Traveling With Toddlers – How Not to Lose Your Sanity Completely

Last updated on May 12th, 2019 at 09:01 am

How-to-Travel-With-Toddlers-With-No-StressToday I am going to talk about traveling with toddlers… Yeah, the horror every parent has to go through at a certain point… Now, I am not going to lie to you and say that I have the magic recipe that will turn your next family travelling adventure into the sweetest journey because long distance traveling with small kids is… well… not the best time you will have in your life. But, there are ways that will help you not lose your sanity, at least not completely.

First of all, you need to keep in mind that even we (grown ups) lose our nerves if the traveling lasts, for example, 10 or more hours, and now imagine how it feels for a kid to stay in the seat that long. So, remember, if you are nervous, they are going to get 10 times more nervous than you. Therefore, you need to keep your cool game face on all the time. I know that can get extremely hard, but you need to FOCUS girl, otherwise you will be eaten by your little monsters.

Okay, now that we got that out in the air, it’s time to see how to stop your child/ren from turning into gremlins, and you from flipping the switch from calm Jedi mom to Sith lord.

1. Wear Them Out Before the Trip!

This, in my opinion, is the most important thing you have to do before your trip begins! For example, every time we have a family trip that we know will last at least 10 hours, my husband and I join the forces and push the limits of playtime at least two or three hours before we need to go.  Also, another important thing is that the packing needs to be finished the previous day, so that you can focus on ‘the draining all energy to ensure sleeping on the plane’ playtime, on the day of travelling.


What we found to be an excellent energy black hole is an indoor trampoline. Every kid loves jumping and this wears them out in no time. Needless to say that they will fall asleep as soon as the plane takes off or as soon as you hit the road with your family car.

PRO MOMMY TIP: No sweets before the trip!

2. Entertainment, Entertainment, and More Entertainment

Okay, the previous method will get you a few hours of peace and quiet during the trip. However, if you thought that they will sleep the entire time, oh… you were wrong,  very wrong. Therefore, you need to think in advance! Personally, I am not a big fan of letting my kids stare at their iPads for hours, but desperate situations require desperate measures, and, you will stay free of angry-passengers-bad-eye-looks.


PRO MOMMY TIP: Make sure that their portable theaters are filled with their favorite cartoons because you can never count on the WiFi to be perfect whilst travelling.

NYC Tech Mommy has some really awesome articles on travelling with babies and young children. So whether you are travelling by airplane, or by car, she has some handy information to help you out to keep your young ones entertained and calm for hours. I’m also really keen on saving money (I mean, who isn’t) and so a few handy travel and money saving tips from her blog aswell are very handy for all parents.

3. Snacks to Relax

Yep, snacks that can relax the kids, actually exist. They are on my list of MUST HAVE things to pack each time we travel. Now, what no one told me before our first long family trip (for which I was completely unprepared and it has probably shortened my life for at least 10 years) is that vitamin B12, as well as the rest of the B complex vitamins, relax the human body (especially kids) and helps in creating the happy hormone, its Majesty, Serotonin!


Do I really need to say more?! I will only add that my kids, and probably every other kid in the world, love snacks, and if it has the magical vitamins in it, I am one happy mom! I discovered that these Vita Pop popcorns (infused with various vitamins, b complex included) satisfy their need for munching and keeps their mood swings at bay. Also, bananas help both with the kids and the grumpy husband. It’s also a good idea that every time you travel to have some new snacks on hand that your kids haven’t tried before. I am always looking for new ideas for snacks when travelling and came across, Lotte and her blog (she child minds for 17 children! crazy!). Anyway, more specifically her Youtube about snacks and activities for kids when travelling is really helpful, you can view her video here.

4. Travel Pillows

Now that you have your kids relaxed and watching their favorite cartoons, you can try and “squeeze” in some more sleep time. I understand that you might be thinking:  “If they are already calmed and not jumping from seat to seat to seat, why would I want to make them sleep again?” Well, you know how tired you get after long trips? The same goes for your kids.


But, the more they sleep during the trip, the more rested they will be and the holiday is more likely to have a great start once you arrive. However, to be able to fall asleep on the plane in the first place and we all know how impossible that can get during a long flight, you need to make them as comfortable as possible. This is where travel pillow and other useful on-the-go sleep gadgets come in handy. For example, the JJMG inflatable travel pillow and leg rest comes with an inflatable pillow that will help the little ones place their heads and neck comfortably and sleep like on a cloud. And, it also includes a leg rest that is great for filling up the hole between their seat and the seat in front of them, and creating a comfy on-the-go bed that will allow them to sleep without having their feet in your lap.

On the other hand, if you are traveling with “senior” toddlers, they can get rested in a more “grown up” style (sleeping while sitting). But, they will need a good neck pillow. I recommend checking out the BCOZZY Kids Chin Supporting Travel Neck Pillow as it offers them great neck support and allows them to doze off to dreamland without you having to worry about them waking up with sore neck muscles and all cranky.


Now, after you got the comfort all sorted out, you need to think about blankets because we all know how it’s not rare that the temperature in the plane can get a bit chilly up there. With my little boy, I use the Armrest Buddy. The great thing about this useful  traveling gadget is that you can turn any type of armrest (plane, bus, train), into a comfortable pillow or simply add more comfort when combined with a small travel pillow, and it comes with an unbelievably packable blanket that won’t take too much space in your luggage.

5. “Mommy! I Need to Pee!”

If you are still in the diaper mode, you have no idea how blessed that is for when it comes to traveling. Sure, it needs to be changed as soon as possible, at least when number two is concerned, but even then, it doesn’t have to be done THIS INSTANT, which is not what I can say when it comes to toddlers.


By now, you are probably aware that when a toddler says he needs to pee, you have under a minute to get him or her undressed and over the (disgusting) public toilet in a plane or the train… And, considering you are in a moving vehicle, sometimes (read – every time) some of that will get on your feet.

But, it doesn’t have to necessarily be like that. My dear moms, I present to you, the traveling friendly, foldable, toilet seat cover for kids! It is one of my favorite inventions in the last 10 years! Just unfold it, place it over the toilet seat, and that’s it. It really made our code red “pit stops” much less stressful. There is heaps of them available online from many different brands.

What Have We Learned So Far?

Just remember, traveling is nice, but it is difficult with young children. If you aren’t prepared for it using the tips that I have for you above, sometimes, just going on a road-trip somewhere close to home is a better idea. Plus, I know so many parents these days that are putting travel on their credit cards. This is truly a scary thought and something I don’t recommend at all. Instead, downgrade your expectations of what you think that perfect holiday will be like, and opt for something more affordable. We look forward to sharing more of our budget friendly tips and tricks here on MBC, but for now, this blog post on how to save money on vacation, shares some really good information. These are some excellent tips to take onboard if you need that break away without putting a strain on your finances. We will be sharing more money saving tips both with traveling and raising kids, so stay tuned here at MyBabyCare for more!


So, what have we actually learned so far from my story of travelling with my toddler children? Is your trip with the kids going to be like a walk in the park? No… But, if you think it through on time and get the gadgets I talked about, it can get much more tolerable and with less nervous breakdowns. Just remember to wear them out before the trip, have the pillows handy and tablets ready, and the relaxing snacks close to you and you will be fine.

After all, it’s not like the trip is going to last forever, right? Just survive the flight or the car ride, and then have a few hours of sleep when you get there and you will be as good as new, and ready to hit the beach/attractions with the kids. Oh, the beach… that is a completely different dimension when you are a parent, but I will save that for another post 🙂

Anna About Anna

Hi Moms and Dads, Anna here and welcome. I'm a relatively young mom, in my early 30's and my husband and I have 2 young (and incredibly cheeky) children. With my first child, I was confused about absolutely anything that had 'baby' written on it. I felt flustered and overwhelmed. For some Moms I believe it comes naturally, for others it takes a bit of work and patience, and the latter was me. With my second child, all those first round nervous flusters were gone and I approached everything ease, although I do admit, in between 2 children, baby products and my needs and wants had changed and in the baby/infant world, things change very quick and products that were suggested a few years back are now out of date, recalled or just not suitable no more. So it's not only your little bub that grows; products change and the needs and wants of your baby and you change also.

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