceed 22" x 14" x 19" and must be able to be stored in an overhead compartment or under a seat.

1. Prepare your kids emotionally for leave your significant other

Trouble started right out of the gate…literally. Alex was going through a phase where daddy was everything, and we could not go anywhere without daddy. When we got in line in security, I was super nervous that he would be upset that daddy wasn’t coming along with us.

3. Take out all items that might pose as a security risk out of your bag at security check

Security stopped me to search our bags and pat me down. I guess I looked like a security threat while holding my crying infant and chasing after my toddler. ??

4. Pack light

We got to the airport early and Alex had fun rolling around his luggage. Of course, after security Alex decided he no longer wanted to roll his own luggage. Zoe was still fussy so I had to carry her with one hand while holding the luggage and stroller with another (and wearing a backpack too).

5. Feed your kids before arriving at the airport

I saw a place with fries near the gate and headed there right away. Alex usually loves fries, and since we don’t usually eat out, he views them as a special treat. I figured eating fries would help us pass time while waiting for the plane to arrive.

6. Get lots of rest the days leading up to the trip

Alex was in such a weird mood. It would seem as if he wanted to do everything and anything to freak me out.

7. Wait to board the plane

The plane finally arrived, and Alex wanted to get on the plane right away. I knew that he would get bored sitting around waiting for takeoff, so I told him to wait after everyone boarded to get on the plane.

8. Tire your toddler out before the flight

While the airport was difficult, I dreaded the flight so much more. We did get lucky. Right before we got on the flight, we got upgraded to premium seats (more leg room, yay!), and they reseated us so that we had the three seats to ourselves.

1. Choose your destination carefully

If you’re anything like me, then your biggest concern when traveling alone with kids is safety, and realistically, there are just some places where it simply isn’t safe to travel alone with kids.

2. Consider where to stay

There are numerous options when it comes to accommodation, and it’s worth thinking about where you’ll be most comfortable when traveling alone with kids. Regular hotel rooms rarely work for us anymore as they’re too small and no one gets their own space, so instead we choose to stay in either hotel suites or accommodations like Air BNB and VRBO.

3. Know what documents you need to bring for plane travel and your destination

When traveling alone with kids, there are certain documents you need to bring with you.

4. Make copies of all of your documents

Whenever we travel, especially out of the country, I bring copies of whatever identification we’re using, as well as medical insurance information.

5. Pack carefully and as lightly as possible

This is always good advice when traveling with kids, but especially important when you’re the only person who will be carrying most of the stuff!

6. Give copies of your itinerary to family or friends

We’re not big planners and it’s very rare that we have go anywhere with a set routine, so this tip is easier said than done for us. But we do have things like flights and hotels planned, and I make sure my husband (and usually my mom!) know when our flights depart and arrive, as well as where we’ll be staying.

7. Consider renting baby products

When traveling alone with kids, you’ll probably have enough to carry without trying to also juggle things like a stroller, car seat, portable crib, or other bulky items needed for babies and younger kids.

What to bring to a sightseeing trip?

A portable stroller or child carrier fitted with a sunshade, drinks, snacks and trinkets is a sightseeing essential. Some child carriers also double as highchairs in restaurants. "If you know you’ll be standing in line, a small jar of bubbles, stickers, a hand-held fan or fidget toys can come in handy," Omohundro says. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is said to carry savory snacks like olives and macaroni and cheese to tide her children over during long public appearances and state visits.

What makes traveling with toddlers smoother?

Flexibility, electronic devices and lots of snacks will make traveling with toddlers a lot smoother. (Getty Images)

How to keep toddlers safe in hotel room?

Ogintz suggests bringing a toddler’s crib sheet and night light from home to provide extra comfort. To keep curious kiddos safe in their new surroundings, cover wall outlets with masking tape, secure the remote control and latch the toilet seat cover, if needed.

What to pack for a toddler when traveling?

A well-stocked diaper bag can be a lifesaver when traveling with toddlers. Wet wipes provide a basic level of hygiene for all ages, while plastic zip-close bags can store items ranging from toys and snacks to wet bathing suits and soiled shoes – and even garbage or diapers, in a pinch. You should also always carry a change of clothes for yourself and your toddler in case of unexpected spills.

How to entertain toddlers on a plane?

Entertaining toddlers on a plane, where you have to be mindful of other passengers and can’t pull over for breaks, is challenging. Quiet, engaging activities like coloring books and art projects with linoleum, felt, magnetic or adhesive cut-outs keep little hands and minds busy. Also consider holding something back; surprising toddlers with new or forgotten toys is a sure way to grab their attention, at least for a few minutes. If all else fails and a tantrum erupts, offer to buy drinks for the passengers around you – they were all kids once, too.

How to stop a cranky toddler from napping?

One of the best ways to avoid a cranky toddler is to encourage napping. Maintain a routine to help young ones get some shut-eye, such as changing them into sleepwear and putting them down with a favorite security blanket or stuffed toy around the same time every day. "If you can schedule your flight or long drive around their nap time, it can often lead to a very peaceful and quiet ride," Webb says.

What age can you bring a fanny pack to the airport?

If they’re up to it, toddlers may enjoy carrying a small fanny pack or backpack through the airport. Encourage kids ages 3 and older to bring along their toys and clothing in a child-size rolling suitcase. This can be a helpful way to lighten your load – and it will make your kids feel grown up at the same time.

Why do people get up to use the bathroom?

The constant stream of people getting up to use the bathroom serves as fresh faces to entertain your little one. These people aren’t burnt out on your kids, happy to be standing up and board needing a distraction as they wait in line. Engaging with your toddler is their perfect distraction.

How to win a homecoming couple?

Let your little one charm everyone and smile and be friendly with everyone. If there was a high school popularity contest for your gate, you should be winning homecoming couple by a landslide.

What to do if a stewardesses doesn’t like you?

If they don’t like you, it’ like being in prison with a guard who knows a gang is coming for you but is going to turn a blind eye.

What to do if you are kidnapped?

You know how they say that if you are kidnapped you want to start personalizing yourself to your captor as much as possible so they see you as individuals and are less likely to kill you? This strategy is a very similar concept. Humanize yourself to other passengers so that’s it is more difficult for them to hate you.

How to get your kids to look good on a plane?

You should always have your kids looking their best when flying. Not Sunday best but a cute outfit that is still comfortable. Having your child well dressed will get them noticed in a good way. You give the illusion that you as a parent have it together enough to have your child dressed well and people will naturally assume that this translates to you having it together flying on a plane. This doesn’t mean have them wear an uncomfortable party dress or a sports coat, but going for generally stylish attire that is crisp and clean is a sure fire way to success. Is the outfit cute enough that you would want to take their picture or someone would comment, then it’s airport worthy.

What is bag 3?

Bag 3: Food – bring more than you would normally feed and thinks that take a while to eat the better

Why do people fail to get seats?

Most people fail because they go up to the counter and try to convince them that they need the seat. Wrong pitch! You need to appeal to the needs of the other passenger who is sitting next to you!