TRAVELING WITH A TODDLER

A lot of you asked about tips for traveling wih a toddler.
After traveling around the world with Romy, just her and I since shes a baby, you’d think I have it down to a T, but the truth is, every baby is different, and things change, different destinations, different airport rules, different gear….
Traveling with a baby. Or a toddler is never easy, but I do find the toddler years the most difficult. More gear, more snacks, more entertainment, and bigger gear!

I am a minimalist, and I do belive that even with a toddler, less is more, the less I carry around, the lighter my bag, the less gear, the easier, especially if I am on my own.
So hear are some tips that I found helped a lot.

Have no expectations!

The more I  think about it, the more I  build up stress. Thinking of all the worst scenarios, but you never really know how things will turn out, so now I’ve learned that the less I overthink,the easiest the process is, and I just take it one step at the time and see and do my best in each of them.

Packing

The Suitcase

I think packing is what gives me the most anxiety. Packing for 3 people (Romy, George and Me) requires a lot of headspace! So in the week leading up, I try to make a list, and add everything I think ill be needing and I then I pack the day before.

I dont like to pack too much ahead as I might need some of the things in the days leading up to.I usually pack more for George as I do enjoy seeing him in different outfits and capturing lots of photos during our trips so I minimize what I bring for myself! I bring things that are easy to wash though, such as lots of bodysuits and t-shirts, joggers, and lots of pjs! And try to have a similar color palette so everything goes together.

I usually share a suitcase with him, one side for me, one side for him! I like this one from away.

I also never pack without packing cube. It makes packing and unpacking so much easier. I have the black ones he has the grey ones.Especially if you don’t have a lot of storage space at your destination.

 

Handbag

I try to keep my handbag as light as possible too.

I usually pick one of my lightest large tote that I use for the larger things, and take as well a small purse for small important things such as passports, phone and wallet to be able to reach them easily, even with George in my arms.  I love my Cos “crossbody bag” as its small, practical but still quite chic! 

In the tote I’ll have the diaper bag (about 6 diapers, wipes, a few change outfits – mostly joggers and t-shirts – in case of any accidents, and instead of a changing mat I take a few muslims,( much lighter, and so easily to hand wash in the sink and dries overnight!)

Now that George eats solid, it adds a lot, I miss the exclusive breastfeeding because I had zero bottles and food to pack! Now I try to prep 3 bottles the night before (I only put the formula powder) and will buy a bottle of water after security to make the bottles when needed. I usually have them in a large ziplock (which I re-use, or can also use for dirty clothes, or in case of any baby sickness!)

As for food, pouches are the easiest even if maybe not the most sustainable. I try to take the small ones  under 100ml because they dont make you take them out of the liquid bag. I usually take 6 which is more than what I need, but Romy or even myself will end up having one!

A good packing hack, is to have a travel box, with travel vanity cases always ready to go.

I have one for myself, one for George, and one just for what I will need in the cabin, which I keep as small as I can (mini diaper cream, travel size calpol, maybe a few make up bits for myself). Its one less thing to think about and I usually re fill the mini travel size bottles right away  when I come back from a trip to minimize even more the stress of packing!

I leave it all in a travel box where I also have all the charger converters etc…

Gear

When it comes to traveling, we find the Yoyo the easiest as we can take it all the way to the plane and have it folded on the overhead compartment.

However, now that George outgrew the baby car seat that used to just clip on the yoyo, and upgraded to a much bigger one, we faced another challenge! 

I dont really love renting car seats at car rental, as you never really know what you are gonna get, I’ve had big fails in the past, wrong size, really dirty etc… so I kind of prefer to have our own if we are going to rent a car.

We got the Britax Romer.

I have to say, it does add up a lot to the luggage situation, I got a travel bag to carry it too and make sure it doesn’t get damaged as we have to check iti. Bt it does give me the piece of mind of getting something safe for George which is the most important.

Getting there

Now living in London, I try to prioritize City Airport, which is much closer to us, AND they have the new machines at security which means you dont have to take ANYTHING out of your bag, or shoes off which is game changer with a baby!!

We usually take a taxi there, and have George in his car seat.

Otherwise, if Heathrow or Gatwick (which we try to avoid) , we always try to take the express train which is another reason to travel as light as possible, but its much easier, and less chances for George to get car sick!

At the airport/On the plane

Keep cool…And arrive early is my main advice… 

I try to let George walk around as much as possible between the ride to the airport and the flight just so he gets tired again. Once again, City is my favorite airport as its small, and they have a great little kids corner, where George can run around, and I can just sit and drink my coffee before boarding the flight! 

We always board amongst the first, to make sure we have space in the overhead for or strollers and I always try to have a window seat for more privacy as I still also breastfeed…

I try to avoid having to change George in the plane bathroom so I always change him right before the flight as much easier! Another tip, he now wears pull ups as easier to put on when home, but when traveling, I find it a hassle as you have to take off the shoes etc as well, so we go for old school diapers which is much easier!

As for entertainment… well I am hoping he will sleep most flight tbh… otherwise, food and apps on my phone… and a book or two, I try to no pack too many toys as he actually doesn’t care for them that long… so I just end up carrying unnecessary things… sometimes the airline will give a coloring book which will keep him entertain a bit as well!

There

If at a hotel, I actually try to get big things shipped, such as diapers, wipes, formula, and I also order some food pouches, to avoid a huge room service bill! I also try to do a small supermarket raid that would fit in the mini bar and that doesn’t require heating, such as ham, smoke salmon, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruits….Its really hard to feed a toddler exactly like you’d do at home when at a hotel, so I found having some healthy snacks handy the easiest and I would stick with ordering easy things such as pasta!

If in a house, a supermarket raid on the way there!

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